XI : The Mid 90’s

by Bill Coons, Historian

1992-93 Season: Joanne Dennstedt was elected President and Tom Ellison VP. GPAS and Continuing Ed. Sponsored a summer music instruction program. Several teachers taught 75 students in 4 district schools. GPAS administered the program, charging a $3 registration fee. Most of the receipts were used to add more insurance. Summer Theatre (Nunsense & Sweet Charity) would have broken even except repairs on some damaged equipment required a GPAS subsidy of $200. Notable programs were: Symphony at the 2nd annual Summer Festival, with the Ballet Theatre in a performance of the Sleeping Beauty at Olympia, and with the Cathedral School Choir at St. Mary’s Church, the Winter Pops Concert at a new venue, the Athena Gym, and the 5th Festival of Sacred Music with 5 choirs. The Choral Society recorded the National Anthem for use by WHAM radio in their noon broadcasts. The “GPAS Live, in Concert” tape was completed and used in the membership drive, which increased membership from 195 to 242. Fund raisers were: garage sale ($869), Chinese banquet ($299), Pops Concert ($1,527) and a sale of coverlets ($400). A cabaret, planned for Long ridge Mall, was cancelled due to low ticket sales. A 1993 Summer Theatre season was planned to present “Personals” and “Some Enchanted Evening”. The Decentralization grant was $1,200. Surplus was $1,347. Ending balance was $7,414 plus $3,059 in the Theatre account.

1993-94 Season: Carol Coons became President, Becky Hussong, VP, Evan Haag, Secretary, and Irene Crawford, Treasurer after Bill Coons had the position for 12 years. Bill continued as Program Coordinator. There was a yearlong and ongoing discussion about GPAS responsibilities to its paid personnel. Adding worker’s comp. insurance was the first result. A proposal to add a dance company to GPAS was rejected. Under the guidance of Gareth Greene, a Community Band was organized and a director was hired, with rehearsals to start in the fall. The summer music-teaching program continued with 94 students. GPAS participated in the grand opening of the Greece-Ridge Center Mall. Programs of special note were; The Symphony at Summer Fest ’93 and with the Ballet Theatre in performances of “The Firebird” and the Beethoven 5th Symphony, the Choral Society in home-and-home concerts with the Buffalo Choral Arts Soc. in preparation for a European concert trip to start in July, and the Pops Concert with guests Athena Show Choir. Fund-raisers were: silent auction ($600), wreath sales ($723), Dine-A-Mate book sales ($100) and program ads ($1933). A $2,000 Decentralization Grant was received. The 1994 Summer Theatre began work on “A Funny Thing Happened…” and a Rodgers & Hart review. Surplus for the year was $3,392. Ending balance was $10,340, plus $2,673 in the Theatre account.

1994-95 Season: All officers continued except Moira Haag replaced Evan as Secretary. The major effort this year was the transition from GPAS conductors, etc. as outside contractors paid by GPAS, to becoming a part of Continuing Ed. with the performing groups as four classes in their system and “employees” paid by Continuing Ed. with reimbursement by GPAS. The formal contract was negotiated during this season to become effective at July 1st, 1995, the beginning of the ’95-’96 fiscal year. The summer music program continued with 64 students, but in the future, it will be part of Continuing Ed. An “Adopt-A-Highway” program was started, with two “sweeps” on Long Pond Road. A sound system was purchased with a $1,000 grant from Chase Manhattan. A contest was held to design a new GPAS logo. Programs were the Symphony and Ballet Theatre presenting the Vivaldi “Four Seasons” and a concert including School District string teachers, The Choral Society’s European trip, their 25th anniversary concert and banquet and a performance at the Music Educators Eastern Division Conference at the Hyatt, and three performances by the new Community Band. The Community Orchestra continued to perform at various venues. Fund-raisers were a salad bar at the Summer Festival ($40) and a garage sale at the mall ($1088). There was no Theatre planned for 1995. The Decentralization grant was $1,000. Surplus was $1,943. Ending balance was $11,357, plus $3,600 in the Theatre account.

1995-96 Season: Chuck Huffine was elected President, Mary Jo Karpenko, Executive VP, Lisa Lay, Treasurer, and Moira Haag continued as Secretary. There were two additional VP’s: Eldon Remy, Internal Affairs and Gareth Greene, External Affairs. Chuck Huffine started using organization charts to structure the Board’s duties and responsibilities. Raffaele Ponti replaced Mike Kramarzyck as Concert Band (new name) conductor. Bill Coons resigned as Program Coordinator, but agreed to become GPAS Historian, a new off-board position. Phil Perkins will do some of the program duties. All performers will be asked to join GPAS or volunteer support in some other way. Adopt-A-Highway continued. As of yearend, Tom Ellison resigned as Community Orchestra conductor. Raffaele Ponti was appointed to replace Tom. Program notes were: A joint concert with the Symphony and high school orchestras, the 6th Sacred Music Festival with 8 choirs, and the Concert Band included in the Christmas concert. Fund-raisers were the lemonade stand at the Summer Festival ($475), the Symphony and Choral Soc. in a Broadway Memories and pie concert, a mall garage sale ($2,038) and a sale of GPAS coffee mugs. The Decentralization grant was $2,475. A NY State 1 for 3 challenge grant yielded $1,000. Surplus was $3,975. Ending balance was $19,663, including Theatre money.