Gary Simboli, Sarah Hill bringing songs from Funny Girl, other shows

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 June 2023 at 6:19 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Gary Simboli of Albion and Sarah Hill of Medina are teaming up for concerts Friday at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Medina and Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.

ALBION – Gary Simboli remembers hearing Sarah Hill perform at an open mic night more than a decade ago at an Albion coffee shop.

Simboli, who was then Albion’s high school chorus and musical director, was very impressed by Hill.

He has heard her many times since at Lake Plains Players productions and other musical competitions. But he never performed with her, and he wanted that to change.

Simboli, who is now retired from teaching, is teaming up with Hill in a cabaret-style show on Friday and Saturday. Both will be singings solos, and some duets.

“Her vocal ability is second to none,” Simboli said about Hill. “She can sing any style of music, from serious, light and comical.”

She will perform a classical aria, “Vanilla Ice Cream,” a song from Bette Midler, “Miss Otis Regrets,” and other songs in the first half. The second half of the 90-minute show will be a truncated version of the musical “Funny Girl,” made popular by Barbra Streisand in 1968.

Simboli said he hopes the performances Friday and Saturday can be a springboard for Hill.

A Rochester native, she spent most of her childhood in Orlando, Fla. She moved to the local area more than a decade ago. She has performed in more than 20 different productions with the Lake Plains Players.

She is currently working part-time as a water clerk for the Town of Royalton. She has a twin sister, Sam, who is a clay artist in Medina.

Sarah said she appreciates Simboli teaming up with her for the upcoming concerts.

“It’s been so much joy,” she said. “It’s been so easy and it has come together so fast. It’s two friends hanging out and singing great songs together.”

The shows are at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery at 7 p.m. on Friday at 106009 Ridge Rd., Medina and at the First Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. on Saturday at 229 East State St., Albion. Tickets are $15 at the door or through Venmo.