Weekly Feature



2018-07-11 / Front Page

Clarence Summer Orchestra celebrates 60 years of music

by ETHAN POWERS
Editor


Clarence native Katy Miner and her quintet, along with Phil Sims, perform during the Home Grown Jazz concert Sunday evening in Clarence Town Park as the Clarence Summer Orchestra kicked off its 60th season. 
Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Clarence native Katy Miner and her quintet, along with Phil Sims, perform during the Home Grown Jazz concert Sunday evening in Clarence Town Park as the Clarence Summer Orchestra kicked off its 60th season. Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Arie Lipsky, who has now served as the music director and conductor of the Clarence Summer Orchestra for more than 20 years, vividly recalls some special moments he’s experienced onstage during his two-decade tenure.

Above them all is his fondness for the platform and the community that facilitates those moments — a perception he hopes to share for the orchestra’s 60th season.

Maintained by the Clarence Concert Association, the Clarence Summer Orchestra has supported a free admission policy primarily through donations from private citizens and local corporations, as well as from organizational and municipal grants. This altruistic approach has allowed the orchestra to produce a dizzying amount of musical talent who have performed in venues across the globe.

It has since become a stated goal of the association to feature local talent who have gone on to achieve national and international recognition.

From his many years teaching music in Buffalo, Lipsky had more than his share of Clarence natives that he knew would be ready for the spotlight.

“I always say that there is something special in the water of Clarence. Somehow, they can always create these wonderful musicians who go all over and perform,” Lipsky said. “I try to always feature at least one of the graduates of the Clarence school system or a native of the town.”

That trend will continue in the orchestra’s 60th year. Clarence native Katy Miner and her quintet performed an eclectic jazz concert this past weekend in the town park, and famed Clarence flutist Carol Wincenc is set to perform on Sunday, July 29. Her father, Joseph Wincenc, founded the Clarence Summer

Orchestra and is one of only two conductors that the orchestra has performed under, the other being Lipsky.

Other notable concerts for the orchestra’s 60th year, all of which begin at 7 p.m. and take place at the Clarence Town Park, include:

Sunday, July 15 — “Star Wars and the Stars of Tomorr ow,” with Suzuki Strings.

Wednesday, July 18 — Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Sunday, July 22 —Bella Italia

Sunday, Aug. 5 — “Dancing Under the Stars” with the Buffalo Jazz and Swing Band

Lipsky, who now resides in Michigan, was born in Israel, where he received extensive training as a cellist and flutist. At age 9 he won his first of several prestigious musical competitions, after which he began to appear in concert throughout Europe.

He served as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Ohio Opera. He moved to Buffalo in 1984 to become the Buffalo Philharmonic’s principal cellist, and in 1990, he became its resident conductor.

Currently, Lipsky is the music director of the Ann Arbor Symphony in Michigan and was named principal guest conductor of the Haifa Symphony in Israel. It was in 1996 that Lipsky became the music director and conductor of the Clarence Summer Orchestra.

Since then, he has come to understand Clarence as a place where music education is fostered.

“I think there is a very special attention here to education, including the arts,” he said. “The music teachers are so dedicated and intuitive with the kids, and the results are obvious.”

Lipsky has traveled extensively for his craft and has performed in some of the most prestigious venues. Yet, each summer, as the weather begins to warm and as the town park is transformed into a site for music appreciation, Lipsky continuously finds new reasons to call Clarence home.

“There is tremendous support and pride in this summer series. The board [of the Clarence Concert Association] works so hard. They give their hearts to this, and it shows,” he said. “It starts with all of the little details in rehearsal. It’s a lot of work, but they do it with love and dedication, and I think the Clarence residents appreciate that.”

Return to top


Clarence Special Events 2018
Click for schedule