Evening of Music at Genesee Community College's Encore Celebration


A full evening of holiday music and festivities is scheduled for Genesee Community College’s Encore Celebration, set to take place on Thursday, December 14, at 6 pm at the Batavia campus. John and Betty O’Brien, chairs of this year’s event, are looking forward to the evening’s musical performances.

“The live music we have planned for Encore this year should be the talk of the town,” Mrs. O’Brien said. The RPO will be joined by operatic soprano Elizabeth Phillips, Dizzy-Jazz with a Spin serenades audiences as they enjoy their gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and as the grand finale Mark Hoerbelt will play more holiday favorites on piano during coffee and dessert. “For many reasons, Encore will be a night to remember,” she added.

The core of the evening is a holiday pops concert beginning at 7:45 pm by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The program will include arrangements such as “Festival Fanfare for Christmas,” “A Classical Christmas Suite,” and “Holiday Overture,” and will conclude with a holiday sing-a-long featuring traditional favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Two numbers, “White Christmas” and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” will feature soprano Elizabeth Phillips.

Phillips, a resident of Pittsford NY, appears as a soloist for various performing groups in the western New York area and has been a featured soloist for The Britt Music Festival in Medford, OR in addition to her appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Her versatile repertoire ranges from early music to contemporary opera and even country western. She works with a cappella trio F’loom, which performs throughout the eastern US and Canada. Phillips teaches speech and voice and has given Master Classes in vocal performance and dramatic presentation.

At Encore this year, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Eric Townell. He joined the Rochester Oratorio Society as Music Director in 2006 and has appeared to critical acclaim as conductor of several orchestras, including the Prince George and Adrian Symphony orchestras and the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. A two-time prizewinner of the International Opera Conducting Course/Competition, Townell has conducted opera performances throughout the US and Europe. He is currently music director of the Master Singers of Milwaukee and has served as cover conductor for the Milwaukee and Madison Symphony orchestras. Mr. Townell holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory, as well as degrees in music performance and conducting from Northern Illinois University and Indiana University.

Prior to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance, local quartet Dizzy-Jazz with a Spin will provide a festive start to the evening. The group features Derek Reiss on trumpet and flugelhorn, Dan DeLuca on guitar, Pete Mark on bass, and Bob Chaplin on drums. Reiss, a native of Batavia NY, was a trumpet player in the United States Air Force Band for nearly 24 years. He has performed with area big bands and show bands such as Nik and the Nice Guys, and was the featured soloist with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

The evening winds up with a coffee and dessert hour with Mark Hoerbelt at the piano, playing his holiday favorites and musical theater selections. Hoerbelt is a Batavia resident and the organist for St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. He attended Ithaca College and completed his post graduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Five Star Bank has signed on as a primary Encore Sponsor underwriting a major portion of the evening. “Every time we award a scholarship we invest in the future of a worthy and deserving student,” John Dwyer, president of Genesee Community College Foundation said. “We are deeply grateful to Five Star Bank for supporting the College and our students.” Many scholarships also enable the College to “leverage” additional public and private support, so Five Star’s contribution to Encore 2006 will be multiplied many times over, Mr. Dwyer said.

Encore is an important ‘fun’ and fund raising event for Genesee Community College Foundation with proceeds dedicated to student scholarships. Last year, the Foundation awarded 511scholarships to worthy and deserving students, a collective amount of $286,002.

For reservations or ticket information please call Genesee Community College Foundation at 585-345-6809. The evening is black tie optional.

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