October 15, 2014

RPO kicks off three nights of free concerts

Paul Shewan, guest conductor
Since 1991, the RPO’s free Around the Town community concert series has brought classical music out of the concert hall and into schools, churches, rec centers, and other community spaces.

With the goal of making the RPO more accessible to everyone, these concerts (held six times per year) seek to engage audiences with a program of classical excerpts blended with familiar favorites. Tonight, Thursday and Friday night at 7:30 p.m., RPO trumpeter Paul Shewan will serve as guest conductor for the first three Around the Town concerts of the 2014-2015 season, held at two city rec centers and Fairport High School, respectively.

“We want to bring the RPO to people who might not have the opportunity to attend a concert,” said Barbara Brown, Director of Education at the RPO. Brown coordinates the annual Around the Town series, securing venues and community partners. Last year, Brown coordinated a concert at Monroe Community Hospital, which featured a live stream so patients who could not leave their rooms could watch the concert on their TV.

In addition to finding unique venues, Brown looks for opportunities to engage youth from music education groups with the concert series. Previous collaborators have included young students from the Strings for Success program at School No. 19, the Hochstein School of Music and Dance Children’s Suzuki Program, soloists from the Rochester Philharmonic League Young Artist Auditions, and various high school choirs. This week, 56 students from RocMusic will serve as special helpers at the Wednesday and Thursday concerts, and a select group will offer instrument demonstrations. RocMusic provides tuition-free music and string instruction to children 6-18 years old who live in the city of Rochester.

“Our students look up to the musicians like they are celebrities, and we know that bringing them to eye-opening experiences, like a live acoustic concert, can be life-changing,” said Alexander Peña, Program Director and Lead Teacher for RocMusic.

The Around the Town concerts this week will feature a program of familiar favorites such as John Williams’ Star Wars Suite coupled along with light classics such as excerpts from Beethoven’s sixth symphony. For more information, visit our website at rpo.org. For more about RocMusic, visit their website.

If you go:
What: Around the Town community concert series
When: Wednesday-Friday, October 15-17
Where: See below
Time: All concerts at 7:30 p.m.
$$$: Free

Wednesday, October 15
David F. Gantt R-Center
700 North St. Rochester, NY 14605

Thursday, October 16
Edgerton R-Center
41 Backus St. Rochester, NY 14608

Friday, October 17
Fairport High School
1 Dave Paddock Way Fairport, NY 14450


mkj said...

Only just finding out about these free concerts on 10/17/2014. Is there somewhere that I can find out about the upcoming ones?

Michelle Shippers said...

Hello- Thank you for your interest! The free Around the Town Concerts are held in the fall and spring. Stay tuned to rpo.org/s_1/s_81/Community_Concerts/ for events in 2015. Dates are still TBD!