Classical 91.5

Virtual Concerts

HomeStage: Peter DuBois and Benjamin Krug

Nov 27, 2020

In this edition of HomeStage, we'll visit a different kind of home.

Peter DuBois is the director of music and organist at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester. They have been streaming their Sunday services online since March.

Benjamin Krug has been playing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for 13 seasons.

Watch them perform "A Song Without Words" by Craig Phillips, an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music.

How about a little music? "HomeStage at the Little" is a new concert series produced by WXXI and the Little Theatre. The pandemic has changed the landscape for local artists, but the series gives them an opportunity to perform live sessions (audience-free) that can be watched by the community. The episodes include music, interviews, and more.

We preview the series with some of the artists:

The Live from Hochstein fall concert series airs exclusively on WXXI Classical 91.5/90.3 FM and streaming at wxxiclassical.org (no live audience in the hall*) will now begin on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, from 12:10–12:50 pm.  Performances on the five-concert series feature Hochstein students, faculty members, and RPO musicians. One concert features all American composers, and another takes us on a trip to different parts of the world. The series continues through Wednesday, December 9th.  You can also hear an encore broadcast of Live from Hochstein later the same day at 10 p.m. on WXXI Classical 91.5/90.3.

Curt Long, President and CEO of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, says orchestras across the country are looking for answers on how to perform music in a pandemic, and in each city, the challenges are somewhat different. In New York City, the New York Philharmonic is canceling its entire season for the first time in its 178-year history.

One way the RPO is keeping the music playing is with live-streamed concerts. Those kicked off in September, and Long says those performances a work in progress.

HomeStage: Womba Africa

Oct 13, 2020

Drum and dance group Womba Africa's name means "We are coming," as in, We are coming to you with something new, something exciting. Get ready.

The group faced multiple obstacles to come from Ghana, and they have a vision to promote West African music and culture and to empower indigenous cultural groups to also share their heritage through preforming arts.

One year ago, the giant fantasy undersea visions of Plasticiens Volants’ French inflatables bobbed and weaved in the crisp fall air over the heads of thousands of people on Rochester’s Parcel 5. London’s Massaoke karaoke singalong of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” echoed off the sides of downtown buildings. 

Big-name comedians, mainly at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, have been a major part of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival though its first eight years. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, that kind of show is not in the plans this year when the event opens next week.

 

Falling in line with other festivals throughout the world, the Gateways Music Festival, postponed from earlier this summer, has confirmed plans to go virtual in November.

The event, which has brought classical musicians of African descent to Rochester since 1995, first partnered with the Eastman School of Music four years ago. Last year’s seven-day event was its largest ever, with 17 public programs, more than 30 community performances and 125 musicians. This year’s Gateways, a five-day event starting on Nov, 9, may be equally ambitious in a different way, when set against the challenge presented by COVID-19.


Editor's note: As soon as I read this essay by conductor Ramona Wis, I wanted to share it with you.  Dr. Wis's ideas offer comfort for everyone, not just musicians.  We can all face an uncertain future with grace and courage.  We're all in this together. ~  Brenda Tremblay

The Conductor as Yogi: From Holding Space to Making Space

By Ramona M. Wis

The first time I heard the phrase “holding space” was from a colleague describing her experience with someone going through a tough time.  “I just held space for her,” she said.  It was a phrase I was not familiar with but soon started seeing everywhere (or maybe it was just “blue car syndrome,” where my increased awareness led to noticing what was always there).

HomeStage: Hanna PK

Jul 9, 2020

The fact that Hanna PK is in Rochester shows the breadth of musical talent here. While known for blues, she's a singer-songwriter in a variety of genres. With a lot of us yearning for a return to a new 'normal', Hanna PK performs “Soyo Arirang," inspired by the old Korean folk tradition called Arirang.


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