The Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc.

supporting the arts, culture and preservation in Medina and across Western New York.

Category: Past Events

Past events & concerts from the Orleans Renaissance Group

ORG Heads Up Interpretive Sign Initiative in Medina

Interpretive Sign #4 FINAL PRINT 2-18-14  The Interpretive Sign Initiative– a Medina project launched by the Orleans Renaissance Group late summer of 2013 has been completed.  The project features eleven “interpretive signs” that have been installed throughout Medina’s Historic Downtown District, creating a historic sign trail.

Chris Busch, ORG President and coordinator of the project, says that Medina has seen its tourist numbers increase each year and must take the next steps to make their visit to Medina a more meaningful experience.

“It can bring a historic landmark or event to life and allow a visitor to take home more than a picture and a memory— a deeper appreciation of our village,” Busch said.

Interpretive prints, mounting and additional coordination has been provided courtesy of Ken Daluisio of The Print Shop, Medina. Installation was provide by the Medina DPW and The Print Shop.  Review and editing of each sign panel was provided by Mr. Adam Tabelski.  Sign panels were researched and designed buy Mr. Christopher Busch, ORG.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without generous support from the community,” said Busch. “Not only were the donor/sponsors generous, the response was extremely swift. Everyone immediately saw the importance of providing a visible, public interpretation of Medina’s history.” Donor/sponsors provided up to $500 to sponsor each individual sign and/or associated expenses.  The donor/sponsors are as follows:

• Sign #1: Welcome to Historic Medina.  This sign was sponsored by the Medina Business Association.

• Sign #2: Main Street Historic District.  This sign was sponsored by Gabrielle & Andina Barone in memory of Thomas & Sara Calandra, former Medina Main Street business owners.

• Sign #3: Robert H. Newell & Co.  This sign was sponsored by Andrew W. Meier, Esq.

• Sign #4: Bent’s Opera House.  This sign was sponsored by the Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc.

• Sign #5:  The Erie Canal – Medina, NY.  This sign was sponsored by Dave & Gail Miller and Hartway Motors.

• Sign #6: Grover Cleveland & Frances Folsom.  This sign was sponsored by Rita Zambito of Zambito Realty

• Sign #7: Medina Sandstone.  This sign was sponsored by The Medina Sandstone Trust

• Sign #8: New & Modern: Electric Trolley.  This sign was sponsored by former Mayor Marcia Tuohey

• Sign #9: Medina’s Immigrant Heritage.  This sign was sponsored by Christopher & Cynthia Busch/Buckiewicz

• Sign #10: The Medina Fire Department.  This sign was sponsored by the Medina Firefighters benevolent Association.

• Sign #11: The New York Central Railroad.  This sign was sponsored by the Medina Business Association

Additional sponsorship of associated expenses was made by Mr. Timothy Elliott.


WGRZ: Medina’s Downtown Historic District receives Interpretive Signs

WGRZ: Interpretive signs seen as way to boost Medina

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ORG Concert Event: SUNY Fredonia Trombone Choir returns to Medina

MEDINA — An ensemble whose performance two years was a highlight of the 2012 Orleans Renaissance Group concert series will be back in Medina this weekend.

The SUNY Fredonia Trombone Choir will return at 7 p.m. Saturday with another concert highlighting the versatile and powerful instrument in a venue perfectly fit to their music — St. Mary’s Church. ORG is bringing the 24-horn Trombone Choir to perform in the cavernous sanctuary, well-known for its spectacular acoustics.

“People are talking about this concert and they should be,” ORG President Skip Draper said. “Those who experienced this ensemble two years ago were thrilled and amazed by the big incredible sound.”
Renaissance Group Vice President Chris Busch said the Trombone Choir is back by popular demand. Their 2012 concert at St. Mary’s was among the ORG’s most well-received concerts in recent years.

“After the first performance, people were absolutely thrilled and wanted them back,” Busch said. “It’s a unique kind of ensemble, most trombone choirs are associated with larger orchestras, so it’s not something people have ready access to normally. If you didn’t see them last time, make sure to see them this time.”

More recently known as the Fredonia Trombone Collective, the group is under the direction of Carl Mazzio, retired Principal Trombonist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Mazzio took the reins of the ensemble several years ago and under his direction, the scope and size expanded…

Read more about the return of the Fredonia Trombone Choir to Medina by Jim Krencik here in the Batavia Daily NewsFredonia Trombone Choir returns to Medina

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ORG Concert Event: Buffalo Tango Orkestra kicks off Medina Concert Series

MEDINA – Braving Saturday’s winter storm warning, the Buffalo Tango Orkestra made the trek to Medina to kick off the Orleans Renaissance Group’s 2014 Concert Trio Series.

The ensemble appeared at Medina’s Masonic Lodge on West Center Street to an enthusiastic crowd who enjoyed an evening of Argentinian tango music.

Well known throughout Buffalo, the Buffalo Tango Orkestra was formed in summer 2012 to perform Argentine tango and other styles of tango such as “Nuevo” and “European”. Since its first performance in August 2012 at the Elmwood Arts Festival, the orchestra appeared at Smith Opera House in Geneva, New York, “Tango Cafe” in Rochester, NY, Milonga Paradiso in Toronto, ON and other venues.

“They were absolutely fabulous,” said Skip Draper, president of ORG. “It was a beautiful evening despite the bad weather.”

BTO is under the direction of Moshe Shulman, a Russian-born Israeli composer. Playing the violin, viola, bandoneon and accordion, Shulman received both Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees in composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, and a PhD in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB)…

Read more about the Buffalo Tango Orkestra in Medina here: Buffalo Tango Orkestra kicks off Medina ORG concert series

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ORG Concert Event: Róisín Dubh: The Black Rose performs the music of Ireland in Medina

MEDINA, NY– Róisín Dubh has earned a reputation as somewhat of an area phenomenon and is auguably one of Western New York’s more unique and talented music ensembles. Formerly known as The Celtic Music Society, they are comprised of student musicians from East Rochester Senior and Junior High Schools. They perform the traditional music of Ireland on traditional Irish instruments. In the twelve years they’ve been in existence, they’ve amassed considerable celebrity.

Since 2001, they have performed more than 250 times, released three albums, hosted seven workshops by All-Ireland Champion musicians, and shared the stage with some of the top Irish musicians including Téada, Gráda, Karan Casey, and Lúnasa.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, they have been featured on NPR’s Thistle and Shamrock as well as onWake Up Rochester! and have presented several workshops at the Eastman School of Music and the New York State School Music Association’s annual conference.

They were one of only four student ensembles from the United States invited to perform at the National Music Student Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City.

Quite a resumé by any measure..

Read more about Róisín Dubh’s Medina performance here: Róisín Dubh: The Black Rose to perform the music of Ireland in Medina

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Ghost Hunt at Bent’s Opera House!

Ghost Hunt at Bent’s Opera House with Buffalo Paranormal Investigators! Raffle tickets were $1 ea or ten for $20 with the drawing on October 19, 2013.  Proceeds benefited the Orleans Renaissance Group. Spooky fun was had by all!!

IMG_1028    IMG_1029

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2012 Holiday Concert: A Cool Yule with The Easy Street Big Band

Easy Street 2012 posterThank you to the Easy Street Big Band for performing a selection of big band and holiday hits at the United Methodist Church on December 6, 2012. A fantasic crowd was on had to swing into the holidays! This performance was made possible by the generosity of Diane & Bruce Krenning. The complimentary reception was provided by Ric Jones and Imagine Music Publishing. Thank you to all who attended!

Easy Street Big Band


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ORG Concert Event: The Genesee Chorale Performs Schubert Mass No. 6 in Medina

The Genesee Chorale and Orchestra performed Schubert Mass No. 6, Friday, May 11, 2012 in historic St. Mary’s RC Church

The Genesee Chorale currently consists of 75 performing members, having doubled its numbers in the past 4 years.  The Chorale was founded by Dr. Ted Ashizawa, at Genesee Community College, Batavia in 1971, and remains the largest community chorus between Rochester and Buffalo.  The Chorale performs largely in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

During his brief life, Franz Schubert composed six settings of the traditional Roman Catholic Mass. The first four, dating from 1815 and 1816, were relatively short and uncomplicated. In 1819, Schubert began work on a Mass in A-flat that was much more formidable in breadth. Schubert’s final Mass- No. 6 in E-flat major- was composed in the summer of 1828. Differing greatly from his previous efforts, it is a choral mass, giving the soloists a diminished role, and providing an very active role for the orchestra, most notably the three trombones.

The Mass was intended for the Church of the Holy Trinity in the Viennese suburb of Alsergrund, a place with special meaning for Schubert. It was in this church that Beethoven’s body had lain after his death in 1827. Schubert had been a torchbearer in the funeral procession.

Chris Busch, Vice President of the Orleans Renaissance Group, and himself a parishioner of St. Mary’s Church (Holy Trinity Parish) couldn’t help but think of the impact of experiencing the work in the sanctuary of St. Mary’s. “This piece is meant to be seen and heard in a setting like St. Mary’s,” said Busch. “It will be a rare opportunity for people to experience this kind of grand liturgical work in an equally grand ecclesiastical setting. It will no doubt be a spiritually moving performance.”

Featured soloists for this performance will be Maureen DeGolyer (Soprano), Pat Fussell (Mezzo-Soprano), Mark Ross (Tenor), Richard Dunn (Tenor), and Fran Thomas (Bass).

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ORG Concert Event: SUNY Fredonia School of Music Trombone Choir

The SUNY Fredonia School of Music Trombone Choir under the direction of Carl Mazzio, former Principal Trombonist with the BPO Concert featured the power of twenty-three trombones, trombone soloists, and a trombone quartet- all in the celebrated acoustics of historic St. Mary’s RC Church.



By Ric Jones, ORG

February 18, 2012 MEDINA, NY

From the moment the audience walked into St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, they knew they were in for something special.  As the large crowd filled into the gorgeous surroundings, the anticipation grew.  After a brief welcome from Orleans Renaissance Group (ORG) Vice-Chairman Christopher Busch, the audience was rewarded with what they came to hear:  The SUNY Fredonia Trombone Choir.  And it was worth the wait.

The evening’s performance began with Blech Forest Trombones by Arno Hermann, a fanfare that set the mood for the remainder of the evening.   What followed was a gorgeous work entitled Song for Japan. Director Carl Mazzio explained that the composer, Steven Verhelst, a Belgian trombonist, composed the piece to honor and bring remembrance to those lost in the devastating earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011. The performance of the piece highlighted the trombonists’ ability to create lush and stirring tones.

A special moment of the evening occurred when the freshman quartet performed A Festival Prelude by Domenico Zipoli.  Zachary Busch, a Medina native, was part of the quartet.  A sense of pride and appreciation for the hometown young man was evident as the audience applauded the performance. The first half of the program ended with Variations on “Napoli”, a special treat indeed.  The piece featured Senior trombonist Mike Dorato.  As each variation progressed, Dorato’s mastery of musicality, technique, and the trombone’s upper range was evident.

The performance served as a fantastic ending to the first half, leaving the audience wanting more. The second half of the concert featured a wide variety of compositional styles.  From the Baroque split choir music of Giovanni Gabrieli, to the jazz standard It’s Only a Paper Moon, performed by the upperclassmen group, “The Boneyard”  quartet, the audience experienced firsthand exactly how versatile, spirited, and unique a trombone choir can be.

The evening ended with the most special moment of all, when the trombone choir performed Richard Strauss’s Feierlicher Einzug accompanied by Aaron Garbowski, Music Director and Principal Organist of the Holy Trinity Parish.

Grabowski performed on the circa 1890 Barckhoff Pipe Organ housed in St. Mary’s Church. The collaboration of the SUNY Trombone Choir and Grabowski was a powerful ending, moving the audience to an immediate standing ovation and extended applause for the ensemble.

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ORG and PLNYS Announce: Bent’s Opera House a Seven-to Save site for 2012-2013

ORG Tour & Reception 4-28-12MEDINA, NY The Orleans Renaissance Group (ORG) made a “special announcement” on Saturday, April 28, 2012 regarding the status of historic Bent’s Opera House in Medina, NY.

A reception marking the occasion was hosted by ORG on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 from 3 PM to 6 PM at the Shirt Factory Café, 115 West Center St., Medina, NY and included guided tours of Bent’s Opera House. ORG Board of Directors along with representatives from the Preservation League of New York State were on hand to announce Bent’s Opera House as a Seven-to-Save designee for 2012-2013. Several special guests and dignitaries on hand, including NYS Senator George Maziarz, NYS Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Orleans County Legislature Chairman David Callard and Tania Werbizky of PLNYS.

4f9e13014bd6a.imageThe Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization promoting the arts and preservation in Medina and Western New York. Their membership stretches across the Niagara Frontier and Genesee Valley. The restoration of Bent’s Opera House is the focus of their preservation efforts in Medina. Built in 1864, Bent’s Opera House was a bustling center for the arts through the early 20th century. (WGRZ: Bent’s Opera House in Medina is a Seven-to Save)

The historic Medina Sandstone structure is located on the northwest corner of Main and West Center Streets in Medina, and was donated to ORG by the Bank of America in 2009. Members of ORG have been busy formulating plans for the restoration and reuse of the building. Discussions have been underway with engineers and architects to develop a phased restoration plan, including repairs to roof trusses, façade restoration, interior and exterior design renderings, and floor plans for envisioned reuse. (WGRZ: Medina’s Bent’s Opera House receives designation from PLNYS)

The community had an opportunity during the reception to attend guided tours. Visitors saw the Opera House in it’s “before” phase, learned about it’s rich history and ORG’s vision for the future of the building. The event included wine tasting compliments of Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, canapés from Zambistro and live music. An exhibit featuring Bent’s Opera House history and plans for the restoration were on display at the Shirt Factory Café as well as promotional videos that have been produced for the ORG.



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