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About GVOC Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus

How It All Began

In 1976 Virginia Hogan, SSJ, the conductor of the Diocesan Festival Chorus in Rochester and music director for the Sisters of Saint Joseph Motherhouse Chapel, was asked by Perinton’s Clergy-Lay Council to prepare a concert for the town’s Bicentennial Celebration of the Independence of the United States. Calling on town residents, Virginia brought together 40 singers for this concert. Later that year a small orchestra joined the group to perform Handel’s “Messiah”, initiating our organization. Incorporated as the Perinton Community Chorus and Orchestra, the group grew from 40 singers to well over 130 singers and instrumentalists from not only Fairport, but also Rochester, Pittsford, Penfield, Victor, Greece, Webster, Honeoye Falls and other towns east of the Genesee. With representation from many towns in the Greater Rochester Area, the Perinton Community Chorus and Orchestra changed its name to the Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus (GVOC).

Virginia applied her skills not only to the musical direction of GVOC but also to organizational development and administration. Her efforts were key to GVOC’s growth and longevity. During the 1980’s and 1990’s GVOC travelled to Europe presenting concerts in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. In 2003, Virginia retired and Raffaele Ponti assumed leadership as GVOC’s music director until 2012, when Edward Schell became its interim conductor.  In 2014, Dr. Christoper Petit assumed leadership as GVOC's Music Director.  Dr. Petit moved GVOC forward as a group and developed inspiring programs that thrilled audiences near and far.  

In 2023, Yunn-Shan Ma was hired as the group's director.

Our Philosophy

Bonded in friendship, GVOC members delight in sharing their musical talents and versatility. GVOC has developed a repertoire ranging from spirituals to show tunes and folk songs to oratorios. The Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus is dedicated to providing opportunities for musical growth for its members and enriching the lives of area residents by presenting high quality musical performances throughout the Genesee Valley. The Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus aspires to be:

  • A thriving, diverse organization that reaches out to audiences of all ages, races, religions, cultures, and geographic regions within the Genesee Valley.
  • A model community performing group, committed to the highest standards of performance, collaboration with community partners, and sound organizational management.

GVOC welcomes all members without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or age. Ability to sing or play a musical instrument and willingness to participate in rehearsals and concerts are the only criteria for membership.

Grant support provided by:

Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester
The Community Foundation
Town of Perinton