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Planetarium Director to Narrate RPO's Heavenly Trip

July 09, 2008

Orchestra’s Saturday CMAC Concert Makes the Most of Steve Fentress’ Planetary Expertise

Rochester/Canandaigua, NY – This Saturday, July 12, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Out of This World: Star Wars & The Planets” 7:30 p.m. concert at CMAC in Canandaigua gets a rocket-size boost from Steve Fentress, director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium of the Rochester Museum & Science Center, as his planetary expertise is put to good use in the role of narrator for Gustav Holst’s large-scale symphonic work, The Planets.
 
After a Star Wars first half at the Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC), Music Director Christopher Seaman leads the orchestra in Holst’s The Planets, accompanied by awe-inspiring images from NASA’s unmanned spacecraft – an unforgettable juxtaposition of music and visual art illustrating Holst’s astrological journey.  With the assistance of Mr. Fentress’ live narration, the audience goes on a symphonic tour of our solar system with Holst’s imaginative and unique instrumentation.  Each planet is represented by music inspired by the very Roman deities for whom each was named. 

With the perfect background of both physics and music, Steve Fentress has worked at the RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium since 1989, when he was hired as the composer and sound editor for the Planetarium shows.  He produced other school and scout programs, as well as live coverage of space missions, becoming Planetarium director in 1995.  Mr. Fentress majored in physics at University of California, Los Angeles; studied music at California State University, Northridge; and studied choral conducting in the doctoral program at Indiana University.

Advance single ticket prices range from $13-$50; single tickets purchased at the gate range from $18-$60.  Discounts are available for senior citizens, students and children 12 and under in the shell.  New this summer: lawn seats are free for children 12 and under.  CMAC tickets are not available at Wegmans. 

CMAC concerts take place rain or shine; except for lawn seating, all other seats are covered.  The grounds open at 6 p.m. and concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own blanket or lawn chair for relaxing on the hillside.  Visit www.cmacevents.com for venue ground rules.  Parking is free in the main lot at Lincoln Hill and East Lake Roads.  The RPO’s CMAC Series is sponsored by Constellation Brands; its CMAC residency is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust with additional concert support by Canfield & Tack and Hylan Enterprises Inc.  Christopher Seaman’s appearance is made possible by The Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation.



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