Arts Council to honor the late Lance Anderson, Orleans County YMCA

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 April 2022 at 7:19 am

During the Covid pandemic, Anderson and the Lake Plains Players performers posted many “Living Room Concerts” on Facebook. Anderson performs “Sweet Zoo” by Jeffrey D. Harris from Barbra Streisand’s “My Name is Barbra” album. His video was posted on April 17, 2020.

BATAVIA – The Genesee-Orleans Arts Council will recognize the late Lance Anderson with a lifetime achievement award during the organization’s annual awards celebration on  May 28.

GO Art! also will recognize the Orleans County YMCA as the organization of the year, the Eli Fishing Brewing Co. of Batavia as supporter of the year, and Carol Hertel as the volunteer of the year.

They will all receive “Genean” awards which combines GENesee and OrlEANs counties. The celebration on May 28 will also highlight GO Art!’s 60th anniversary.

Anderson passed away on April 1, 2021. He had suffered a stroke in mid-December 2020. He was very active in the Lake Plains Players as a star performer, director and president of the organization.

Anderson caught the theater bug while a student at Albion in the early 1980s. He went on to a career as a vocal teacher, and remained deeply involved in the local community theater group, the Lake Plains Players.

Anderson was the LPP’s president. He performed on stage, directed many shows, and would do many of the thankless tasks behind the scenes. Anderson led a group that was friendly and accepting to everyone, but also pushed to put on high-quality productions.

He was especially proud of the group for its production of Les Misérables in the fall 2013. Anderson played his dream role of Jean Valjean in a show which included a cast of 78.

Anderson expanded the LPP’s productions in the summer to include recitals and a children’s theater camp.

The Players used to performed their big fall musical in either Medina or Lyndonville’s auditorium. In recent years it has performed just over the Orleans County line in Niagara, using Roy-Hart’s auditorium in Middleport.

Anderson had his heart in Orleans County, and he pushed for other venues for LPP shows, including summer recitals at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Medina.

The YMCA on Oct. 23 hosted the Mexican Día de los Muertos celebration or the Day of the Dead. The event included Mexican dance, music and dramatic performances by Alma de México, a group from Rochester led by Karla Alcalá.

The Orleans County YMCA is GO Art!’s organization of the year. The Y has embraced artwork on its sidewalks and steps, and also inside in its child watch room. The Y also makes its facility available to host the annual Day of the Dead celebration.

It partners with GO Art! and Mariachi de Oro Restaurant in an event that remembers ancestors, and includes free activities with Mexican crafts, face painting, dance and drama performance, sand painting and ofrenda displays, and special food tastings.