Author Archives: Chris Choate

GSO in the Community

Raymond Feng, Piano

Raymond Feng, 16, from Pittsford, NY, has been a top  prizewinner of international and national competitions since age 9. As a piano soloist, Feng had his orchestral debut at age eleven with the Ashdod Symphony in Italy and since has collaborated with symphony orchestras nationwide including the Mercury Orchestra in Boston, MYA Symphony in Chicago, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Southern Finger Lakes, and others from Upstate NY. His concerto performance with the Rochester Philharmonic has been broadcast on NPR’s “From the Top.” An ambassador of classical music, Raymond was selected as a one of the eight 2016-2018 Young Scholars worldwide and has been actively engaged in community outreach activities that support music education.
He was invited to perform at the 2018 Grammy Salute to Classical Music concert in honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th Birthday. He is also the conductor apprentice and assistant concertmaster of the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has studied with Elier Suárez since age 5.

Meet the Orchestra    

The GSO Board of Directors sponsors Genesee area students in a Meet the Orchestra setting. Area students in grades 4-8 are contacted by the orchestra board members through their music teachers. Students are invited to attend and sit among the musicians during the Dress Rehearsal on Friday night, October 26. On Sunday, October 28, students come one hour prior to the 4:00 PM concert  They will meet with musicians and our conductor as they look at an orchestra score and discuss the many jobs of the conductor.  Students in previous Meet the Orchestra sessions have exclaimed, “What an awesome experience!”  









String Workshop

The GSO reaches out to string students in our region through String Workshop. The workshop will be held Saturday, March 30, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church, Batavia. Our GSO conductor and cellist Mr. Shade Zajac will direct the workshop. Area string teachers receive selections of music for levels 3 or 4 and assist their string students in learning the music. Students come together at the workshop as an ensemble, working with Maestro Zajac. Students will play the pieces from the workshop with the GSO during the May 5th concert. The GSO String Workshop is sponsored by the Bank of Castile. 

Endowment Fund
An Endowment Fund was set up in the year of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary.  The opportunity to take part in this endowment is available to supporters, businesses, and members, to help ensure the orchestra will continue to perform. Show your support for the GSO by adding to this endowment. Continuing contributions may be made at any time, in any amount, by mailing to GSO, PO Box 391, Batavia, NY 14021.

Income earned from the endowment may be used for the general purpose of the orchestra as determined by the Board of Directors.  The symphony is a 501(c) (3) organization for tax purposes, and contributions to the endowment are deductible for income and gift tax purposes.

Friends of the Orchestra
Friends of the Orchestra is a group of orchestra patrons who assist the GSO Board members at concert performances. This network of friends may be asked to usher at concerts or supply cookies to be served at concert receptions. Our GSO Board works very hard in supporting our orchestra members in every way. Friends of the Orchestra will be an expanded network supporting the board. Please show your support by giving your name to any GSO Board member to become a Friend of the Orchestra. 

Adopt a Chair
This is an exciting program affording the participant a first-hand experience with the orchestra. For $35.00, you may “adopt” a musician of the orchestra. You choose your favorite instrument and sit in that section during the dress rehearsal, for a “behind the scenes” experience in which you will see and hear an orchestra work.
Contact GSO Board Member Helen Parkins at to arrange your Adopt-a-Chair experience.

Young Artist Competition
This season’s Young Artist Competition will be held Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church, Batavia, NY. The GSO competition is a wonderful opportunity for young musicians in our region. All instrumental and vocal students in grades 8 through 11 performing NYSSMA Solo, Level V or VI, are welcome to audition. Information and applications will be sent to music educators at schools in the surrounding area in the fall.  Each participant will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, and the winner will be featured as the Guest Soloist with the orchestra for one of the 2018-19 concerts. We have very talented teachers and students in our area, and we look forward to meeting the new candidates.
An endowment fund was set up in the year of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary. The opportunity to have a part in this endowment is made available to supporters, businesses, and members and helps ensure the future of the orchestra. Show your support for the GSO by adding to this endowment.