August 8, 2015

RPO musicians on the road this summer: Part 1

Remember when you were a kid and you would look forward to summer camp? Following the RPO’s busy summer season (10 concerts in the month of July!), many of our musicians travel in August to teach and perform at music festivals, conferences, and with other symphonies and music groups. For them, it’s a great opportunity to share their time and talents in other markets before the start of another concert season at the Rochester Philharmonic. We caught up with four RPO musicians to learn more about what they are up to this summer. Stay tuned to our blog later this week for the second part of this series!

Joanna Bassett, flute/piccolo

What are your plans for August?
I'll be headed to Washington, D.C. with about 4,000 other flutists, to take part in the National Flute Association's annual convention. I've been going to these almost every year since I was in college and participated in the orchestral competition. Each year's experience is a little bit different, but the one thing I can count on is seeing old friends and being inspired by so many concerts, workshops, and the chance to try state-of-the-art flutes and piccolos.

Joanna Bassett (right) and Jan Angus
at a site visit to D.C. in 2014
Why do you think it’s important to teach/perform outside of Rochester?
I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love in the RPO, and part of the reason I have taken on this responsibility is to be able to bring people together to share their talents with others. My RPO colleague Jan Angus and I have been working for the past two years to put this together, and it has been the experience of a lifetime! Our theme is "Out of Many, One", so we are showcasing flutists from many different countries, backgrounds and types of playing, and we are also promoting advocacy through music, featuring many musicians who are advocating in their daily lives. I'm looking forward to bringing some of Rochester's musical talent with us to Washington, D.C., and I'm sure we'll be bringing a lot of energy and ideas back with us when we return home!

Joanna checks acoustics and sound bleed at
a site visit for the NFA
Anything else exciting to share?
We are featuring 223 living composers with many world premieres, 28 flute choirs, flutists from Australia, Taiwan, Israel, Greece, Croatia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and all over the U.S. I am grateful to Jeff Tyzik for writing a new piece for flute and orchestra which will be premiered at a Gala Concerto Concert, and we've also programmed works of Cary Ratcliff, Ken Kreuzer, Katherine Hoover, and Cynthia Folio, to mention just a few local connections.

Perrin Yang, violin

Where are you playing this month?
I'll be playing in a few different places in August and September. Most of August will be spent in Sun Valley, Idaho, playing with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Later that month, I will be back in Rochester playing with my band Significant Other at the Food Truck Rodeo (Aug. 26), as well as at the Seneca Park Zoo Brew (Sep. 11) and downtown at the Fringe Festival (Sep. 25).
Perrin Yang

Have you played with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony before?
Yes, for several years now. I enjoy going because I get time to spend with my family (my brother and sister-in-law both play in Sun Valley Summer Symphony as well). It's nice to be able to be part of a great orchestra made up of people from all around the country, and Sun Valley is a beautiful part of the country!

Why do you think it’s important to play in other markets?
It's important for us to be playing in other locations/markets to keep the RPO name alive. We are a great orchestra, so it's good for us to get out in different places and to play with different people to show the rest of the world that we're still a great orchestra after 92 years! Also, by playing in different markets and playing different styles of music, it just helps to expand the RPO audiences!

Perrin onstage with the Sun Valley Symphony

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