The Clarence concert Association

The mission of the Clarence Concert Association is to put music in the heart of the community. We want to introduce children to good music and delight the adults. These concerts have become part of the fabric of our community.

The Clarence Summer Orchestra is a professional orchestra, which presents a full repertoire of pops/classical concerts in the own Park of Clarence, New York. The park is a beautiful natural setting for outdoor concerts. Historically, it is the preserved early 20th century clubhouse and extensive grounds of the Western New York Automobile Association located on Route 5. The facility was purchased by the Town of Clarence in 1957 and is maintained as a park.

Picnic facilities, a swimming pool, lake, and recreation facilities are all located here.

The Clarence Concert Association, presenter of the symphony, built an outdoor band-shell on a sheltered grassy slope in the park. The orchestra performs here to an average Western New York audience of 1000-1200 people each of five Sunday evenings in the summer.

Many families come early to enjoy a picnic dinner and play activities prior to the concert. In many cases, this is the first exposure young children have to a symphony orchestra. Because of its easy access, many elderly also come to enjoy a summer's evening of live music.

The year 2020 is the 62nd consecutive season for the orchestra. It has performed under the direction of only three conductors: Dr. Joseph Wincenc, Professor of Music at Buffalo State College, for 38 years, Mr. Arie Lipsky for  nineteen years, and now Nick DelBello since 2019.

Employing 55-60 professional musicians, the orchestra has been able to present varied musical selections which have delighted musical novices and knowledgeable music fans alike. Some performances have included Mozart Symphonies, Gershwin, Copland, Broadway musical tunes, opera excerpts, piano concertos, violin concertos, many established and modern composers and music dedicated to children. Many concerts have showcased soloists of international stature, such as flutist-Carol Wincenc, violinist-Elmar Oliveira, classical guitarist-Jason Vieaux. The orchestra attempts every year to feature young performers and soloists with local connections, such as violinist Charles Wetherbee, cellist-Zachary Levi, the Buffalo Suzuki Strings, famous local celebrities to narrate special pieces, and other young persons on their way to musical acclaim.

The Association and Orchestra feel strongly about giving new local talent a warm and cherished place to perform.

The Clarence Summer Orchestra, maintained by the Clarence Concert Association, has supported a free admission policy  primarily by donations from private citizens and local corporations, as well as from organizational and municipal grants. This policy, along with the informal park setting, has made the Clarence Summer Orchestra's performances a true family experience for more than 200,000 people over the past 59 years. It is hoped that this musical tradition can continue for years to come.

Return to Welcome Screen