Archive | April, 2017

Webster Village Band: 50 years and still going strong

30 Apr
2016 Christmas concert

The Webster Village Band at their 2016 Webster Schroeder Christmas Concert

Fifty years ago this summer, Webster Village Council member Gerry Barrett proposed that the village create a band that would provide free summer concerts to village residents. The Village Board agreed, and asked Stan Maruszak to lead the new musical group.

A half century later, the Webster Village Band is still going strong, and still providing beautiful music every summer.

Several years after the band started, Sue Siegmund began assisting Stan as Associate Director and Marcia Naukum helped out with band administration. When Stan passed away in late 2004, a group of band members worked together to continue band operations, and establish a solid relationship with the Webster Village Board.

Since then, a music scholarship was created by Stan’s widow, Frances, who has since passed in 2010 at the age 83. This scholarship has been awarded annually to students in the Webster Central School District.

Currently, the Webster Village Band is under the direction of Tom Indiano, Musical Director, and Associate Director Sue Siegmund.

Indiano, now in his 13th year with the band, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Nazareth College, with a concentration in saxophone. Sue Siegmund, a graduate of Fredonia majoring in the French horn, brings a variety of musical experiences to the band, having worked with the Webster musical co-op, Webster Central School District, and as organist for many years at Durand United Church of Christ.

Original members and long-time members with 40+ years with the band, who are still playing, include Mary Crockett, Skip Mayo, Marcia Naukam, Bobbi Przybylowicz, and Sue Siegmund.

The Webster Village Band plays a variety of musical genres, including marches, classical band selections, swing, show tunes and pops.

The band performs outdoors most Thursday evenings at 7 pm from mid June through August at the Harmony Station Band Shell, located off Phillips Road and Foster Drive, just south of Ridge Road. In case of inclement weather, the concerts are moved to Cherry Ridge at St. Ann’s Community, 900 Ridge Road, across from Webster Schroeder High School.

Concerts are always free and there’s plenty of lawn space. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, a picnic basket of munchies and relax and enjoy the music. The large lawn area is family friendly and perfect for youngsters who may find it difficult to sit still. Young audience members have been known to dance, run, play and even conduct the band on an occasion or two.

Other venues the band has played in years past include the Webster Arboretum and Genesee Country Museum.

The 50th anniversary season will kick off with a special event on Tuesday May 16 at 7:30 pm with, a “Side-by-Side” performance with students at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road.

The summer season begins on Thursday, June 15, with additional concerts scheduled every Thursday night through August 31, except for June 29, July 13 and August 17. Weather permitting, they’ll also play their annual Christmas in July concert at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market on Saturday July 22 at 10 am. Stay tuned for more information about that.

New members are always welcome. Until the performance season begins, rehearsals are held Thursday evenings from 7-9 pm at various Webster schools. New members are encouraged to dust off those instruments and join this vibrant ensemble.

For more information, check out the Webster Village Band websiteYou can also follow the band on Facebook. Pocket calendars of the upcoming season are available at the Village Hall at 28 West Main Street.

Here’s a slideshow highlighting the great people and directors of our Webster Village Band:

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SEPTA Bowling fundraiser a success

27 Apr

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(all photos courtesy Hayes Photography,

Webster’s 6th annual SEPTA (Special Education Parent/Teacher Association) scholarship fundraiser, held on Sunday April 9 at AMF Empire Lanes, was a terrific success. Despite being a beautiful, warm spring day, 100 bowlers spent the day indoors instead of teeing off on the golf course or grilling outside.

The event was coordinated by Thomas special education teacher Dina Malboeuf, who provided this follow-up report.

In addition to the bowlers and business sponsors, special education staff members from both Webster Thomas and Schroeder High Schools participated by volunteering at the registration and raffle tables, bringing in teams of their own, and gathering spectacular prizes for the raffles.

The afternoon was filled with fun, creativity (some teams dressed up in costumes), team spirit (teams consisted of families, friends, and/or colleagues from various departments), food, awards, and overall unique talent demonstrated on the lanes! It was so nice to see community members and district staff come together to support a great cause: raising scholarship money for students who participate in the special education program in Webster.

The event was a great success, raising more than $4,000. Malbeouf would like to send out a special thank you to the following people:

Candy Harris, Linda Hayes (for her terrific photography), Joan Bardanis, Diane Cannarozzo, Tracy Small, Kyle Suffoletto/Rivalry on the Ridge, Ginny Perry-Pschierer, Todd Pschierer, Kevin Eichorn, Denise Warren, Mel Drury, Dan Marcello, Shelly Cahoon, Colleen Armstrong, Marjorie Marble, Mike Gustin, and Alec Wahl.

Event organizers are currently reviewing scholarship applicants from both high schools, and are already looking forward to making next year’s fundraiser tournament even more fun and more successful.

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Finally, good news about Ridge Road congestion

26 Apr

Traffic-jam (1)

If you’ve lived in Webster for any length of time, chances are very good you’ve grumbled about Ridge Road traffic more than once. But hang in there — there seems to some light at the end of the tunnel.

In his most recent weekly column, Supervisor Nesbitt announced that the town has received a $1,480,000 grant to make improvements along Ridge Road.

The plan is to install sidewalks and bike lanes, and make other transit improvements along Ridge Road in the coming years. The grant application was made in anticipation of improvements New York State will be making along that same area within the next year, specifically to the intersections of Hard Road, Five Mile Line Road, and Hatch Road. In conjunction with that work, the town wanted to extend the sidewalks from Holt Road to Five Mile Line Road as part of the overall construction.

Once all the work is complete, residents will be able to walk from Five Mile Line Road east to the four corners of the Village of Webster, turn north to the bike path, and walk back to Five Mile Line Road. You’ll also be able to enter the bike path at Bay Road, walk to the village, go down Ridge Road to Hard Road and then walk to Klem Road.

Assuming the bike path continues to be maintained, this will be a wonderful enhancement to our biking and hiking opportunities in Webster. And FINALLY something’s going to be done to reduce the aggravation that is Ridge Road at rush hour.

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Webster Mailbag

25 Apr

mailbagI tell ya. Go away on a cruise for a week, you think you’ve got everything tucked away for a while, and you come back to an overstuffed email box.

Let’s get started.

The Webster Public Library’s spring book sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, happens this week.  Tuesday night is the members-only preview night, from 5 to 8:30, when members of the Friends get first crack at the incredible selection of books for sale. Don’t worry if you’re not a member. Memberships will be available at the door, so walk right up and take advantage of this special opportunity.

The general sale begins Wednesday April 26 at 10 am and runs through 8:30 pm. Thursday April 27 is buy one get one free day, and Friday (10 am to 5 pm) and Saturday (10 am to 1 pm) are bag days, when you pay just $3 for a bag of books.

All monies raised go to support library programs.

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The Webster Museum will host Webster resident Ed Harding for a very interesting archaeology program on Saturday April 29 at 2 p.m.

Harding will share his story on how finding a projectile point while digging a fence post in his father’s back yard in 2012 has kept him digging and finding many more Native American artifacts. He learned that the first arrowhead was more than 3,000 years old.

If you’ve found any smooth rocks or interesting rocks you think might be important, feel free to bring them along to the presentation and have Ed take a look at them.

And while you’re at the museum, make sure to check out the collection of Native American artifacts, which are also located on a Webster map according to where they were discovered. If you haven’t seen the woolly mammoth molar yet, which was found on a farm on State Road, it’s pretty cool.

The Webster Museum is at 18 Lapham Park in the village. It’s open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and it’s  handicap accessible.

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St. Martin Lutheran Church, at 813 Bay Road in Webster, will host its Spring Chicken BBQ and FunFest on Saturday April 29 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Half-chicken dinners including salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll, butter and beverage are available for $10.00. Pie slices and other desserts will also be available for purchase. A hot dog dinner for kids is $2.00.

Dinners are eat-in or take-out. Tickets can be reserved by calling the church office at 671-1899, or purchased at the event while supplies last. Proceeds support the church’s Christmas Stocking Project, which reaches more than 500 local youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

The FunFest will feature the a bounce house, face painting and balloons.

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The First Baptist Church of Penfield, 1862 Penfield Road, has let me know about two events coming up in the next few weeks.

The Holy Yoga Spring Series, titled “Finding the Extraordinary in Our Ordinary Lives,” begins April 27 and runs every Thursday through May 25. The series is described: “Each week we will become a living prayer; praying together the prayer that Jesus gave us. Gentle, slow flow Holy Yoga will stretch us in heart, mind, body and soul.”

Classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and cost $10 each. All are welcome. Please bring your own mat.

On Saturday May 6, join the First Baptist Church of Penfield for Chicken Barbecue from 2 to 6 p.m., or until sold out. Chickens will be prepared on site by Gale-Wyn Catering. Dinners are $10.50 and include a half barbecued chicken, coleslaw or macaroni salad, salt potatoes, roll and butter, plus a dessert. Eat in or take out.

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Coonan and Heary earn RPO honors

24 Apr

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve praised the tremendous music educators in our school district. Our music program regularly wins top honors for its quality, and today it was announced that two of its finest teachers have earned special recognition from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Every year on their Music Educators’ Awards Night, RPO musicians honor several local music teachers, in an effort to strengthen the relationship between area music educators and the musicians of the RPO.

This year, two Webster music teachers were among the award winners: Jeanne Coonan of Spry Middle School won the Instrumental Music Award for K-12 Band, and Al Heary of Dewitt Elementary School won the Classroom Music Specialist Award.

Jeanne CoonanJeanne Coonan holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College, and has taught Instrumental Music for 35 years (24 years in Webster Central School District). Her experience includes teaching elementary, middle, and high school bands. Her elementary bands received Superior ratings at the Annapolis, MD Music Festival in 1996, 1998, and 2007, performing original commissioned compositions each time.

Coonan is co-founder of the Hochstein Junior Wind Symphony and Hochstein Youth Wind Symphony, both created to give motivated middle and high school students an in-depth performing experience. In addition to teaching, she performs as bassoonist and contrabassoonist for the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, Roberts Wesleyan College-Community Orchestra, and the Penfield Symphony.

Al HearyAl Heary has been teaching vocal/general music for 30 years, and currently teaches K-5 music at DeWitt Road Elementary School. He received a B.S. in Music Education/ Performance from Ithaca College and a M.M. in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia. He has completed three levels of Orff-Schulwerk teacher training at Eastman School of Music, three levels of Kodály teacher training at Nazareth College, and studied at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.

The award winners were selected from nominations submitted by administrators, educators, parents and students, which are then reviewed by a committee comprised of community educators and RPO musicians. The three other winners were:

  • M. David Shemancik of Pittsford Sutherland High School — Instrumental Music Award, Band (K-12)
  • Douglas Steves of Oliver Middle School in Brockport — Choral Director Award (K-12)
  • Beverly Smoker, Professor and Department Chair at Nazareth College — Special Award

Congratulations to Jeanne and Al. You are two of the reasons Webster’s music program in one of the best anywhere.

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Chorus of the Genesee announces annual show

14 Apr


One of the most entertaining concerts of the spring is fast approaching: the Chorus of the Genesee’s 64th annual show, on Saturday May 20.

This year’s show is called “The Songs of Your Life,” with a fun theme. It’s a radio show being presented by WCOG Radio, featuring “best of” segments from four locations around Rochester, with each segment or locale having its own theme. Each segment is sponsored by one vintage advertiser, and will feature the Chorus of the Genesee and one quartet.

The internationally-ranked quartet “Throwback” will join the Chorus as this year’s special guest. Throwback has placed in the top 10 in international competition for the past two years, and their performance is always a crowd-pleaser.

“The Songs of Your Life” will be presented on Saturday May 20, beginning at 7 pm at Penfield High School. Tickets are $16 in advance ($12 for students), $18 at the door, and group pricing is available. To purchase, call (585) 265-9540 or contact any Chorus of the Genesee member.

The Chorus of the Genesee is a non-profit, educational organization devoted to preserving the original American art form of Barbershop Harmony. The Chorus rehearses in Webster, New York, but performs all over the greater Rochester area. A portion of our proceeds support both local and national service projects. For ore information, visit their website here.

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WCSD community comes together to support State Road Elementary

14 Apr

Even in the most difficult of situations, a ray of light often shines through.

I’ve seen that occur repeatedly in Webster. When bad things happen and threaten to overwhelm our friends and neighbors with negativity, we come together as a community to support each other and bring a bit of sunshine to a dismal situation.

An excellent example happened recently when a disturbing incident took place at State Road Elementary School. The details of that event don’t need to be rehashed here, but I would like to bring attention to what happened afterwards.

Realizing that their colleagues were going through a tough time, teachers and staff members at Klem Road South and Plank Road North elementary schools decided to show State Road some love.

On Tuesday April 4, Klem South provided cookies and milk for their State Road colleagues — the ultimate “I love you” snack.

The previous day, Plank North went all out, setting up an entire breakfast buffet in the staff’s lunchroom, including bagels, muffins, yogurt and crock pots filled with oatmeal. Inspirational and humorous quotes sprinkled throughout the room reaffirmed the message of love and support.

The thank-you messages which came flowing into Plank North later that day showed how much State Road appreciated the effort. Here are a few of them:

Just wanted to say “thank you” to our PN friends for treating us with breakfast on Monday! It’s been a tough month, but it has also been awesome to see our One Webster comes together to support each other! — Keary Pender

I am so honored to be part of both of these amazing schools. Thank you Plank North family for supporting my other State Road family! I have already heard from many people over there about how much they appreciated the thought and kindness!! — Lindsay MacKenzie

Your school is so thoughtful! The breakfast & inspirational quotes are wonderful & beautiful. Thank you so much for your generous hearts! — Stephanie Jones

No words can express the gratitude I, and many others, have towards all of you. The spread was amazingly delicious but the posters and sayings were all so appropriate and really hit the mark on how we are feeling. Everything really touched our hearts. We are a community, you celebrate together and grieve together. I am grateful to be part of Webster. — AnnMarie Johansson

State Road principal Christine Noeth-Abele said the support did not stop there.

Our parent community and the PTSA (have) been providing us with love and food (cookie trays, fruit, breakfast, kind words, inspirational posters and flowers). We have had an incredible amount of support from everyone, including district office and our superintendent.

The kindness, compassion and support of the Webster community will never cease to amaze me. We can’t make unfortunate and uncomfortable situations go away but we can help each other through.

I am fortunate to work in such a caring and supportive environment. State Road is truly a family.

THIS is the wonderful school district in which I work, and the wonderful people with whom I spend my days. These are the people who teach and care for your children all day long.

We could not ask for a more caring school community.

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Webster Mailbag

14 Apr

mailbagI’ve packed a lot into today’s mailbag, partly because when I was at Community Arts Day I picked up special-event informational flyers from several  of the community agencies there. So let’s start with a listing of some of those events, then go on to mulch and drugs.

A Village Idiots Bash Fundraiser will be hosted on Sunday April 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Coach Sports Bar, 19 West Main Street in Webster. Local band Mesh will provide the entertainment to help the Village Idiots raise money to fight cancer. Admission is $5, which includes pizza, raffles, 50/50s and fun with friends new and old.

The Webster Museum and Historical Society will host a special program at the museum on Saturday April 29 beginning at 2 pm. Learn about an actual archaeological dig near Bay Road which has uncovered some Native American artifacts. The museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the village. For more information, here’s their website.

A donation drive at Savers, 980 Ridge Road in Webster, on May 6 will benefit the Friends of the Webster Library. From 9 am to noon, you can drop off clothes, bags, towels, bedding, hats, curtains and other soft goods, small appliances, tools, toys, kitchen items and games.

The Webster Baptist Church has announced that the next Crop Hunger Walk will take place on Sunday May 7 at the church, 59 South Ave., beginning at 1:30. For more information call Dough Klick at (585) 671-0485.

Mulch is Available at Town Hall

The mulch is back.

Every spring the Webster Highway Department delivers tons of mulch to the parking lot at Town Hall that Webster residents can retrieve for free for home use. This mulch has been composted by the Highway Department for the last year by the Highway employees from leaves picked up from resident’s yards.

They will continue to replenish the pile each day until the tons of mulch are depleted in the upcoming weeks.

Pharmaceutical Waste Pickup is April 29

There will be a pharmaceutical waste pickup at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 226 Phillips Road, on Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Any unused, unwanted or expired medication is taken for disposal. No appointment is necessary.

If you don’t feel comfortable with your personal information on the bottles, you can remove the pills and put them in a plastic bag disposal.

The Town Hall also has a CVS Drug Collection unit at the Webster Town Hall. This permanent pharmaceutical waste drop box can be found inside the Webster Town Hall, located at the Police Department entrance, 1000 Ridge Road, during regular business hours of Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Like with the pharmaceutical waste pickup, items accepted at the drop box include any unused, unwanted or expired medication such as prescriptions, prescription patches, prescription medication, prescription ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples and medications for pets.

Items that are NOT accepted include hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, aerosol cans, ointments, lotions, or liquids, thermometers, needles (sharps) and medication from businesses or clinics.

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The Easter Bunny visits St. Rita

13 Apr

OK, here are some of the cutest photos you’ll see today.

Thank you to Kerri Kiniorski at St. Rita School for sending along these shots of the Easter Bunny’s recent visit to the school.


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Oak Tree Award winners announced

13 Apr

The 2017 Oak Tree Awards for teaching excellence have been announced, and the winners are …..

Stacy Russotti, a fifth grade teacher at Plank South Elementary School, and Dave Stacy RussottiKowalski, a seventh grade science teacher at Willink Middle School.

Stacy was nominated by parent Patty Kaptein and received letters of recommendation from Plank South Principal Scott Wilcox and fellow fifth grade teacher Ronnette West, herself a previous Oak Tree recipient.

In the nomination letter, Kaptein wrote,

One special communication that really struck me at the beginning of the school year was in September (Russotti) personally called every student’s family member to check in on how the students where adjusting to her fifth grade classroom and to address any issues happening in her classroom early on. My daughter’s fifth grade class (was introduced) to the Honor Flight Rochester program…(with) students from the fifth grade attending the Honor Flight Rochester welcome home ceremony at the Rochester International Airport.

Dave Kowalski

Dave Kowalski was nominated by Bill Ottman, WCSD director of science and technology, and Brian Zimmer, WCSD director of educational technology and information. He also received letters of recommendation from Principal Gindling and Willink seventh grade English teacher Todd Putnam, who is also a previous Oak Tree recipient.

In nominating him, Ottman said that Kowalski is a

true collaborator… with a deep understanding of the concepts and skills you teach, a love of children, and a willingness and desire to continually challenge yourself to stay current and relevant to your students.


Congratulations to both recipients.

SparX wins top honors

Sparx Innovation in Control award

And while we’re at it, congratulations also go out to our Webster schools SparX robotics team, which recently won the Innovation in Control Award at the F.I.R.S.T. Buckeye Regional held in Cleveland, OH, the first weekend in April.

The award is presented to the team in which their spokesperson can identify and describe the controls innovation and can trace its conception, design, manufacturing/ assembly, or deployment. The control system must be innovative and unique and integrated with the machine, human players, strategy, etc., in concept and execution. The innovation must be practical, addressing the game’s challenge (not just a cute idea), and reliable under the stress of competition.

SparX received a trophy and plaque for the honor.

I got a chance to see this group of young people demonstrating their robotic handiwork at Community Arts Day. Their accomplishments are always impressive.

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