Classical 91.5

Brenda Tremblay

Classical Morning Host and Producer

While you’re sleeping, she’s thinking. 

Thinking about the best ways to wake you up.

A native of Albion, New York, NEA Fellow Brenda Tremblay bolts out of bed each weekday morning at 4:00 a.m. to present classical music on 91.5 FM, streaming at  Before she became a daily host on WXXI-FM in 2009, she tried her hand at every task in public radio, from hosting overnight blues gigs to freelancing for National Public Radio.  Her NPR reports and local documentaries earned three Gracies from the Association of Women in Radio and Television, many AP awards, and a national Gabriel Award. 

In addition to waking up super early, Brenda produces and hosts the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's radio concerts on Monday nights at 8 p.m. She also collaborates with WXXI news to cover the arts across all media services.

Outside the broadcast studio, singing is Brenda’s passion. She’s performed with choirs in Carnegie Hall, Westminster Abbey, and in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.  In Rochester, some of her best memories have been made with friends in the Rochester Oratorio Society and local chamber choirs Madrigalia and First Inversion.  Currently she serves as Music Director at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Brockport, New York.

Foote: Sonata for Cello & Piano, op. 78

Originally performed at “Live from Hochstein.” Rosemary Elliot is an assistant professor of cello at Eastman School of Music and is the director of the “Morning Chamber Music” series at Eastman. An Eastman alumna, Rose Grace teaches piano at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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Boccherini: Sonata for cello and basso in C

Originally performed at a 2015 Publick Musick concert. Beiliang Zhu plays cello, baroque cello, and viola da gamba and is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Violoncello and a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology. Christopher Hariatatos is co-director of Publick Musick and a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. 

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Photo by Tatiana Daubek

Michael Torke: May

Formed in 2009, the Vertex Saxophone Quartet is comprised of Eastman graduates. The members of the quartet teach at the Eastman Community School, University of Rochester, Nazareth and Houghton College, and the Hochstein School of music. This performance was recorded as part of the program “Live from Hochstein.” 

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Halsey Stevens: Trumpet Sonata

Herb Smith and Julie Elliot are heavily involved in the Rochester music scene. Herb Smith is a trumpet instructor at Eastman School of Music and plays third trumpet in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Julie Elliot is a Rochester-based vocalist, pianist, and conductor who accompanies at the Eastman Community School and Hochstein School of music. This recording is from a Backstage Pass, recorded in the live broadcast August 11, 2015.

Villa-Lobos: Mazurka-Choro

Tárrega: Capricho Arabe

Originally performed on “Live from Hochstein” in Spring 2014. Oksana Miller started guitar at age 6, and studied at the Hochstein School of Music for 10 years.  She won the 2014 Hochstein Merit Scholarship, and has participated in the International Guitar Festival in England. 

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David Brickman, violin
Stefan Reuss, cello
Diane Walsh, piano

This performance was recorded at the May, 17, 2015 “Fanny in May” concert by First Muse. Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was sister to the better-known Felix Mendelssohn, and is considered by many to be equal in talent, though often overlooked. Her piano trio is one of her greatest works. 

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Randall Thompson, arr. Ying Quartet: Alleluia

Originally performed on Backstage Pass on January 25th, 2013. Comprised of Eastman faculty members, the Ying Quartet performs internationally in some of the world’s greatest concert halls, from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall. To learn more about the Ying Quartet, visit:

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Bedlam performs 16th century music for soprano voice and lute. Their name comes from the nickname from the 15th and 16th century Bethlem Royal Hospital in London, England, which in its time was an infamous psychiatric facility. The name came to mean “a state of madness, chaos, and the irrational nature of the world.” They performed in Rochester in February 2015 at the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word as part of Pegasus Rising

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Diane Smith, flute
Judith Ricker, oboe
Margaret Quackenbush, clarinet
Mary Hickson Hunt, horn
John Hunt, bassoon

Paul Patterson: Westerly Winds

Formed in 1982, The Antara Winds have performed frequently on “Live from Hochstein” and perform in concert around the greater Rochester area. They played Paul Patterson's "Westerly Winds," inspired by West Country folk tunes, on Live from Hochstein's spring season in 2015.

Roger Bourland: Both Page and Pen
Eleanor Daley: Rise Up My Love
Pablo Casals: Nigra Sum

Founded in 2000, Concentus Women’s Chorus performs concerts of new and old choral works in the Greater Rochester and Central New York area. To learn more about Concentus, visit: This recording is from their performance on Live from Hochstein.

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