Classical 91.5

Arts

A dozen or so people gather in a rehearsal space at the Eastman Community Music School, near the corner of East Avenue and Gibbs Street. They are playing an instrument called the hammered dulcimer, which requires the use of small sticks or hammers to ping against the strings of an instrument which was developed hundreds of years ago.

But except for their teacher, Mitzie Collins, most of these students are not professional musicians, nor do they plan to pursue that career.

As Collins explained, they are just taking her lessons on the instrument because it’s enjoyable. 

“I love adult learners, because they’re not doing it to make anybody happy but them. I would say a certain number of my adult students have wanted to play an instrument but just time and money and things never made that possible.”

The American composer, flutist, and educator Katherine Hoover died on September 21st.

Her life was an inspiration to many.   

The Rochester Fringe Festival is two weeks away and already one show is sparking serious conversation. Lee Wright leads the First Inversion choir and they have a show in the festival dedicated to African American spirituals. But recently, some in the community called out Wright for what they say are anti-black images.

The death of singer Aretha Franklin has touched a lot of people including a Rochester musician who actually played with her.  Herb Smith plays trumpet both with the RPO and with his own jazz trio. He is also an adjunct professor at RIT and is conductor of the RIT Jazz Ensembles.

Eight years ago, Jessica Marten – Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery – was poking around among the paintings in a museum storage space when a small piece caught her eye.

It was many things. The artist’s medium, egg tempera and gold leaf, suggested medieval paintings, and the illuminated manuscripts of monks. The extensive use of borders is what might be seen on a tapestry. And the central figure looked like an image from Frida Kahlo: A woman in pain, clutching her head. Her eyes are bleeding.

Fringe Fest 7 this fall

Jul 10, 2018

Producers of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival call it the "Big Reveal," a rundown of the many performers and venues at the annual event, now entering its seventh year.

"Our Fringe will be different from last year because we have so much new talent, so many new ideas. It's going to be fresh, topical and lots of fun," says producer Erica Fee, noting that there are over 500 performances at more than 30 venues in the downtown area.

It's now the largest multi-genre arts festival in the state.

One of my favorite little things about Rochester that I discovered after moving here is that we had busts of Goethe and Schiller around town.  Sadly, Goethe was stolen a few years ago from Highland Park, never to be seen again. But we still have Friedrich Schiller, best known to music fans as the writer of the words to the Ode to Joy, used by Beethoven in the finale of his ninth symphony.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.

Today, as I biked by, I had to stop – because Schiller had some artistic company, right next to his little park on Andrews Street. Fiber art (yarnbombing?) by someone who knew his musical connections. The lighting was a little blah this morning, but still – hope these make you smile too. 
 

World Channel

Big Voice: An Inspiring Look at the Creative Process Between a Choir Teacher and His Students  -  WXXI TV, Saturday, June 16 @ 4:00 p.m.

Big Voice chronicles a year in the life of Jeffe Huls, a visionary high school choir teacher, and his most advanced choir – a group of students who struggle with the demands of high school life and personal challenges. Big Voice captures the transformative power of a committed teacher who inspires a passion for music, a sense of belonging, and the value of working together to become one big voice.

Creative Commons

Guest conductor Christopher Warren-Green led the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Rochester Oratorio Society in a performance of Handel's Messiah in December of 2016.

The maestro is no stranger to the British royal family.

Tom Rivers

More than a dozen local school districts have made a list of the best communities in the nation for music education.

In awards published April 17th, Brighton, Rush-Henrietta, Honeoye, and the East Irondequoit Central School Districts are among those named by the NAMM foundation, a trade organization which honors teachers, administrators, families, and leaders for supporting music as part of a well-rounded education.  

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