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The RPO is 'Celebrating Education' on May 5

April 01, 2015

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For Immediate Release: April 1, 2015
Media Contacts
:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com
RPO Info
:  rpo.org, facebook.com/RochesterPhilharmonic, twitter.com/RochesterPhil, rochesterphilharmonic.blogspot.com 

RPO’S CELEBRATING EDUCATION! IS MAY 5TH

Flutist, arts activist Claire Chase is special guest

Luncheon proceeds to benefit RPO educational initiatives 

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) will host Celebrating Education! A Luncheon to Benefit the RPO’s Education Initiatives on Tuesday, May 5 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency (125 East Main St.).  Emceed by 13WHAM’s Norma Holland, the fundraiser’s special guest will be Claire Chase, whom The New Yorker calls “the young star of the modern flute.”

Chase, a 2012 MacArthur Fellow, is a soloist, collaborative artist, and activist for new music. The American Composers Forum (ACF) just named her one of three 2015 “Champions of New Music” – a national mark of recognition to honor individuals or ensembles that have made a significant contribution to the work and livelihoods of contemporary composers. In 2014, she began Density 2036, a project to commission, premiere and record an entirely new program of pieces for flute every year until 2036. Chase is also founder and co-artistic director of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), whose artist-driven nonprofit structure, alternative concert presentations, and educational initiatives are innovative models in the new music field. The uniquely structured, modular ensemble comprised of thirty young performers has given more than 600 premiere performances all over the world and earned a Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center in 2010.

“We are honored to welcome noted young musician and entrepreneur Claire Chase as both speaker and performer,” says RPO Education Committee Chair David Lane. “She will start with a mesmerizing and virtuosic solo flute performance, and then further engage the audience with her progressive views on the importance of arts education and captivating young audiences.”

The RPO reaches some 13,000 school-aged children each year through its education programs. Last week’s annual Intermediate Education Concerts in Kodak Hall were enthusiastically received by 7,500 fourth-through-sixth graders from a nine-county area. Free for Rochester City School District students, with a nominal charge for suburban and regional districts, February’s annual Primary Education Concerts – also in Kodak Hall – were attended by more than 4,000 first-through-third graders. This year’s free Tiny Tots Concerts (May 12 – 15) will attract several thousand preschoolers and kindergartners to four community locations: Roberts Wesleyan College, Temple B’rith Kodesh, Franklin High School, and the Jewish Community Center. 

RPO education programs also include the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO), now in its 45th year, comprised of more than a hundred of the most accomplished middle- and high-school musicians from over thirty schools in the greater Rochester area. RPO musicians act as the teens’ mentors and performed an annual Side-by-Side concert in Kodak Hall with the RPYO in early March. The final RPYO concert of the season is Sunday, May 17 at Roberts Wesleyan College.  

In addition, the Rochester Philharmonic League (RPL) – which supports the education and outreach programs of the RPO – just sponsored its 60th annual Young Artist Auditions in mid-March. This event grants talented high school musicians the chance to perform for professional judges and to win a variety of awards and scholarships totaling $4,500, as well as the chance to audition to perform with the RPO.

The family-friendly OrKIDStra Series in the Performance Hall at Hochstein entertains while gently educating young and old alike, with hands-on activities for kids beginning an hour prior to the Sunday afternoon concerts. The final 2015 OrKIDStra concert is Two by Seuss! on May 17.

The orchestra also honors area music teachers with its annual RPO Musicians’ Awards for Outstanding Music Educators in May. In addition, the RPO is a partner in ROCMusic, an after-school program that provides tuition-free music and string instruction to urban children in the neighborhood in which they live. RPO musicians and guest artists often visit local schools in the orchestra’s Meet the Artist program as well.

“The RPO will become even more engaged with the community going forward, and education – always an overarching goal of our organization – is a lynchpin of this initiative,” says RPO President and CEO Charles Owens. “We are proud of the RPO’s 92-year tradition of excellence in music education, and are eager to develop the resources that will enable us to build on that success in the coming years.”

Advance seating for the luncheon is $55 per person/$500 for a table of ten. Please RSVP to Olivia Grant at ogrant@rpo.org or 585-454-7311, ext. 249.

Celebrating Education! sponsors include Harris Beach PLLC; Blitman & King, LLP; and LVW Advisors. Additional sponsorship packages are available; contact Judy Lemoncelli at jlemoncelli@rpo.org or 454-7311, ext. 238. For more information, please visit 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 approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including 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 Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair)—the first position of its kind in the country—the RPO reaches more than 13,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.

Media please note:  High-resolution images of Claire Chase and the RPO’s education programs are available, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can also be arranged.

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