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RPO Gala Holiday Pops Celebrates 16 Years

December 14, 2009

The Festival High School Chorale and Doug LaBrecque Ring in the Holidays at Kodak Hall with Seasonal Favorites and New Kids Matinee Pricing Starting at $10

Rochester, NY – Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik had an idea in 1994 to include a high school choir as part of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Gala Holiday Pops concerts.  Sixteen years later, the collaboration between the RPO and what has become known as the Festival High School Chorale has resulted in one of Rochester’s most popular holiday musical traditions, reprising this season on Thursday, December 17 at 7:30 pm (a Rotary benefit), Friday, December 18 at 8:00 pm, Saturday, December 19 at 2:00 and 8:00 pm, and Sunday, December 20 at 2:00 pm at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

This year, more than 170 students from 36 schools – including the City of Rochester and from throughout the seven-county area – will be featured in the High School Festival Chorale (Amy Story and Harold McAulliffe, co-directors), along with guest vocalist Doug LaBrecque. [See addendum for participating schools.] As has been the tradition in recent years to feature an RPO musical “family,” Assistant Principal Violin Daryl Perlo and her 12-year-old son Michael, a 6th grader at Johanna Perrin Middle School in Fairport, also will perform a two-violin arrangement of Silent Night.

This annual festive event boasts a handful of either Tyzik originals or those creatively arranged by him, including classics like Ave Maria, What Child is This?, Gospel Hallelujah, and Silent Night.  Concertgoers also can look forward to O Chanukah, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Pat-a Pan, Winter Wonderland, Do You Hear What I Hear?, O Holy Night, White Christmas, and more.

Tenor Doug LaBrecque thrilled theatre audiences as The Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera, and as Ravenel in the Hal Prince Broadway revival of Showboat, a role he also performed in Canada and Chicago. He was featured in Oscar Hammerstein’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Broadway, and toured nationally with Les Miserables. Regionally, LaBrecque has performed leading roles in Candide, A Chorus Line, and Man of La Mancha, among many others. An active concert performer, Mr. LaBrecque has been a soloist with some of the world’s finest symphony orchestras including the National Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, the Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco symphonies, and the Cleveland Orchestra. In the last few years, LaBrecque’s U.S. appearances have included the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Detroit, Indianapolis, Houston, Baltimore, New Jersey, Dallas, and Utah, and with Marvin Hamlisch both at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony, and with the Pittsburgh Symphony.  He recently hosted the Yuletide Celebration with the Portland and Seattle symphonies.

The Pops Series is sponsored by Wegmans; Gala Holiday Pops concerts are sponsored by Time Warner Cable.  The Festival High School Chorale’s appearance is made possible by KPMG  and Allstate with additional support provided by The Helen H. Heller Gala Holiday Pops Matinee Fund.

The RPO has just released special kids pricing starting at $10 for those 18 and younger for both weekend matinees.  (This offer does not apply to previously purchased matinee tickets.)  All other prices for Dec. 18-20 are $26-$64, with $75 box seats.  A limited number of $20 and $45 tickets for the December 17 Rotary concert are available.  All tickets are available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100), in-person from the RPO Box Office, and seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.  RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm (non-concert Saturdays, 10:00 am-3:00 pm).

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Schools with Students Participating in the Festival High School Chorale:

1.       Alexander                                                     20. John Marshall

2.       Aquinas                                                        21. Keshequa Central

3.       Avon                                                               22. McQuaid   

4.       Batavia                                                           23. Mt. Morris

5.       Brighton                                                         24. Naples

6.       Caledonia-Mumford                                    25. Newark

7.       Canandaigua                                                26. Pavilion

8.       Charles Finney                                             27. Penfield

9.       Churchville-Chili                                          28. Pittsford Mendon

10.   East High                                                        29. Pittsford Sutherland

11.   East Rochester                                              30. Rochester City School District

12.   Eastridge                                                         31. School of the Arts

13.   Fairport                                                            32. Spencerport

14.   Gates Chili                                                      33. Victor

15.   Greece Odyssey                                            34. Wayne

16.   Greece Olympia                                             35. Webster Schroeder

17.   Holley                                                               36. Webster Thomas

18.   Honeoye Falls-Lima                                       

19.   Irondequoit                                                                                                  

                                   



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