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Acclaimed group will sing at St. Mary’s

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 April 2013 at 12:00 am

Concert will help ORG work on opera house

Anonymous 4, world-renowned A Capella singers, will perform in Medina on Thursday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

MEDINA – The Orleans Renaissance Group is bringing a world famous group of A Capella singers to Medina on Thursday, a concert that serves the ORG mission in bringing entertainment to the community.

But Thursday’s 7 p.m. performance by Anonymous 4 fulfills another mission by ORG. The non-profit organization owns the former Bent’s Opera House on Main Street. The landmark Medina sandstone building is mostly empty and will need an ambitious renovation to return as a performance hall, offices and other uses.

“This will keep the ball moving forward,” said Chris Busch, ORG vice president.

The Bank of America gave the building from 1865 and a nearby parking lot to the ORG in 2009. The group has received several grants recently for architectural and engineering studies of the massive three-story building. Those grants often require a local match. Busch said the concert net revenue should help ORG pay for an engineering and architectural assessment of the front facade.

Photo by Tom Rivers

The Orleans Renaissance Group is aiming to raise $5,000 to $10,000 from the Anonymous 4 concert, money that will help the organization work towards restoring the former Bent’s Opera House on Main Street in Medina.

The group last year sought a $500,000 state grant to replace the roof, but was denied. ORG expects it will again seek a big grant from the state this year.

The group has brought the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and other performers to Medina for cultural events. Busch said ORG wanted to bring in Anonymous 4, hoping the acclaimed singers would be an attraction. By Wednesday, ORG sold nearly 200 tickets at $40 pre-sale for the concert. Busch expects more ticket sales on Thursday and at the door for $45 for the concert at the historic Catholic church.

“We thought we should do some bigger events that would draw from a bigger area,” Busch said. “It’s working. We’re drawing from all the way to Jamestown and all points in between.”