November 23, 2010

The Magical Family Tradition of The Nutcracker Takes Center Stage!

This weekend, let yourself be transported by the captivating music and dance sharing the spotlight at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for six performances of The Nutcracker, November 26-28 at 2:00 & 7:00 pm each day.
The classic tale of Clara and her magical Nutcracker is brought to life by talented dancers from the Rochester City Ballet, with guest artists from America's top ballet companies, 150 community children, and the Bach Children’s Chorus – with Tchaikovsky's wonderful music performed live by your RPO, conducted by Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair).

Children's tickets start at only $10! Get your kids ready for The Nutcracker by downloading coloring pages with images of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King.

Know someone performing in The Nutcracker? Use this link to view the full program notes and read more about the RCB dancers.

And before you start making your own Nutcracker memories … click here to read the Ballet’s blog with other stories of Nutcracker memories. Congratulations to the winner of the Ballet’s contest!
Call 454-2100 to order tickets by phone or click here to buy online.

November 12, 2010

Symphony Magazine Features Jeff Tyzik in Story on Pops Arranging

Jeff Tyzik with guitarist Sharon Isbin
(photo Gelfand-Piper)
Anyone who attends an RPO pops concert with Jeff Tyzik has experienced his creative brilliance and engaging rapport with the audience – but did you know that he is also an accomplished composer and arranger, writing more than 160 works for orchestra?

Jeff’s talent for arranging music for Pops concerts is featured in the November-December issue of Symphony Magazine. Click here to read the story online.

He talks about the challenges of arranging popular music for a symphony orchestra, which includes taking music that may have been created just in a recording studio, and turning it into a piece for live performance.

“You have to understand the acoustic balance between brass, strings, woodwinds, and percussion, and it’s even more crucial if you have a rhythm section,” Jeff says. “One snare drum can wipe out a whole string section.”

He also gives the orchestra music that is interesting to play, that challenges them to be as great as they are – which is not always the case in pops arrangements.

Your next chance to hear Jeff’s arranging genius is at the Gala Holiday Pops concerts on December 16-19 (use this link for concert info).

The concert includes Jeff’s version of The Little Drummer Boy, which is an inventive take-off on Ravel’s Bolero. You’ll also hear Jeff's variations on Deck the Halls, and his gospel version of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.

Little Drummer Boy and the Gospel Hallelujah are also on the RPO’s most recent holiday CD – which makes a wonderful holiday gift! Click here for details.

November 4, 2010

The Nutcracker Memories Contest!

In eager anticipation of the Nutcracker performances in just a few weeks, Rochester City Ballet is holding a contest looking for your memories of The Nutcracker. What makes The Nutcracker special to you and your family? When did you first see The Nutcracker? What role does The Nutcracker play in your holiday traditions?

To be entered in the contest, send your special Nutcracker memories by email to: The winner will receive four Box seat tickets to the Nutcracker on Saturday, November 27 at 7:00 pm and a private meet & greet with Rochester City Ballet company members directly after the show.

The winner will be selected by a panel of RCB judges on November 22. For more information about the contest, and to read the stories already posted on the RCB blog (including one from RCB company member Erik Johnson), visit

Use this link to find out more about The Nutcracker, with six performances, November 26-28. This magical tale is brought to life by Rochester City Ballet's talented dancers, with guest artists from America's top ballet companies, 150 community children, and the Bach Children’s Chorus—and Tchaikovsky's wonderful music performed live by your RPO. Children's tickets start at only $10!

And to get ready for The Nutcracker, come to Nutcracker Day at The Strong on Thursday, November 11 from 11:00am-3:00 pm. RCB dancers in Nutcracker costumes will read the story of The Nutcracker, and musicians from the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will perform musical selections. Click here for more information.