Gary Simboli, now retired as teacher, will stay busy as a performer
Teams with Amy Sidari in Sid-Boli Productions, Crossroads Studio
ALBION – Gary Simboli, Albion’s musical director the past 35 years as well as a vocal teacher and choir director, has retired from his teaching career.
Simboli, 56, is continuing to perform in the community. Every Sunday morning he leads the music at the First Baptist Church of Albion and the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.
He also has joined forces with Amy Sidari in Crossroads Studio or Sid-Boli Productions.
Once the Covid-19 pandemic is over or restrictions relent on crowd sizes, Simboli will be performing at Sidari’s Cabaret at Studio B at the corner of Liberty and West Bank streets.
Sidari also runs the Gotta Dance by Miss Amy studio and Simboli has signed on to lead weekly sing-a-long classes for senior citizens. That starts in October.
“I will miss the kids and my theater team, but I’m very excited for this new chapter,” Simboli said during an interview at Gotta Dance and the Cabaret. “The kids have been great from the very beginning, with their heart and energy.”
Simboli and the high school drama program were working on Little Mermaid when the school was shut down on March 13. That performance was never able to happen. It would have been Simboli’s 70thmusical at Albion.
The shows were consistently recognized as among the best high school musicals in the Rochester Region by the Stars of Tomorrow program through the Rochester Broadway Theatre League.
Simboli, in his role with Sidari, gets to be the performer while she works out the details with bus tour companies.
“She is very innovative,” Simboli said about Sidari.
During the downtime with the Covid-19 pandemic, when her studio and cabaret were closed, Sidari and her father Ace Caldwell worked to create a new space. (Simboli joked he handed some drywall to Caldwell, who is in his 80s.)
The room will be another dance studio to spread out the dance classes, which will be offered in the morning, afternoons and evenings. It will also be a “green room” for performers at the cabaret to rest and prepare off stage.
“They will be treated like kings and queens,” Sidari said.
Caldwell and Sidari also put in the infrastructure for a kitchen. Down the road, Simboli said he would love to prepare meals as part of a dinner theater at the site.
“When it’s finished, I think this place will be impressive,” Simboli said about the latest improvements.
Simboli has two shows for the performances – “Musical Mischief” and “All You Need is Love.” He performed last summer to the tour bus groups, for people who hadn’t been to Albion. They were positive about being in the historic downtown with the Courthouse Square and the Erie Canal.
“When you live here you forget just how beautiful this community is,” Simboli said.
He also is working on recording a Christmas album in time for the upcoming holiday season.
Sidari said she sees the studio and cabaret as a resource bringing hope and energy to the community, especially during trying times with the pandemic.
She is grateful Simboli is sharing his talents with the community. He has long been loved and appreciated by Albionites, but Sidari said the shows last summer proved Simboli has wide appeal. The tour bus groups all are eager to return.
“All six tour groups were booked to be back this year, with a dozen more possible,” Sidari said. “This will be a building with great energy.”