July 1, 2015

Ithaca College professor named new RPYO Music Director

Dr. James Mick
The Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO) has named Dr. James Mick, an assistant professor of music education at Ithaca College, as the orchestra’s new music director. Mick is only the fourth person to hold the position of music director in the RPYO’s 45-year history. He follows former RPYO Music Director Dr. David Harman, who retired at the end of the 2013-14 season after 21 years of service.

“I am deeply honored and delighted to have the opportunity to carry on the rich culture and traditions of the RPYO that David Harman has spent so many years cultivating,” said Mick, who served as guest conductor at the RPYO’s 2014-15 season finale concert in May. “I am excited to have the opportunity to make music with the talented members of the RPYO as they are introduced to and perform some of the greatest musical works ever written.”

The RPYO is a symphonic orchestra comprised of more than 100 of the most accomplished middle- and high-school musicians from over 30 schools in the greater Rochester area. Musicians are admitted through annual auditions each spring, and the orchestra performs three concerts each year (including an annual side-by-side concert with the RPO in Eastman Theatre!). The RPYO also performs in special outreach concerts, enjoys exchanges with other youth orchestras and undertakes a major tour every three years. RPYO alumni have performed in major orchestras all over the world, and current alumni can be found performing with the RPO, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra and other professional ensembles here and abroad. RPO Music Director Ward Stare is also an alumnus of the RPYO.

“Dr. Mick is a passionate music educator, experienced orchestra conductor, and active double bass performer,” said RPYO Manager Susan Basu. “Under his inspirational leadership, the RPYO will continue to provide our committed young musicians with excellent, educationally rich, and personally rewarding musical experiences.”

Mick holds degrees in music education Florida State University (Ph.D.), Ithaca College (M.M.), and Texas Christian University (B.M.E.). Outside of his academic pursuits, Mick is an avid bicyclist who enjoys spending time outdoors surrounded by nature, as well as indoors, restoring his 132-year-old downtown Ithaca home.

For more information on Dr. James Mick and the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, visit rpo.org

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