07 Jun 2012
Rochester, New York
Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 North Plymouth Avenue, Rochester, NY
Rochester Oratorio Society, Inc.
Eric Townell, Aertistic Director
Rochester, NY - April 27, 2012 - There will be plenty of community pride to celebrate in
song in Rochester Sings! On Thursday, June 7, at the Hochstein Performance Hall at
7:30 P.M., the Rochester Oratorio Society (ROS) and some of its best musical friends mark
the centennial of the Community Sings in Rochester, a musical tradition promoting positive
values of respect, tolerance and civic pride.
“People are really connected to this tradition,” says ROS Artistic Director Eric Townell. “The
last Community Sing took place on June 7, 1912, and it’s this event we intend to restore.”
Mayor Tom Richards will be on hand to commemorate the occasion.
“Loyal love of home and city is a proper sentiment, and song gives it expression,” declared
the editors of the original Rochester Songbook, last printed in 1910. With titles like “The
New Genesee,” “Sam Patch” and “I was born in Rochester,” the tunes in the Rochester
Songbook evoke pride and affection for the natural splendor of the region and the
achievements (or notoriety) of some of its inhabitants. “The Rochester Songbook is warmly
remembered to this day by many long-time Rochesterians,” Townell comments.
Music by Rochester and New York composers will be featured in the program. The ROS
will perform classics by Aaron Copland, Robert Nathaniel Dett, and by Stephen Foster,
who resided in New York from 1860 until his death. With an eye toward the future of music
in Rochester, the ROS has asked student composers from the School of the Arts to submit
pieces for the program. The best piece will receive its premiere at Rochester Sings!
Accompanying the production will be Gibbs & Main, the Rochester string chamber
ensemble known for its energetic, edgy performances, engagement in the community and
educational outreach efforts. Diego Garcia, cellist and composer for the ensemble, has
written a new work entitled “Lulu,” which will also receive its premiere at Rochester Sings!
Along with the history comes a hearty dose of fun. The audience will have the chance to
join in with several of the tunes, which are easy to learn and enjoyable to sing with many
a laugh along the way. The Golden Eagle String Band starts the evening with a
presentation on Erie Canal heritage and music.
Rochester Sings! presented by the Rochester Oratorio Society on Thursday, June 7,
2012, 7:30 P.M., at the Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 Plymouth Avenue North in
Rochester, is open to the public by general admission. Tickets ($25, $10 student with I.D.)
are available from the ROS web site: www.ROSsings.org or by calling the office at (585)