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Festival High School Chorale

The Festival High School Chorale is celebrating 22 years performing at the RPO’s Gala Holiday Pops celebration. Founding director Harold McAulliffe and co-director Amy Story organize and direct this group of approximately 200 outstanding high school vocalists. Participation is open to high school vocal students in the seven-county area. The 2015 Chorale represents the following area high schools: Aquinas, Avon, Batavia, Brighton, Brockport, Byron-Bergen, Caledonia-Mumford, Canandaigua, Dansville, Eastridge, Fairport, Gananda, Geneva, Greece Athena, Odyssey Academy, Greece Olympia, Holley, Irondequoit, Keshequa, Kendall, Lyons, McQuaid Jesuit, Mercy, Mount Morris, Naples, Newark, Norman Howard, Pavilion, Penfield, Pittsford Mendon, Pittsford Sutherland, Port Byron, RCSD East, RCSD Edison, RCSD Monroe, RCSD SOTA, RCSD Wilson Commencement, Spencerport, Victor, Webster Schroeder, Webster
Thomas, Wheatland–Chili.

Harold McAulliffe, co-director
Harold McAulliffe’s commitment to excellence has permeated every moment of his 49 year career as a professional educator, performer and conductor. He has organized and conducted multiple choral and instrumental ensembles, area festivals and musical theater productions. He has also worked with the Festival Chorale at RPO Gala Pops for more than 20 years.

Equally successful as a tenor soloist, McAulliffe has appeared with major symphonies and choral societies around the United States and performed as a soloist in a number of European countries. He also appeared in a series of concerts across America promoting the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

McAulliffe is a leader in the Rochester music community, promoting the arts on a variety of corporate and county boards. He has served, or is serving, on the boards of Young Audiences of Rochester, the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Rotary Club of Pittsford, Vice President of the Pittsford District Retired Teacher’s Association, and KEEP, the Pittsford Central Schools Foundation. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has also honored him as the Vocal Music Educator of the year. He has served for over 47 years as musical director for Pittsford Musicals, Inc., a community theater organization of which he was a co-founder and that has given over a quarter million dollars in scholarships to local students pursuing careers in the arts. This fall  he directed “CABARET”, his 52nd show as musical director/conductor for Pittsford Musicals. He retired after 40 years of service in June 2007 from the Pittsford Central School District, having served as teacher, District Instructional Leader for Music, and Director of the Pittsford Summer Enrichment Institute.

He now teaches at the University of Rochester as conductor of the Men’s Glee Club. He continues to travel the country, adjudicating choral festivals and appearing as a guest soloist.

Amy Story, co-director
Originally from Forty Fort, Penn., Amy Story received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Mansfield University. After 14 years at Canandaigua Academy, this year she began her 36th year in education, teaching choral music at the Alternative School for Math and Science in Corning, N.Y.

While at the Academy, she directed the Mixed Chorus, Women’s Choir, Madrigal Choir, Jazz Choir, and was the vocal/music director for 13 Canandaigua Academy Player’s Musical Productions. Her groups have all received “Superior” ratings at Fiesta-val and Festivals of Music invitational events, have performed with the RPO and Rochester’s Madrigalia and have been part of commissioning new choral works. Her students have had the opportunity to work with several national and international composers. Her Mixed Chorus was invited to perform for the New York State School Board Association’s Annual Convention and her Madrigal Choir was invited to perform and present teach pieces on Madrigal Dinners to various colleges, including Ithaca and Susquehanna University.

She also taught at Canandaigua Middle School, the Corning-Painted Post School District and Arkport. Story has conducted numerous Area All-State and All-County Groups in Pennsylvania and New York and serves as a NYSSMA vocal adjudicator.  Additionally, she mentors new choral directors and has been a cooperating teacher for Mansfield University, the Crane School of Music, and Ithaca College student teachers.

In 2007, she was honored with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Outstanding Music Educators Award in the category of Choral Director. In 2011, she was a recipient of the Mansfield University Music Honor Roll Award, and in 2012, she was presented with the Helen Kemp award for “Lifetime Commitment to Excellence in Choral Music” at the American Choral Director’s All Eastern Convention in Providence, Rhode Island. This is her seventh year working with the Holiday Festival Chorus.

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