By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The Orleans Renaissance Group has developed a reputation of bringing world-class music to local audiences through a series of concerts showcasing prominent regional ensembles.
ORG officials say the success of the upcoming Anonymous 4 concert will come at a critical point in the group’s efforts to restore a historic downtown landmark and to promote the arts in Orleans County.
They envision the April 4 appearance by the internationally-revered ensemble at St. Mary’s Church as a watershed event for both initiatives.
The ORG has brought acts like the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Genesee Chorale and Symphony Orchestra to Medina in recent years. But no act comes with as high a pedigree as the Anonymous 4, who’ve performed medieval and original works for audiences across the world over the past 25 years.
“This is a gamechanger,” ORG Vice President Chris Busch said. “It’s huge for our group, our community and our county. Few, if any performing ensembles of stature have come to Medina.”
The concert’s program will be “Marie & Marion: Motets and Songs from the Montpellier Codex,” a collection of circa-1300 French and Latin plainchants and love songs.
It’s a performance that will appeal to those who’ve enjoyed ORG’s past events and the wider musical community. Paul-Joseph Struckman, a founding member of the Greycliffe String Quarter and ORG events committee member, said the level of skill and talent exhibited by Anonymous 4 is awe-inspiring.
“They’re phenomenal,” Struckman said. “There’s a pureness of sound, an elite level of musicianship. The way they research their music appeals to the scholarly aspect of music and their talent is so high.”
The more than 600 tickets being sold for the event are the year’s major fundraiser for the Medina-based not-for-profit, which contributes funding to local concert series and is pursuing the restoration of Bent’s Hall, which reached a major goal this week.
Work at the Main Street building continued this weekend with demolition of unused office space within the Main Street hall, following Thursday’s tear down of stone archways that covered the building’s original cast iron columns.
“We’re re-investing in the community, whether its our building or the arts,” ORG Administrator Lynne Menz said.
While the ORG’s focus is the Anonymous 4 concert, event committee members discussed a series of possible concerts Saturday that could be funded by the main event.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.