Midway through the 20th century, a group of Geneva locals came together to form the Geneva Civic Music Association, later renamed Geneva Concerts, to bring high-quality classical music and other cultural events to the area and increase people’s exposure to and appreciation for the arts.
In 2022, Geneva Concerts continues to serve its original purpose: bringing the arts to the local community and removing barriers to participation. Additionally, the Geneva Concerts events are held at the Smith Opera House, an essential community resource, to familiarise people with it and promote arts possibilities for youngsters when many schools’ music and arts programs have been cut.
“We’re trying to encourage them to feel comfortable in the Smith,” said Scott McKinney, a board member and former president of Geneva Concerts. “We’re trying to get people to see that it’s theirs, and we realize that for many people, it’s a daunting area.”
On Friday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m., Geneva Concerts will begin its 76th year of performances. Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, based in Chicago, will perform original choreography and musical compositions chosen to “express the ensemble’s core values of cultural diversity, community, collaboration, and creativity,” according to a Geneva Concerts release. The performance will take place at the Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St.
Cerqua Rivera, a collective of dancers, painters, and musicians, was founded in 1999 by a choreographer/dancer, a painter, and a composer/musician. This multidisciplinary strategy is mirrored by Geneva Concerts, which presents a wide range of genres and performers (including orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz artists, musical theatre, ballet companies, Celtic step dancers, and more).
Geneva Concerts vice president for PR Sally Webster said, “We think of our demographics and community – Geneva is an ethnically and culturally varied location.” Artists booked mirror this philosophy: recent years’ performances have ranged from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Syracuse-based Symphoria to Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and African dance.
Like many other cultural institutions, Geneva Concerts was forced to cease operations when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out temporarily. As a result of the mandated social distance, the final concert of the 2019–20 season and the entire 2020–21 season had to be postponed. Planning a new season (2021-22) once they were able to be a delicate process, brought together throughout summer, as is the case with most arts groups.
It all hinged on the availability of the performers, some of whom were just getting back into the groove of performing (and travelling) with the group. It necessitated adaptability, as at least one replacement had to be made in the event of an unvaccinated performance. Furthermore, it was essential to have faith that audiences would feel safe reuniting, a worry alleviated somewhat by the Smith venue’s ability to hold a crowd of 1,300 or more.
The remaining Smith Opera House performances for the 2022–23 season are as follows:
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing at 3 p.m. on November 6. Tai Murray, winner of multiple violin awards, and conductor Vinay Parameswaran perform Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony in E flat Major will also be performed.
Symphoria, a musician-run cooperative out of Syracuse, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on March 10. The program features works by Sean O’Loughlin (“Symphoria”), Robert Sierra (“Fandangos”), Duke Ellington (“Three Black Kings”), Aaron Copland (“Lincoln Portrait”), and famous pianist Awadagin Pratt (“Rounds for Piano and String Orchestra”).
Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides Overture,” Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3,” Johann Strauss Jr.’s “On the Beautiful Blue Danube,” and Mozart’s “Symphony No. 41 in C Major” will be performed by Symphoria on April 23 at 3 pm, under the direction of Michelle Merrill.
Regular subscription prices are $120 for adults/seniors, $35 for full-time college students (free through grade 12), and orders can be sent to Geneva Concerts Inc., P.O. Box 709, Geneva, NY 14456 or downloaded from GenevaConcerts.org. Season tickets can be used for any concert in the 2022-2023 season (one to each of four shows, all four to one concert, etc.).
Keep following journalistpr.com for more updates. You can also read articles like AJ McLean’s Wife Took Their Girls To Lady Gaga Concert and SEVENTEEN’s ‘Be the Sun’ Tour.