Our history

History of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra

Formed as a result of the initiative of three men – Mr. Norman Hall, Mr. Hugh L. Lawing, and Dr. Biagio Mansuetto – the Batavia Civic Orchestra held its first concert at the Dipson Theatre in Batavia NY on November 6, 1947. Under the direction of Mr. Jan Wolanek, the concert was played to a sell-out crowd of 1400 people.

Early rehearsals were held in the Batavia Musicians Union rooms above the former Plaza Restaurant at 98 Main Street (where the Genesee Country Mall now stands). Local professionals, businessmen and women made up the ranks of the musicians. Charter members included Dr. Biagio Mansuetto, John and Helen Grapka, Mrs Muriel Mooney, Alton Dewey and Ivy Strobel. Their mission: to play beautiful music.

In 1958 the Batavia Civic Orchestra changed its name to the Genesee Symphony Orchestra as more and more residents of Genesee County, outside of the City, became involved.

The Orchestra has had 15 renowned conductors, as well as hundreds of musicians from all walks of life perform on stage.  It has hosted many world-class artists and composers, as well as a multitude of well-known local soloists.

A diversified group, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra continues to bring excellence in music, education and entertainment to the Genesee Region.