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The Smith Announces Performing Arts Season

New York State’s Finger Lakes region is filled with a wide variety of people who call it home and who choose to spend their leisure time here. In that spirit, the Smith Opera House, located at the northern tip of Seneca Lake in Geneva, the area’s largest year-round, indoor performing arts facility, annually schedules an enormously disparate line-up of concerts, films, speakers, plays, and special events. Music, movies, and much, much more. Occupied approximately 250 nights per year with events open to the public, the theatre is an ongrowing symbol of historic preservation, non-profit perseverance, and artistic excellence.From old time rock & roll to symphonic and choral works, polka to folk to gospel to Big Band, concerts in our acoustically superb auditorium are an unforgettable treat.The world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Larry O’Brien leads off the season at 7:30, Wednesday, Sept. 17. Tickets are $8 for seniors and $15 general admission.On Saturday, Sept. 27 at 6:00, “Testify: A Gospel Concert of Hope” features Children of God, The Bright Clouds, Enlightening, Our Father’s Children, The New Whirlwinds, Laurent Greene, and Bells of Harmony. All seats are $15.”Simply Piano: A Celebration of The Smith’s Steinway,” a fundraiser to support artistic programming at the Opera House and throughout the Finger Lakes, hosted by Mike Rusinko, is scheduled for 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 28. George Abraham & Jewel Hara, Hilda Collins, Meg Heaton, Chang Lee, Troy Slocum, and Steve Venuti are among those planning to tickle our ivories. Coinciding with William Smith College’s 100th anniversary, its president, Mark Gearan, will also participate. Tickets are $25, $10 for students. There are also a limited number of $35 VIP tickets available. VIP patrons receive early admission, special gift bag, and an artist reception before the show.The Grammy-winning Indigo Girls, with special guest Kathleen Edwards, bring their gorgeous melodies, insightful lyrics, and vocal harmony to Geneva for the first time, Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 8:00. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have become part of the cultural landscape. Their songs blend personal and universal reflections of the world. In the path of understanding themselves and the world, the music of the Indigo Girls has hummed its way into the hearts and souls of fans across the globe. After spending several years recording independent records on their own Indigo label, the two signed on with Epic Records in 1990. The duo has since enjoyed ten popular releases including, “Strange Fire,” “Rites of Passage,” “Swamp Ophelia,” “1200 Curfews,’ and the self-titled album, “Indigo Girls,” which won a 1990 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording. Their newest album, “Despite Our Differences,” is the most infectious pop-infused set that the duo has ever concocted. Intertwining songs about weathering storms of both a political and a personal nature, the Indigo Girls turns the perseverance of its career into an endearing and affecting song cycle that professes a belief in the power of love to provide strength and comfort in times of distress. Reserved tickets are $45, $35 and $25.Belgian violinist Pierre D’Archambeau joins with Britain’s eminent pianist Roger Steptoe and baritone Jimi James, from the Syracuse Opera, to perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Violin Sonata” and other works by the English composer in honor of the 50th anniversary of his death, Thursday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, $10 for students and seniors.Carrie’s One Day-Fun Days presents “Polka King” Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra with special guest Cahal Dunne, 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15. Perhaps the most popular polka band in America, Sturr’s orchestra is on the Top Ten List of the All-Time Grammy Awards, and has more consecutive Grammy nominations than anyone. All seats are $30.Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ “Live From Geneva” music series continues with Umphrey’s McGee at 8 on Friday, Oct. 17. Umphrey’s flair for inventive improvisation, incredible covers, unpredictable moments, anything-goes musicianship, humor, and good-nature all make remarkable entertainment. The band shuttles between styles with precision, from straight-up pop and rock to jazz, prog-metal, and classical. Tickets are $10 for all students, $25 general admission.Geneva Concerts presents: Syracuse Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Hege with Jon Nakamatsu (piano) at 3:00, Sunday, Oct. 19; Hungarian Virtuosi Orchestra conducted by Miklós Szenthelyi at 8:15, Thursday, Nov. 20; Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christopher Seaman with special guest the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet at 8:15, Friday, Feb. 13; and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Bay with Deborah Coble (flute), at 8:15, Thursday, April 2. All seats are $25.Syracuse Vocal Ensemble and Hobart and William Smith Colleges Chorale under the direction of Robert Cowles present “A MASSive Undertaking” at 8:00, Saturday, Oct. 25. Three masses from the mid-twentieth century, culminating with the glorious “Mass for Double Choir” by Swiss composer Frank Martin. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $5 for students.Southern rock jam band Gov’t Mule is joined by special guest Back Door Slam, Saturday, Nov. 1 at 8:00. This Allman Brothers Band side project is known for their extensive touring and energetic live shows. Big riffs, massive grooves, and expansive improvisations are the hallmarks of Gov’t Mule’s legendary live shows. Guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes, drummer Matt Abts, keyboard player Danny Louis, and bassist Andy Hess’ powerful musicianship and chemistry along with their tireless work ethic have earned them legions of fans. Tickets are $25.The Smith and the Finger Lakes Times present Rampart Winds, the dedicated woodwind quintet of the United States Air Force Academy Band, 7:00, Thursday, Nov. 13. Free with ticket.Geneva Family YMCA presents “Juke Box Saturday Night” starring The Drifters and The Marcels, 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22. Reserved tickets are $30, $20 and $10. There are also $50 VIP tickets for a 6:00 reception with the artists.Finger Lakes Bronze Handbell Ensemble returns to The Smith for some Christmas Memories, a special holiday concert at 2:00, Sunday, Dec. 14. Tickets are $8 and $5.Enjoy the finest in global music when The Smith’s “Passport World Music Series” returns. Now in its third year, this exciting concert series, spotlighting four different world beat artists, will heat up even the coldest night.The most significant singer/musician in the world today in the Sikh mystical musical tradition, Dya Singh kicks it off on Saturday, Oct. 11. This living legend takes Sikh devotional music from the temples of India and Pakistan on to the world stage.On Saturday, Nov. 15, rabble-rousing and raucous Scythian (sith-ee-yin) brings its high energy Celtic fusion with a big rock sensibility to The Smith. Led by a pair of young raging fiddlers, Scythian has a great respect and admiration for the traditional but is not afraid to wink at convention in search of a little fun, lending them an appeal to young and old alike.The Stephane Wrembel Trio introduces its unique brand of “gypsy jam” to Geneva on Friday, Jan. 30. Bringing influences as disparate as Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, and Miles Davis to his guitar, the French virtuoso composes and plays music with his own sound, blending inspiration from all over the world.Jay Ungar & Molly Mason wrap the series up on Saturday, Feb. 28. The heart and soul of American roots music with a well-loved repertoire of original tunes, Jay and Molly achieved international acclaim when their performance of Ashokan Farewell became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns’ The Civil War on PBS. Musicians of enormous talent, Jay and Molly draw their repertoire and inspiration from 19th-century classics, lively Appalachian, Cajun and Celtic fiddle tunes, and favorites from the golden age of country and swing.All shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Series subscriptions are $45 – four for the price of three. Subscribers enjoy the benefit of our “Passport Ticket Exchange” whereby any ticket may be used for any show.Theatre, dance, speakers – you’ll see the most amazing things on our stage.The “ArtSmart Theatre for Young People Series” brings innovative productions to The Smith stage during the school day and after class. This year’s offerings are: “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” (Friday, Oct. 10, Dallas Children’s Theatre); “Horrible Harry” (Wednesday, Nov. 12, Omaha Theatre Company); “Miss Bindergarten” (Wednesday, March 11, Omaha Theatre Co.); “Goodnight Moon” and “The Runaway Bunny’ (Wednesday, March 18, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia); “Stellaluna” (Wednesday, April 8, Kids Entertainment); and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” (Monday, May 11, ArtsPower). All performances are at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. except for “Goodnight Moon” which is only at 10. All seats are $4.50.Geneva Theatre Guild and director Pam Rapoza invite the audience on stage for an intimate theatrical experience with “Graceland” and “Asleep on the Wind,” Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday the 14th at 2. Tickets are $10 and $8.Geneva Concerts hosts one of the world’s most respected dance troupes, Paul Taylor Dance Co., at 8:15, Saturday, Sept. 20. The Paul Taylor Dance Company has long been one of the world’s most highly respected dance troupes. Paul Taylor has always managed to be cutting edge and transcending while profoundly shaping his art form and modern dance itself. The company will perform three works: “Images,” “Changes,” and “Promethean Fire.” Tickets are $25.”Finger Lakes Dance!” is an evening of contemporary dance featuring choreographers and performers from throughout the region including Jeanne Schickler Compisi, Donna Davenport, Yvonne Hassett, Michelle Iklé, Missy Pfohl Smith, Cadence Whittier, and Cynthia Williams at 7:30, Saturday, Oct. 4. Admission is $5.For the holidays, Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra and Ithaca Ballet present “The Nutcracker” at 3:00 on Sunday, Nov. 30. Tickets are $8, $12 and $15. Studio for the Performing Arts presents its version of “The Nutcracker” the following week, Saturday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2:30.The HWS Pride Alliance presents actor Anthony Rapp speaking at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 7. The original Broadway and movie cast member of Rent takes audiences through his career, the loss his friend and Rent playwright Jonathan Larson, and his mother’s battle with cancer. In an insightful exploration of the social importance of the show, Rapp highlights the role Rent played in thrusting LGBT, HIV/AIDS, poverty issues into the national spotlight. Admission is free.And following the presidential election, WEOS presents outspoken “Democracy Now” host Amy Goodman at 8:00 on Friday, Nov. 7. All seats are $15.Movies at The Smith are a uniquely singular experience. Boasting the largest indoor silver screen in the region, The Smith annually shows over 40 foreign language and independent films, plus children’s and family fare around holidays and school breaks. The balcony is always open and there’s not a bad seat in the house.The “Hot Docs 08” documentary film series continues with “The Singing Revolution’ (Oct. 10, 12-14) featuring Robert Cowles, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Professor of Music speaking after the Friday screening, and “Encounters at the End of the World” (Oct. 31, Nov 2-4).Among the titles scheduled this fall are: “WALL-E” (Sept. 19, 21-23), “Mamma Mia!” (Oct. 3, 5, 6), “Flight of the Red Balloon” (Oct. 26-28), “The Band’s Visit “(Nov. 8-11), “Snow Angels” (Nov. 14-18), “Frozen River” (Nov. 21, 23-25), “The Edge of Heaven” (Dec. 12-15), and National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” (Dec. 19-22).Regular show times are 7:00 Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, and 2:00 on Sundays. Unless otherwise specified, ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.Call the box office at 315-781-LIVE (5483) or toll-free 1-866-355-LIVE (5483) or visit www.TheSmith.org for more information or to buy tickets.The Smith Opera House is owned and operated by the Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters.

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