Stars from Albion stage the past 40 years will perform in reunion concert on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 November 2019 at 9:19 am

ALBION – For more than four decades Albion High School has been performing full-length musicals, and the shows earn the school honors from the Rochester Broadway Theatre League.

Photo courtesy of Tom Smith: Mary Martin is shown in March 2012 when she portrayed Maria in the Sound of Music. Martin will return to the Albion stage on Saturday to sing a song from that musical.

Albion has done Disney, westerns, and many Broadway classics. The shows have been directed by Gary Simboli since 1985. The musical program started at Albion in 1978 with the high school English teacher Hasha Ring directing Cinderella.

Simboli and his musical production team met over the summer when they started talking about the idea of alumni reunion concert, where some of the stars of the past would come back and sing a song from a musical. Simboli remains friends with many of those performers and he received an enthusiastic response from them.

“It has turned out to be really wonderful,” Simboli said. “To be in touch with these people who performed 30 years ago has been really nice.”

This Saturday about 30 alumni will perform in a concert at the middle school auditorium. Many of those performers live in town, while others are flying in from Texas, Minnesota, New York City and other distant locales.

The show starts at 2 p.m. It is a fundraiser for the drama program with tickets $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students.

Simboli is excited for the alumni to see an upgraded sound and lighting system, as well as renovated auditorium.

It will be an entertaining concert, and a showcase of the Albion performers, he said.

“We’ve always been blessed with incredibly talented students at Albion,” Simboli said.

He will be accompanying the performers, and often will be singing the backup vocals.

Simboli, when he was a senior in high school, had the lead role in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” In his debut as director, three current Albion teachers had roles in “Snoopy.” Mike Thaine was Charlie Brown, and Karen Conn was Peppermint Patty and Carrie Kozody starred as Sally Brown in that show.

Kathy Winans has been the assistant director since 1987. She will have costumes from each featured show on view during Saturday’s celebration.

Nancy (Williams) Lowery, who performed as Cinderella in 1978, will appear on stage as a representative from that first musical.

The scheduled performers include:

Gary Simboli – Happiness (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown)

Lance Anderson – On the Street Where You Live (My Fair Lady)

Photo by Tom Rivers: William Grimble performed as the Beast in Albion’s production of Beauty and the Beast in March 2013.

Matt Mooney Galantowicz – Stranded at the Drive-In (Grease)

Gwen (Martillotta) Ferchen – There are Worse Things I Could Do (Grease)

Megan (Neal) Zambito – Freddy My Love (Grease)

William Grimble – If I Can’t Love Her (Beauty and the Beast)

Joshua Smith/Justin Barleben – No More (Into the Woods)

Kailey Winans – Days of Plenty (Little Women)

Katie Tabor – Home (Beauty and the Beast)

Eric Deiboldt – Now I’ve Seen You (Honk!)

Kyle Thaine – Gary Indiana/Any Dream Will Do

Susan (Collins) Thaine – Ribbons Down My Back (Hello Dolly)

Tina (Coville) Bauder & Gloria (Coville) Lear – Wall Flower (2 by 5)

Calvin Smith – Close Every Door (Joseph adn the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)

Rebekah (Degnan) Smith / Kathleen (Adduci) Barleben – Some Things are Meant to Be (Little Women)

Matt Pettit – It Takes a Woman (Hello Dolly)

Mary Martin – The Sound of Music (The Sound of Music)

Shannon Vanderlaan – Memory (Cats)

Mike Plain – When a Felon’s Not Engaged in His Employment (Pirates of Penzance)

Erin Moody – Oh is There Not One Maiden Here (Pirates of Penzance)

Alaina Albertson – I Know Things Now

Marsha (Bolton) Rivers – Cain’t Say No (Oklahoma)

Jackie Madejski – Neverland (Peter Pan)

Ondeya (Egling) Campbell – More I Cannot Wish You (Guys and Dolls)

Lydia Erakare – Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)

Lisa Berray – Hello Dolly (Hello Dolly)

Justin Barleben – No MoreMary

Kathleen Barleben – Some Things are Meant to Be

Karen (Kenney) Conn – Poor Sweet Baby (Snoopy)

Carrie (Miller) Kozody – New York, New York (2 by 5)

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