Tag Archives: history

A Letter to the Board

Dear Roxie and GSO Board,
It doesn’t seem possible it has been 70 years since we started the orchestra!  I received the GSO pamphlet yesterday and read every word. The season concerts sound wonderful! I do so wish I could be there to hear them. When you are at a rehearsal please say “Hi!” for me to the orchestra, especially members who still remember me.
I remember playing Scheherazade many, many years ago in the 1st violin section, long before taking up the viola. Carl Frank played the solo violin part at the time. It is such a great number and the audience will love it.
I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the GSO’s leadership and devotion. After having 48 wonderful years of joy playing in the orchestra, I feel blessed, as there is no other experience like it.                                                                                            Sincerely,
Helen Grapka                                                                                                                 GSO Charter Member

From the GSO Historian

It began in 1947. A small group of dedicated individuals had the idea of starting a small community-oriented orchestra. They named it The Batavia Civic Orchestra. It was a success, growing and changing over the years, all the while maintaining its core mission: to bring excellent music and entertainment to the Genesee Region. In 1958, it became the Genesee Symphony Orchestra and as the old saying goes, “the rest is history.”

Now in our 70th season, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra takes another step forward and is proud to welcome to the podium our newest conductor, S. Shade Zajac. The tradition of playing beautiful music with talented musicians and guest artists continues. And who knows, maybe something new thrown in as well to delight and entertain and maybe even educate audiences in the upcoming season.

So come one, come all! It’s a new season and a new era. Let the music begin.

Want to learn more about the Genesee Symphony Orchestra and its history? Visit the memory books in the reference section of the Richmond Memorial Library or the permanent display at the Holland Land Office Museum.

~Joanne Tumminello, GSO Historian

From the GSO Historian

How Do You Like Them So Far?

The 2015-2016 Season has been a transitional year for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra. Replacing a long-time conductor is never easy, but we are nearly there. We have seen the artistic exuberance of S. Shade Zajak directing music from around the world; the accomplished Yunn-Shan Ma with the glorious holiday feast; the heart pounding flutes and flourishes under the expert direction of Nicholas DelBello. Next, experience an All-American program created by the talented Bryan Eckenrode.

With the help of our audience and musician surveys, and recommendations from our selection committee, the GSO Board will choose one of these wonderful candidates to take the baton and lead the GSO into the future.                                                                                                                                                                        So sit back, relax, and enjoy our final concert of the season. Then think – Whom would you like to see as the successor to a long line of talented GSO conductors?                                                                                                                                                                                 Want to learn more about the Genesee Symphony Orchestra and its conductors?          Visit the memory books in the reference section of the Richmond Memorial Library or the permanent display at the Holland Land Office Museum where a complete list of the Symphony’s conductors is on display.                                                                                                                                                 ~Joanne Tumminello, GSO Historian

From the GSO Historian

The Year the Review Got Reviewed

Praise, admiration, and criticism can be a standard norm for any performance. The Genesee Symphony Orchestra has been blessed over the years to be given much praise for its performances. And it is much appreciated!

But did you know that in March of 1978, a battle of words was “played” out in the Batavia Daily News over one performance of the GSO?

It was a difficult time for the orchestra, when the scheduled soloist broke her hand. Another guest soloist stepped up to perform. Many an article was written about how well the orchestra sounded and how delightful the “substitute” soloist had performed – but not all were in agreement. A critique of the critique was written. And then a critique of the critique of the critique was published! It was a bit comical, as reviewer after reviewer found fault with the previous reviews. Needless to say, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra persevered and continues to bring excellence in music and entertainment to the Genesee region.

Want to learn more about the Genesee Symphony Orchestra? Visit the memory books in the reference section of the Richmond Memorial Library or the permanent display at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Joanne Tumminello, GSO Historian

From the GSO Historian

Did you know that in 1967, you could buy a membership to attend the Genesee Symphony Orchestra Concerts?

Patron Memberships were $10, Associate Memberships were $5, and Student Memberships were $1.50 – a bargain by today’s standards to be sure. However, when you remember that for such a small price comes great enjoyment, supporting a wonderful community gem like the GSO is worth every penny.

Thank you for your continued support then and now!

Want to learn more about the Genesee Symphony Orchestra? Visit the memory books in the reference section of the Richmond Memorial Library or the permanent display at the Holland Land Office Museum.

~Joanne Tumminello, GSO Historian

A Year of Transition for the GSO

The 2015-2016 Season will be a transitional year for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra. Having had 13 wonderful conductors through the years since its inception in 1947, change is not new to this Orchestra. This season will see four candidates for the position of Music Director grace our stage in hopes of being the next GSO conductor.

We all know how difficult change can be. Will the new conductor be able to work with the musicians? Will s/he be able to make a connection with the audience? What kind of program will be presented? Will the program instill a deeper appreciation of all things musical in our area? Stay tuned as our four candidates demonstrate what they can bring to the stage and the orchestra this season!

A diversified group, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra continues to bring excellence in music, education, and entertainment to the Genesee Region.
Would you like to learn more about the Genesee Symphony Orchestra and its conductors? Visit the Holland Land Office Museum where a complete list of the Symphony’s conductors is part of a permanent display on the history of the orchestra. More information is available in the memory books reserved in the reference section of the Richmond Memorial Library.
Joanne Tumminello, GSO Historian