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RPO Celebrates African American History Month

January 13, 2014

PDF Click here to download PDF

For Immediate Release: January 6, 2014
Media Contacts:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com
RPO Info:  rpo.org, facebook.com/SuperRPO, twitter.com/SuperRPO, rpo-land.blogspot.com

RPO CELEBRATES AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Gershwin & Ellington includes Florence Price, Schwantner’s “Daybreak of Freedom”
Also in February: Singin’ in the Rain & Ann Hampton Callaway Sings Streisand


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) kicks off its February concert schedule with a celebration of African American History Month on Thursday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 8 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, as well as Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Ford Hall at Ithaca College*. Guest conductor Michael Morgan will lead Gershwin & Ellington, featuring gifted young Korean pianist Joyce Yang, a Van Cliburn silver medalist, performing George Gershwin’s vibrant, jazz-influenced Concerto in F. American master Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington’s concert suite, Harlem, will take listeners on an evocative musical tour of its namesake. The program also features Symphony No. 3 (3rd and 4th movements) by Florence Beatrice Price, considered the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner’s New Morning for the World, “Daybreak of Freedom,” with narrated text from the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Schwantner was a former Eastman School of Music faculty member; this piece was originally commissioned for the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra.)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, your RPO accompanies the American Film Institute’s top movie musical, Singin’ in the Rain, on Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, the classic film features the beloved title song, along with "Make 'Em Laugh," "Fit as a Fiddle" and "You Were Meant for Me."  Guest conductor Peter Bay, current music director for the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Hot Spring Music Festival, is a Rochester favorite, having held four having held four different conducting posts with the RPO. Check rpo.org for special Valentine's Day packages that include chocolates, flowers, and special dining options.

Closing out February, on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1 in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, is Ann Hampton Callaway Sings Streisand, led by RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik. A singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress and educator, Calloway is probably best known for starring in the hit Broadway musical Swing! and for writing and singing the theme song to the internationally successful TV series The Nanny.  She’s also a devoted keeper-of-the-flame of the great American songbook, and has a diverse fan base that includes such notables as Barbra Streisand, Clive Davis, Carly Simon and Wynton Marsalis. Calloway has sung with more than 25 of the nation's top orchestras and big bands, and performed in the Carnegie Hall tributes to Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Harold Arlen.

Tickets (except for Ithaca concerts*, which are $25/$10 students) start at $22, with $10 student/child tickets available. All tickets may be purchased in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main Street) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or online at rpo.org. 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents up to 150 concerts a year, serving nearly 200,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Notable former music directors include Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman; Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches 14,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children. The RPO's 2013-14 season highlights include Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik's 20th anniversary celebration, and a performance at Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2014, as part of the Spring For Music festival.

Media please note:  High-resolution images for Philharmonics concerts are available at docs.google.com/folder; high-res photos for Pops and other concerts are available at docs.google.com/folder/d. More details are available at rpo.org and upon request. Interviews, as well as photo and footage opportunities, can also be arranged.

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