VII : The End of the 70’s

by Bill Coons, Historian

1978-79 Season: July and August featured the Summer Theatre performances of “Pippin”, “The Boyfriend”, “God’s Favorite” and “6Rms Riv Vu”. The Board started with all new officers. Joyce Perkins became President, Charles Goodhue, V.P., Bernadine Rosequist, Corresponding Sec. and Robert Herendeen, Treasurer. Summer Theatre profit of $1,025 was reported. NYSCA rejected the request for Summer Theatre support. There was discussion about working with the school district to support a local arts institute. There were 2 Christmas concerts. The first, at Olympia H.S., featured the combined high school choirs as well as the Symphony and Choral Society. The second, one week later, included only GPAS groups. Membership decreased to 204. A concert was held in February at the Eastman Theatre featuring the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, conducted by David Fetler, violinist Elmar Oliveira, and the Choral Society, singing a Paul Fetler composition. GPAS was a co-sponsor. The concert lost over $9,000. RCO accepted a GPAS payment of $1,500 to settle its obligations. A $500,000 liability insurance policy was purchased to protect GPAS activities. A dinner theatre was held in March to benefit the Summer Theatre. There were 153 attending, yielding a profit of $514. Concern was expressed that funds for the remainder of the year were tight. A request for emergency funds was made to the Town of Greece. After a second appeal, membership increased to 244. The Arts Festival was reworked to include the Community Orchestra and a children’s play on Saturday, Young Artist’s recital on Sunday afternoon and a Pops Concert with the Choral Society, Symphony and dance orchestra at the Mapledale Party House Sunday Eve. Profit was $2,513. The Symphony and Choral Society participated in the Mother of Sorrows Church 150th anniversary celebration in May. Summer Theatre proposed another season of 4 plays. New ideas for increasing membership were discussed. A slide/tape talk was prepared. The ending treasury balance was approximately $3,060.

1979-80 Season: The Summer Theatre presented “George M”, “A Little Night Music”, “Barefoot in the Park” and “Vanities”, and made a profit of $842. All officers continued. A budget of $21,075 was approved. Dean Powley was hired as Stage Manager. The membership campaign included a telethon with 18 callers. Funding applications to NYSCA were rejected. The 2 Christmas concert experience of the previous year was repeated. The Asbury Methodist Bell Choir accompanied the Choral Society in the first concert. Membership reached 301, a considerable increase over the previous year. The Symphony Orchestra and the School District Symphony presented a joint concert in February. Another successful dinner concert was held at the Mapledale in March. The Summer Theatre also presented a musical revue and dinner at the Marriott, yielding a profit of $425. The Choral Society presented a 10th anniversary concert in April with Dick Burt of Channel 13 narrating. There was considerable discussion about the format and rules for the Young Artist Auditions. Some changes were agreed to. Interview tapes of GPAS people were prepared to air over WGMC. A request to participate in the town’s 4th of July celebration was rejected due to the lack of personnel available at that time. The treasury ending balance was $1,904.

1980-81 Season: The Summer Theatre presented “Showboat’, “Working”, “The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wilde” and “Murder Among Friends”. Any extremely successful season netted a surplus of $4,794. The Board began with the following new officers: Charles Goodhue, President, H. Glen Alleman, V.P., Anita Fiske, Corresponding Sec. and Margaret Goodhue, Treasurer. Joan Ward continued as Recording Sec. Joanne Popeck was forced to resign as Program Coordinator due to a change in location. Isobel Neuberger replaced her. A budget of $18,410 was approved. There was only one Christmas concert. The Choral Society joined the RPO for holiday performances at the Geneva Theatre and the Dome Arena. GPAS sponsored a piano and violin recital at the Unitarian Church. Kathy McMullen became the new publicity Coordinator. The Symphony Orchestra and School District Symphony joined in an Orchestra Festival in February. The 3rd annual Dinner Dance/Concert took place at the Mapledale in March. Profit was $1,890 from 572 tickets sold. In May, the Symphony and Choral Society joined in Howard Hanson Memorial Concert at St. John Evangelist Church. Attendance was “disappointing.” Membership stood at 289. For a short time, concern was expressed that the Athena Forum Room would not be available for the Summer Theatre, however minds were changed and relocation was not necessary. As the season neared the end, attention was drawn to the dwindling bank balance and failure to balance the budget. Many ideas for better publicity and higher membership were presented and discussed. The Treasury ending balance was $355. It should be noted that Joan Ward concluded 7 years as Recording Secretary. Her very complete Board minutes made preparation of this history much easier.