Honeoye alumni concerts are planned for this year; also, Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm will play the Smith
Attention, Honeoye alumni: Been meaning to take that clarinet out of its case or dust off your old sax skills? There's the best of opportunities ahead.
Two Honeoye Central School band alumni concerts are planned for 2019: an alumni jazz concert March 2 at Little Lakes Community Center in Hemlock (which a generation of alumni know as the old Hemlock school), and an alumni concert band concert June 7 in the Honeoye Central School auditorium.
High school band teacher Grace (Helling) Wood has been organizing and directing alumni band concerts every five or so years since 2003. She had seen many Honeoye grads go on into musical careers since she began teaching at Honeoye in 1987 — but also realized that "a more important goal of the program should be to instill a lifelong enjoyment (and sometimes with an educated ear) and really appreciate it," she wrote in response to a Messenger query.
"With the addition of our new auditorium, something we never had in Honeoye, I thought it would be cool to have an alumni concert for a number of reasons: to remind people of how awesome those music memories were, to remind us of how integral music is in our lives and to test out the new facility," she added.
After the initial alumni concert band performance in March 2003 for Music in Our Schools Month came concerts in December 2007 — which resulted in a CD of the alumni band along with student bands playing Christmas music — and January 2013. Wood decided to space the concerts out every five years or thereabouts, to avoid their losing their "spark or freshness" if done as an annual affair.
And they've been a hit, with listeners and musicians.
"Great feedback from community and participants!" Wood wrote. "Many admit they are rusty, most remark how it is a neat feeling to be back immersed in the music from the inside of the ensemble. I encourage them to play as little or as much as they are comfortable in the concert. I just want them to come and share the music and the memories. We have had a tremendous turnout for these concerts that included students from graduating classes as early as the 60's and also included former band directors from over the years."
Last year, she added a jazz band concert in the mix at the Hemlock venue — with a sold-out crowd, as many alumni as regular students performing, and alumni asking to do it again this year
"I am not sure we will keep up the every-year thing, but the students have a blast seeing, listening and learning from the alumni and the alumni get a kick out of meeting the students and seeing just what they can do from their old days! It is just an awesome feeling; an experience/feeling not easily put into words."
To find out more about the upcoming concerts — and to get the music and rehearsal schedule — contact Wood at email@example.com or at the HCS band Facebook page (you need to "like" it). The alumni jazz concert will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Little Lakes Community Center, 4705 S. Main St., Hemlock, with a 5:30 p.m. rehearsal and a reception to follow. The alumni concert band will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the HCS auditorium, 8528 Main St., Honeoye, with a rehearsal at 7 p.m. June 7 and a reception to follow the concert.
A larger piece about the concerts will appear in this spot in February. If you're a Honeoye alumnus who's taken part in the previous concerts, or who plans to be in one of this years's, the Front-Row Seat would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 'Storm' is brewing
Launching as a pub band in Santa Monica in the mid-1990s, the Celtic rockers in Gaelic Storm got their big break aboard a doomed luxury liner. Well, on the big screen, anyway: Disccovered by a film producer, they were asked to appear as the steerage band in a little movie you may have heard of, "Titanic."
Their career since has seen them top the Billboard World Chart six times and regularly headlining large Irish festivals as well as appearing in mainstream music festivals with their music that puts their own spin on Celtic tradition.
Gaelic Storm will appear in concert at 8 p.m. next Thursday, June 24 (doors 7 p.m.), at The Smith Center for the Arts, 82 Seneca St., Geneva. Reserved seating tickets range from $22 to $32 (plus service fees) and can be purchased at the Smith Opera House Box Office in person or by phone or online at www.thesmith.org.
Feels like the first time
The Rochester Music Hall of Fame is debuting its "Books Backstage" series on Friday, Feb. 1, featuring multi-platinum recording artist, former Foreigner frontman and Rochester Hall of Famer Lou Gramm. The Gramm session will be from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hall of Fame's new location at 25 Gibbs St.
The five-part "Books Backstage" series will spotlight authors talking about the background, the story behind their books about either their own story or tales of the music industry. Along with the discussion there will be book-signings — and, just maybe, a "mini-concert." Gramm will discuss his 2013 autobiography, written with Scott Pitoniak: "Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock 'n Roll."
Admission is limited to 75 people. The RMHF requests an optional donation of $5 via RMHF/PayPal. Go to rochestermusic.org/books-backstage for advance reservations.
Upcoming sessions include John Beck, author of "Percussion Matters;" Peter Conners, "Growing Up Dead;" Rick Falkowski, "The History of Buffalo Music;" and David Yaffee, "Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell." Details: rochestermusic.org.