VI : The Middle 70’s

by Bill Coons, Historian

1975-76 Season: A special meeting of the Board in August heard the resignations of President Fred Koeng and his wife, Barbara, from the Board. Mrs. Concepcion Edgett became acting president. The Board also heard recommended revisions to the By-Laws changing the membership descriptions and raising Contributing Membership dues from $5 to $10. A special meeting of the membership in September adopted the changes. At the September Board meeting, Myron White was elected President and John Clarke Vice Pres. New positions established were Program Coordinator (Betty Alleman) and Publicity Director (Carline Wiley), the latter with a $50/mo. honorarium. The Choral Society taped a concert presented on WXXI in December. They worried about rehearsal space if all 140 members appeared at once, and so began to audition prospective members in January, to limit total membership. The Women’s Committee held 2 mall bazaars in the fall. Beginning in November, Board meeting began to be held in private homes rather than school buildings. In December, the Choral Society performed for the NYSSMA Convention at the Eastman Theater. The Christmas concert, “A Gift to the Community”, was at Arcadia H.S., with the Choral Society and Symphony Orchestra performing. During the spring, discussions were held about the precarious financial condition of GPAS and its sources of funding, all experiencing cut-backs. Arts “Festival ‘76” was presented in May, and included Young Artist Audition winners, square dancers and several drama productions. During the year, two of the Symphony Concerts were also performed at the Jewish Community Center, and another at the First Universalist Church. A Summer Theatre program of “Where’s Charlie”, “I, Do, I Do”, and “Fantastiks”, was planned. The ending Treasury balance was $3,390.

1976-77 Season: Previous officers continued, except that David Andrews replaced Glen Alleman as Treasurer. Phyllis Goodwin became the new Publicity Director. The performance season began in July with the Choral Society and Symphony Orchestra participating in a Bi-centennial concert. The Summer Theatre made a profit of $1,150. In September, the Board heard a recommendation that the two orchestras be merged. After discussion, a motion to study this option was rejected. A motion to underwrite a new $3 Continuing Education fee on performers was also defeated. However, the fee was negotiated down to $2, and, in October, the Board reversed its decision to underwrite it. The Choral Society performed with the RPO at a Christmas concert at the Dome Arena. A dance was sponsored in February with the Athena Stage Band performing and proceeds of $120 (a disappointment) to support the Young Artist Auditions. Another dance was held in April, with similar results. Festival ‘77 took place in April. The program included the Chorus of the Genesee, a children’s and an adult play, and the GPAS performing groups. The Summer Theatre planned 4 plays; two dramas and two musicals. Revisions to the By-laws regarding the Board of Directors were approved at the annual meeting. Directors will have a two-term limit (6 years) with a one year wait before being re-elected. During the year, with the assistance of a CPA, changes were made in the bookkeeping system, which resulted in format revisions to the year-end Treasurer’s report. The ending treasury balance was $5,634.

1977-78 Season: Joyce Perkins became the new V. Pres. Other officers continued. Estelle Jones replaced Phyllis Goodwin as Publicity Director, however, she found it necessary to resign in October, and was replaced by Sue Eckert. The Summer Theatre made a profit of $958. Betty Alleman resigned from the Board and as Program Coordinator. She was replaced by Gwen Zink as P.C. Also, in October, New York State celebrated its Bi-centennial and the Choral Society and Symphony Orchestra participated in a birthday concert. The School District allocated $2,500 to GPAS, which absorbs the registration fees. A slide show was prepared for the GPAS membership drive. Membership increased to 245. The Choral Society again joined the RPO for a Dome Christmas concert and another concert in May. The idea of having a pops concert at one of the school gyms was introduced by Ralph Zecchino. It was also decided that next Christmas, one week before the “Gift to the Community” concert, there would be Christmas concert including the usual GPAS groups and the combined select choirs of the three high schools, as requested by Superintendent Robinson. The Spring Arts Festival was reduced to two days, with the Buddy Rich band providing the Saturday evening program. A larger than expected loss of $1,407 was experienced. Concern was expressed that without a Summer Theatre grant from NYSCA, the financial situation would be critical. During the year, the Symphony also played at the Jewish Community Center, Blesses Sacrament Church, and Incarnate Word Lutheran Church. Another Summer Theatre program of four plays was planned. The ending treasury balance was $3,424.