Classical 91.5

Musicians of Rochester

Musicians of Rochester serves as a portrait of musical life in and around the greater Rochester, New York region. Inspired by Humans of New York, Classical 91.5 intern Bridget Kinneary started Musicians of Rochester early in 2015 as part of her Eastman Arts Leadership Internship program. This portrait continues to grow each month as interns and staff meet and share stories and insights from Musicians of Rochester. We invite you to visit this page often to meet new musicians and find out more about the music scene in Rochester. Click on the name of the artist to find out more about them or to hear an interview with them.

L to R starting at the top Sean Jefferson, David Costello, Gaelen McCormick Casey Springstead, Brian Williams, Siena Facciolo Orlando Diaz, Petar Kodzas, Herb Smith
Credit https://www.classical915.org/topic/musicians-rochester

Erick Aceto, violinist and luthier
Andrew Alden, silent movie composer

Veronica Bain-Derby, singer & advocate for the people of Ghana
Maria Battista-Hancock, guitarist & music therapist
Al Biles, RIT Professor & jazz trumpeter

Kristine Bouyoucos, musician & printmaker

Sean Brabant, singer
Kathleen Bride, harpist & teacher
Stephanie Buell, student singer
Andy Calabrese, jazz pianist & composer
Philip Carli, silent movie pianist
Katherine Ciesinski, mezzo soprano and master teacher

Mitzie Collins, teacher & dulcimer expert
David Costello, pianist & composer
Orlando Diaz, pianist & composer

Brian Donat, cellist & teacher
Pete DuPre, Harmonica

Siena Facciolo, soul-folk singer/songwriter
Christopher Glatty, piano technician
Jeanne Gray, grandmother & teacher
Alma Haddock, student & cabaret singer
Oliver Hagen, contemporary pianist & conductor
Peter Hasler, trombonist & teacher

David Hochstein, composer & Founder of the Hochstein School
Kristin Jarvis, singer
Sean Jefferson, drummer & teacher
Lawrence Johnson, guitarist & bus driver

Alan Jones, retired music teacher, pianist & singer of American song

Henry Kearse, piano & Honky Tonk Henry

Reverend Kingfish, blues singer & guitarist
Bridget Kinneary, violist & teacher
Petar Kodzas, guitarist & teacher
Sister Anita Kurowski, singer & teacher
Gaelen McCormick, string bass & teacher
Ted McGraw, Irish music archivist

Honey Meconi, Professor of Musicology, U of R
Aristea Mellos, pianist & composer
Sergio Munoz, guitarist, violinist & teacher
Ayano Ninomiya, violinist

Leah Ou, pipa musician

Blake Pattengale, jazz guitarist and rapper

Alexander Pena, violist & teacher

Mark Phinney, organist & teacher

Dave Porter, optical engineer & trombonist
Evan Ritter, pianist & music festival co-director
Corrine Shaffer, cellist & swing dancer
Johnandrew Slominski, pianist & teacher

Herb Smith, trumpeter, teacher & advocate
Casey Springstead, conductor & teacher

Armenio Suzano, clarinet, saxophone & Dean of Greatbatch School of Music

David Temperley, composer & teacher
Bill Tiberio, saxophonist & teacher
Octavio Vazquez, composer & teacher
Neil Varon, pianist & conductor

Rachel Waddell, conductor & educator
Teryle Watson, cellist & teacher
Brian Williams, jazz bassist
David Ying, violinist & teacher
Melissa Zgouridi, opera singer
Danny Ziemann, jazz bassist
 

Provided

Honey Meconi brings music history to life.  

In her new book, Hildegard of Bingen, Meconi offers fresh insight into one of the most creative composers of her time, Hildegard, a German writer and mystic who lived the town of Bingen on the Rhine River.  In the twelfth century, she produced music, theological books, medical texts, and paintings.  

A year has passed since double bassist Gaelen McCormick sat down with Julia Figueras to talk about being afflicted with Bilateral Meniere's Disease, her loss of hearing because of it, and how she was coping with what Gaelen called her super power. A lot has transpired for Gaelen in the last 12 months, and as the next chapter in her new life unfolds, we asked Gaelen to share.

Mary Ann Blair

Mitzie Collins might be excused for resting on her laurels. 

She's not.

For her contributions Rochester's musical life, she earned the 2007 Artist Award from the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester, and she was honored as 2014 Musician of the Year by the Rochester Alumnae of the Mu Phi Epsilon Music Fraternity.

Hammered dulcimer expert.  Shape-note singer.  Organist.  Recording artist.   For decades Mitzie has performed, taught, and delighted audiences in a wide range of musical styles. 

Olean Times Herald

He was a piano man in a bar. 

Now he's shaping the future as the dean of a conservatory.

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Veronica passed away suddenly on October 9, 2019 from Malaria, after being bitten by a mosquito while attending her father's funeral in Nigeria.  She had accomplished so much for the classical music and the arts in the short time she was in Ghana, and we hope that her passion will inspire others to carry on her legacy. Learn more about her life, her mission and her passing here.

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and Alan Jones took the one less traveled by.

As a Masters student at the Eastman School of Music, the singer and pianist was on the path to becoming a composer when his innovative work as a church musician caught the attention of professors.

Alan is a natural teacher, and he was persuaded to pursue a life as an educator.   

Lucky music students at Spencerport High School blossomed under his direction for thirty-two years.

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His cello has floated to islands and scaled mountains.  Its sound has echoed across remote lakes and dense pine forests.

Brian Donat is The Adirondack Cellist, and he's performed on wild peaks, in hunting cabins, and on lakeside docks.

Lawrence Johnson: classical guitarist, retired city bus driver, composer, and passionate civil rights advocate.

To have a conversation with Lawrence Johnson is an opportunity to become acquainted with a fascinating person, while also getting an overview of the evolution of classical guitar in American musical life during the second half of the 20th century.  The impact of Segovia, the ways that many classical musicians didn’t take the guitar seriously, and the change in the approach and appreciation of classical guitar music – that’s all in there, along with trading a Volkswagon for a tape deck, late night bus runs with a guitar, and Greenwich village in the 1960s.

Whether you have a few minutes to spend with him...

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Meet Teryle ("TARE-ril") Watson, a teacher, conductor, and performer who inspires students with her passion and humor.  

Born in Brooklyn, New York, she came to Rochester in 1967 to attend the Eastman School of Music.  Her journey has taken her from the Julliard School in New York to the Royal College of Music in London and back to Rochester where, in 1975, she embarked on a thirty one year career as a music teacher with the Rochester City School District.

Brook Nance

Meet Casey Springstead: he's the longtime wind ensemble director at Irondequoit High School, the Music Director for the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra and, because his schedule isn't full enough already, a French hornist in the Penfield Symphony Orchestra. In September of 2017, he was given the Faculty Service Award at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance.

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