Geneva Concerts launches 2022-23 season

GENEVA — In the mid-1940s, a group of Geneva citizens organized as the Geneva Civic Music Association — later, Geneva Concerts — with the intention of making classical music and other cultural offerings available to their community and to promote the appreciation and understanding of the art.

It’s 2022, and Geneva Concerts is still at it, with the same mission: Bringing the arts to the community, and finding ways to help people access and appreciate them. There are additional goals: promoting arts opportunities for students in an age when many schools’ music and arts programs have diminished; and helping people become comfortable with a major community resource, the Smith Opera House, which has been host to the Geneva Concerts programs for years.

“We’re trying to get them to feel comfortable in the Smith,” said Scott McKinney, member and past president of the Geneva Concerts board of directors. “For many people it’s kind of an intimidating place; we’re trying to get people to see that it’s theirs.”

Geneva Concerts launches its 76thTh season Friday, Sept. 16, with a 7:30 pm performance by Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater at the Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St. The Chicago-based company will present original choreography and musical compositions – selections, according to a Geneva Concerts release, chosen to “express the ensemble’s core values ​​of cultural diversity, community, collaboration, and creativity.”

Founded in 1999 by a choreographer/dancer, a painter, and a composer/musician, Cerqua Rivera has developed as a collective of creative artists across three disciplines – dance, visual arts, and music. That interdisciplinary approach mirrors the approach taken by Geneva Concerts itself, which has committed to diversity in genre — hosting orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz performers, musical theater, ballet companies, Celtic step dancers and more — as well as in composers and performers.

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