The 2010/11 season marks the 40th anniversary of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO), a symphony orchestra comprised of 100 dedicated young musicians in grades eight through 12 from around the greater Rochester area. Led by music director Dr. David Harman, the RPYO will perform its final concert of the season at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 15th at Hale Auditorium, Roberts Wesleyan College, 2301 Westside Dr. in Rochester.
Entitled “Twentieth Century Symphonic Masterworks,” the concert will feature Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 and pieces by Bloch, Bruch, Hindemith, and Rosauro. It will also highlight RPYO student soloists, including violinist Clare Grieve, a senior at Fairport High school; violist Rachel Haynes, a senior at Penfield High School; cellist Samantha Merrill, a senior at Brighton High School; and percussionist Matthew Parris, a senior at Charles Finney High School in Penfield. Each student won RPYO solo competitions earlier this year, thus earning these coveted solo positions.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. They are available at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s (RPO’s) Box Office located at 108 East Avenue, Rochester, N.Y.14604 or by calling the RPO at (585) 454-2100 or the RPYO at (585) 454-7311 ext. 224. Tickets will also be sold at the door at the time of the performance. Group rate tickets for groups of 10 or more are available directly from the RPYO. For more information, visit www.rpyo.org.
“Our students have enormous talent and passion for music and incredible drive,” said Harman, a city of Rochester resident. “Wherever they perform, they astound audiences time and time again. Throughout this season, we have been celebrating them and the nearly 1500 young musicians who have been part of this important cultural institution over the last 40 years.”
The RPYO was founded in 1970 by the Women’s Committee of the Civic Music Association, the predecessor of the RPO, following many years of its sponsorship of annual youth music festivals. The RPYO is now sponsored by the RPO’s Education Department, whose musicians work regularly with RPYO students as mentors and coaches. They also join the RPYO in an annual concert at the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Howard Weiss, former concertmaster of the RPO, was the RPYO’s founding music director from 1970 to 1989, followed by Darryl One. Since 1993 Dr. Harman has been the RPYO’s music director and conductor.
RPYO musicians undertake a demanding schedule from September through May, which includes regular Sunday afternoon rehearsals, formal concerts and participation in an annual weekend-long musical retreat program. In addition, they are involved in community outreach events and participate in regional and international tours.
Several RPYO alumni currently perform with the RPO, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Chicago Lyric Opera orchestra and other major ensembles in the United States and abroad. Many other alumni have become music teachers or are dedicated amateur musicians and supporters of local arts institutions.
About the RPYO:
Established in 1970, the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO) is a non-profit symphony orchestra comprised of approximately 100 stellar young musicians who are in grades eight through 12 and come from schools throughout the greater Rochester area. The RPYO is sponsored by the Education Department of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra whose musicians serve as mentors and coaches to the RPYO and join them in the annual side-by-side concert in Eastman Theatre. The RPYO is a 501c3 non-profit organization that staffs just two people and depends on parent volunteers and community support to thrive. For more information, visit www.rpyo.org or call (585) 454-7311, ext. 224.