A New Direction…

By on May 4, 2017
L-R: Treasurer - Eileen Robillard, President - Eric Vaughn Johnson, Vice President -  Jenessa Wheeler,  Program Coordinator - Janine Meier.

L-R: Treasurer - Eileen Robillard, President - Eric Vaughn Johnson, Vice President - Jenessa Wheeler, Program Coordinator - Janine Meier.

New Direction Announced For Greece Performing Arts Society

New Logo,Theatre Company, Community Partnerships and More

An Expansion in the Town of Greece and Downtown Rochester

Since 1969, the Greece Performing Arts Society (GPAS) has had a strong presence in the Town of Greece providing opportunities for hundreds of community residents to grow as musicians and artists while performing throughout the community to thousands of appreciative audiences.

On April 2, 2017 at a GPAS press conference and concert, Board President Eric Vaughn Johnson announced the “Next Chapter” for the GPAS including a new direction with a fresh new look, a new theatre company, several new community partnerships, and plans to expand performance opportunities within Greece and in the Greater Rochester area. The full 2017 performing schedule is available at GreecePerformingArts.org.

“We are thrilled to be giving more life to one of the oldest established arts organizations in New York State,” said Johnson. “The talent in these groups is outstanding. Each group is a gem in our community and now it is time to make these GPAS groups shine even more! This new direction will provide more opportunities for the performers and expand entertainment choices for audiences to ultimately strengthen visibility of the arts in our community.”

Recently the GPAS Board took on a branding initiative and introduced a new logo. The existing logo was created in the 1990’s and used inconsistently. “We wanted to keep all of the positive attributes of the organization, including elements of the former logo, but it was time for a face lift,” said Vice President Jenessa Wheeler. The new GPAS logo, created by Pearlman Graphic Design, highlights the bold stance for the organization while keeping music notes to emphasize a key component of the arts.

Johnson announced the reopening of GPAS’s Greece Theatre Company under the artistic direction of well-known Rochester actress, Janine Mercandetti. The theatre company will showcase performers of all ages in a variety of different theatrical genres, kicking off with the Upstate New York regional premier of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Mercandetti will be serving as GPAS’s new Artistic Director bringing the presence of GPAS to Downtown Rochester.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame will feature Rochester adult performers alongside GPAS’s Choral Society. The production will be performed at the new Lyric Theatre Main Stage, on East Avenue in Downtown Rochester from October 20-29, 2017.

GPAS recently formed several community partnerships with a professional photographer, a well-known theatrical performing arts group, and with the media. Greece resident, Ali Cacia with AMC Photography, joined as a partner to photograph GPAS events and performances. “AMC Photography is super excited to be capturing the candid and live performance moments of the six GPAS groups,” said Cacia. Her photos will be used for media publicity and also posted on the newly revised GPAS website and Facebook page. These sites are at GreecePerformingArts.org and Facebook.com/GreecePerformingArts/.

Johnson also announced that GPAS will be partnering with The Rochester Association of Performing Arts (RAPA) to bring back The Young Artists Competition. This began in 1973 and was held for 40 years until 2013, most recently under the direction of the late Mike Szatkowski. Applications will now be open to all elementary, middle, and high school students from Greece schools and expanded to include students in schools in the Greater Rochester area, as well as school-age students of RAPA’s School for Performing Arts. The competition is scheduled for December 3, 2017 with a recital for the winners in early 2018. Awards will include the Phyllis Smith Oyer Musicianship Award (a founding member of GPAS) and the new Mike Szatkowski Extraordinary Performance in Theatre Arts Award.

GPAS is proud to partner with Westside News as the first media sponsor for advertising and promotion of upcoming events and performances in this publication, mailed to some Greece ZIP codes and also available at over 45 businesses and stores within the community.

New 2017 events, along with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, include a plethora of concerts and events.

•On June 4, the annual Summer Pops Concert will feature two GPAS groups– Greece Concert Band and Community Orchestra­– at Bethany Presbyterian Church, 3000 Dewey Avenue.

•On June 10, GPAS’s Summer Soiree will be held at Davinci’s of Greece and feature a full buffet dinner, community musical talent,a silent auction, and more. Tickets for this fundraiser are available at all area Wegmans for $40 per person.

•On June 30, GPAS’s Greece Jazz Band will once again be performing as part of The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

These events and many more are now listed on the GPAS Calendar at GreecePerformingArts.org.

The Greece Performing Arts Society (GPAS) was founded in 1969 to bring a broad range of artistic activities to Greece. Currently there are over 300 members in six GPAS groups: Greece Choral Society (Director Dr. Rollo Fisher), Greece Community Orchestra (Director Jonathan Allentoff), Greece Concert Band (Director BJ Comer), Greece Jazz Band (Director Gary J. Samulski), Greece Symphony Orchestra (Director Dr.David Fetler), and Greece Theatre Company (Artistic Director Janine Mercandetti.) GPAS is one of the oldest established non-profit organizations in New York State. For more information on the new direction of GPAS please visit www.GreecePerformingArts.org.  Also, follow Greece Performing Arts by liking us on Facebook. For more information, email info@GreecePerformingArts.org or call (585) 234-5636.

Provided Information

Photos by Karen Fien