A variety program that aims to showcase eight Chautauqua County arts organizations is set to make appearances in Jamestown and Fredonia.
The United Arts Appeal is poised to host the third annual Kaleidoscope variety showcase at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown on Sunday at 2 p.m. A second performance is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House.
The eight United Arts Appeal members to contribute to the program include: The 1891 Fredonia Opera House, Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, the Jamestown Concert Association, the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, the Lucille Ball Little Theatre, the Community Music Project, the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra.
According to Rick Davis, United Arts Appeal president and president of the 1891 Fredonia Opera House, the idea behind Kaleidoscope is to show the community the rich and varied cultural landscape that exists in Chautauqua County.
“From arts education and training for youth, to community theatre, chamber music ensembles and presenting organizations, the eight member organizations of the United Arts Appeal depict a wide variety of arts genres that appeal to a broad audience,” Davis said. “Each year the United Arts Appeal member organizations collaborate on raising funds to support the arts in the county; and these performances are a way to show who those funds benefit.”
Tickets to the events are $10, and can be purchased at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre, 18 E. Second St. in Jamestown, by calling 483-1095, or at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia, by calling 679-1891. Tickets will also be available at the door of both events.
For more information, visit www.unitedartsappeal.org or search for “United Arts Appeal” on Facebook.
The representatives for the 1891 Fredonia Opera House who will perform during Kaleidoscope include Doc and Bill and David Rose. Folk and Irish pub musicians, Doc and Bill, are representatives of the Opera House’s Folk In Fredonia Music Series, which is an annual program that has been held for nearly 20 years. Similarly, Rose is a representative of the Bach and Beyond Baroque Music Festival, which has also been held for nearly 20 years. Following Davis’ welcoming introduction, the two acts will perform live demonstrations or their art.
The next performance will feature Infinity Visual and Performing Arts students Hayley Restivo and Ryan Hawkins, who are also known as SYMBA. The duo will perform selections from their recently released original album, “Eleanor Evermore.”
“Hayley Restivo and Ryan Hawkins are great representatives for Infinity because both girls have been heavily involved for years in a wide variety of arts disciplines and activities at Infinity,” said Shane Hawkins, executive director for Infinity. “They have both participated in private lessons, art classes, camps, workshops, our INSTILL leadership program, our intern program and even composed and recorded their own original album in our recording studio. Both have really taken all of the opportunities Infinity offers, and run with them. In addition to being talented musicians, artists and experienced performers, they are excellent examples of what is possible at Infinity.”
Although the Jamestown Concert Association won’t be performing during the event, a video clip that illustrates the organization’s programming will instead be presented.
According to Sally Ulrich, JCA representative, because the organization brings in guest artists from around the world, and doesn’t present local artists, the timing of Kaleidoscope doesn’t coincide with another one of its performances.
“The video we have put together has clips of artists who have performed for us in the recent past, or who will be performing during the next few months,” Ulrich said.
The video will feature performances by: Symphoria, formerly Syracuse Symphony; Lara Downes, concert and recording pianist; Paul Galbraith, world renowned guitarist; Sebastian Baverstam, cellist; Joshua Stafford, Jamestown native organist; Sylvia McNair, international opera soprano; the Poulenc Trio, woodwind and piano chamber music ensemble; Roberto Plano, Italian pianist; and others.
Representing The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts during Kaleidoscope will be Ken Hardley, host of “Rolling Hills Radio.” According to Len Barry, director of marking and communications for The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Hardley pairs regional singer-songwriters with their peers from around the country for an intimate night of songs and stories. WRFA records and broadcasts the performance to an international audience for the world to enjoy.
“‘Rolling Hills Radio’ is a representation of what the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts does best: put the finest of performers together with a local audience for a special night of outstanding art and entertainment,” Barry said.
The Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown will be represented by community actors and Anne Eklund, director of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite.” According to Jim Ewing, of the Lucille Ball Little Theatre, “Plaza Suite” will be the 20th Simon play mounted on the stage of the Little Theatre.
“The theatre originally produced ‘Plaza Suite’ in 1971, and I am so glad to have the chance to give it an encore,” Eklund said. “It’s very funny, and a real audience pleaser – as are all of the Neil Simon shows.”
Representing the Community Music Project during the performance will be the Chautauqua Chamber Singers. According to Lissa VanDewark, secretary for the Community Music Project, the Chautauqua Chamber Singers will perform: “A Carol” by Roland Martin, former director of the Chautauqua Chamber Singers; “The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee” by Jean Berger; and “How Can I Keep from Singing” by Robert Wadsworth Lowry and arranged by Karen P. Thomas.
“Originally formed in 1978, the Chautauqua Chamber Singers were the first group to be included under the umbrella of the newly incorporated Community Music Project Inc. in 1982,” VanDewark said. “So, it seems fitting that they would represent the Community Music Project during Kaleidoscope.”
Several ballet students, including Maya Swanson, Cate Walter, Grace McMillan and Madeline Jones, will represent the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet during the event. The first piece to be presented by the intermediate Youth Ballet students will include a variation from “Swan Lake.” The second piece, “Letzter Tag,” will feature a contemporary ballet style and advanced technique.
“The pieces were chosen to feature dancers of different ages and levels and also to show the dance styles within the classical dance idiom,” said Elizabeth Bush, executive director of the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet.
The evening will conclude with a performance of excerpts from “Die Fledermaus” by the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. According to Julie Newell, treasurer of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra is in its 29th year as a professional ensemble, and is comprised of the highest level classical musicians from the region.
“I have selected one short vocal excerpt from ‘Die Fledermaus’ as our contribution to the event, as it advertises our upcoming staged concert production of this operetta,” Newell said. “The Western New York Chamber Orchestra annually produces one staged concert opera, and we have our largest audiences of the year for the event.”