Summer Serenade will return this Sunday

Aug 3, 2017

LE ROY — On Sunday, music will fill Mercy Grove as the Genesee Symphony Orchestra serenades the summer.

This is the second year Summer Serenade will be happening at Mercy Grove.

“Last year the board of directors for United Way had the idea of hosting a signature event — something that we would do each year,” said Theresa DeMars, board chair at United Way. “We thought it would be a good idea to partner with the Genesee Symphony to host an outdoor concert because we don’t get a lot out here in Genesee County other than our Batavia Concert Band concerts and other local town band concerts.”

Shade Zajac, conductor of the GSO, said when the idea was proposed to him, he was really excited about the prospect of doing an outside concert.

“It’s always scary to do outside concerts, especially when string instruments are involved, or any instruments, because if it is too hot, if it is too humid, if it is too cold — a million and one things can go wrong,” he said. “But last year, we couldn’t have hoped for a better day and we got a really nice turnout.”

Zajac said acoustically, playing outside is much different from playing in a hall specifically designed for music. He explained that when playing in a music hall, musicians don’t listen to themselves “under (their) fingers,” — they listen to the sound being produced in the hall. That can’t be done outside, so the music doesn’t have the same kind of acoustics a hall will have.

The idea for the Summer Serenade is more of a chamber orchestra, playing lighter music — both in the emotional aspect and the fact the full force of the orchestra isn’t available in the summer. As a result, Zajac said the Genesee Symphony Orchestra will be playing Mozart Symphony No. 31 in D major — also known as the Paris Symphony — along with tunes from West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein, Romeo and Juliet, and others.

Tickets cost $75 and people can buy them at Le Roy Country Club, Roxy’s Music Store, United Way or from a GSO board member. Proceeds will go toward the United Way.

The event will be at 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Sunday at Mercy Grove on Route 5 in Le Roy. There will be grazing stations, beer, wine, soda and a cash bar available. Garden party attire is encouraged.

By Mallory Diefenbach, The Daily News