III : The Organization Takes Shape

by Bill Coons, Historian

In the first two articles, we recalled the climate leading up to the May 1969 organizational meeting, and the remaining Board meetings in 1969. The first meeting in 1970 was held in February with 11 members attending. They learned that the Suburban Art Group had decided not to join GPAS. Contributions had been received from the Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis organizations. A new bank account had been opened at Marine Midland in Ridgemont Plaza (it remains there today, with HSBC). After much discussion, the community band idea was postponed. Bob Holtz reported that a Mr. Salvione had expressed interest in directing a community choir. He was invited to the next meeting. Dr. Fetler announced upcoming Orchestral Society concerts in March and May. At the March meeting, the Constitution was accepted. Mr. Salvione did not attend. Programs had been printed for an Orchestral Society concert without a clear understanding of who would pay for them. Bob Holtz eventually paid from Adult Ed. funds. It was decided to require advance Board approval for further expenditures. A Board list dated March 1970 notes that Larry Bruce was Community Symphony Manager. April Board attendance dropped to six. Members learned of a printer, Luverne, Inc., that would print programs without cost. They discussed ways to publicize concerts. The free will offering at the March concert was $11, of which $10 will go to pay for printed programs. They discussed selling pop and ice cream at a summer Park Band concert to raise money. Pop could be sold for 15 cents, a 100% markup.

The May meeting featured plans for concerts in the 1970-71 season, discussion about how to recruit new members for the performing groups and for the Board, further discussion of the summer ice cream sale, but no decision to go ahead, a directive to Bob Holtz to work on developing a community chorus and a community band, and to ask Ralph Zecchino if he wished to direct the chorus. The June meeting was attended by 14 persons, including Ralph Zecchino who accepted the task of directing the new community chorus, to be called the Greece Choral Society, and begin rehearsals in the fall. Mr. Zecchino requested $200 for music. It was decided to ask the Greece Recreation Dept. for $1,200 for music for the coming season. The free will offering at the May Orchestral Society concert was $9.36, and the June Community Symphony concert was $2.75. The past season had included 4 concerts by the 50 member Orchestral Society and 3 concerts by the 30 member Community Symphony (No printed programs from these concerts have been found). The ice cream project was dropped. Suggestions for new Board members were received. Harriet Lau resigned from the Board. The Board was reminded that publicity should include our co-sponsors, the Greece Central Schools Adult Education Div., and the Greece Recreation Dept.

Highlights of the 1970-71 Season

A Board list has 21 members. Miriam Newberry continued as President, and Betty Alleman as Vice-president.

September: Fola Tanchik resigned as Secretary. Estella Jones replaced her. The treasury had $81.26. There will be a publicity and recruitment booth at Greece Towne Mall in October. The OK For incorporation was given. Bob Holtz noted that music at Arcadia could be used by the Choral Society. A possible spring arts festival was discussed.

October: The orchestras switched names. The Orchestral Society became the Symphony Orchestra, and the Community Symphony became the Community Orchestra. Ralph Zecchino reported 95 registered for the Choral Society, and a request to perform at a November Pastor’s Association program at St. Charles. The Historian, Myron White, will buy a scrap book for clippings (where is it?). The request for Town money was upped to $1,400.

November: The Community Orchestra will perform at the Concord Hotel in December. There has been a drop-off in Choral Society attendance. It was suggested that they elect officers and try to solve their problems. A meeting was held with The Suburban Art Group (S.A.G.) and Greece Theatre Guild (G.T.G.) to urge the two groups to unite with GPAS. The first program in the Historian’s files is for a Symphony Orchestra concert at Arcadia on Sunday, Nov. 15. The main work was the Symphony #4 by Tchaikowsky.

January: The Community Orchestra and Choral Society presented a Christmas concert at the Towne Mall. Procedures for submitting music bills to the Town were reviewed. GPAS will have a booth at the Mall Charity Bazaar in February. The S.A.G. and G.T.G. are interested in participating in a joint spring arts festival.

February: The Symphony Orchestra had an all-Mozart concert on the 7th, featuring the Symphony #39. Plans for the May Arts Festival are under way. A Promotional Committee was organized. The Greater Greece Press will cover it. Donations of one dollar will be taken at the door.

March: Arts Festival planning consumed the entire meeting. Reception and Usher Committees were formed. Proceeds after expenses will be divided among the 3 groups. Bob Holtz informed of a rule preventing the S.A.G. from selling paintings at the Festival. They would withdraw in that case. It was decided to appeal to the School Board to suspend the rule for this event.

April: The Symphony had a concert on the 25th featuring Symphony #8 by Dvorak. The treasury had $147.26. Publicity and other plans for the Festival were discusses.

May: The Arts Festival was held at Arcadia on May 7-9th . Net proceeds were $184.30. Many suggestions were received for a repeat next year. The G.T.G. presented “The Art of Proposal” on Friday evening. The Community Orchestra played during intermission. The Choral Society and the Community Orchestra performed separately and together on Saturday evening. The Symphony Orchestra performed on Sunday afternoon. The S.A.G. displayed art all weekend.

June: New Board members were elected. A group picture was taken (anyone have it?). An application for funding from the NYS Council on the Arts was made. Charging members of the music groups $2 per semester was discussed.