Genesee Community College’s Annual Encore Highlights Dual Milestones

A Star Shines On Welcomes the Next Generation of Encore Enthusiasts

BATAVIA, NY - The Genesee Community College Foundation invites the community to celebrate a pair of milestones and kick off the holiday season at Encore: A Star Shines On, 25th Anniversary Celebration. The annual gala on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 features seasonal music from the two-time Grammy Award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders. Encore raises funds for GCC student scholarships. This special year, the event is being chaired by the family that inspired the first Encore 25 years ago when the Genesee Center for the Arts facility opened in 1991.


Glenn and Rosalie Maguire Simon will be joined by Rosalie’s sister, Lucy Barnett and her husband Timothy; daughter Jessica Maguire Tomidy and her husband, Alan; as well as son, Andrew Maguire and his fiancée, Jamie Beswick. This multi-generation chairing committee is working hard to create an incredibly special evening by bringing in a new generation of young people to revel in the magic of classical music, holiday favorites, a scrumptious menu and for the first time ever, children are warmly invited to join in the celebration. A child-friendly menu, entertainment and special programming and supervision will be provided by GCC’s Teacher Assistant Education students.


“There is no better way to celebrate Encore’s 25th Anniversary and the College’s 50th Anniversary than by bringing in the next generation. It is a new beginning that builds upon the long, storied history of both Encore and the College,” Maguire Simon said. “We are revisiting the creative ideas from 25 years ago, and by adding in new creative minds and energy—we have a fabulous evening planned to be enjoyed by all ages. I hope parents and grandparents will consider bringing their children and grandchildren for a truly memorable evening.”


The event begins with a prelude sponsor reception at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Stuart Steiner Theatre with the string quartet performing under the leadership of the new Genesee Symphony Orchestra conductor, S. Shade Zajac. Guests will also have the opportunity to explore A Celebration of Native American Heritage Exhibition in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery. The exhibit features a diverse collection of regional artifacts on loan from the Rochester Museum and Science Center and the Historical Club of the Tonawanda Reservation, artwork by Carson Waterman and Heritage Quilts by Faye Lone.


At 6 p.m., guests will move into the William W. Stuart Forum for a dinner reception with sensational food selections and a cash bar. After dinner, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra takes the Stuart Steiner Theatre stage for a holiday pops concert lead by Conductor Sanders beginning at 8 p.m. A program blending together old holiday favorites and a few songs that will especially resonate with children are planned, including a special feature at the very end.


Soprano soloist Emily Helenbrook returns to the GCC stage after bedazzling Encore audiences back in 2010. Now 22 years old and a recent graduate from the Eastman School of Music, the Alexander native has been a featured soloist for the BPO several times, and she has performed nationally on the ‘From the Top’ show. Helenbrook has been recognized by the Am-pol Eagle with the Citizen of the Year Award in Music and also by Go Art! for her efforts to “raise the bar musically, creatively and altruistically for young artists in the community.” She also won first place in the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition resulting in a debut at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall.


An imaginative musician, devoted educator and ardent champion of many types of music, Conductor Sanders is sure to give this year’s younger audiences a performance to remember. As the associate conductor with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, he leads performances on the Classical, Pops, Know the Score, Rock and the BPO Kids series as well as education and community outreach concerts. Sanders is also the music director for the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, the Amherst Symphony Orchestra and Round Rock Symphony in Texas. Recent guest conducting appearances have taken him from Poland to Ecuador, as well as around the United States to Virginia, Naples, Syracuse, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi. He studied at the University of Texas at Austin and was a fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Juilliard School. 


The spectacular evening concludes with an exquisite dessert nightcap at 9:30 p.m. to be held in the Wolcott J. Humphrey III Student Union.


“The planning committee and the co-chairs of this year’s Encore are so excited, as our creative ideas and plans are coming together,” Maguire Simon said. “We believe this event will captivate both young and older audiences together, sharing a unique experience that truly honors the history of Encore and the College, while generating interest and support from the next generation.”


Proceeds from Encore support the GCC Foundation Scholarship Fund. Five Star Bank has again generously signed on to be the event’s Benefactor Sponsor. Sponsorship support is available at the following levels: 

  • Conductor’s Circle - $1,000 entitles donor to six tickets for the event, including a prelude reception at 5 p.m.
  • Golden Baton Society - $600 and four tickets, including prelude reception
  • Inner Circle - $300 and two tickets, including prelude reception
  • Patron - $100 per ticket
  • Children - $75 per ticket

Reservations for Encore: A Star Shines On: 25th Anniversary Celebration are requested by November 28, 2016. Questions can be directed to the GCC Foundation at (585) 345-6809 or via email


For more information contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email:


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Editor’s Note: For a photograph of the Encore chairing couples go to:


For photos of Conductor Stefan Sanders and Emily Helenbrook go to the following links respectively: Sanders_BPO_Conductor2016.jpg Helenbrook.jpg