April 26, 2016

Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra to host annual spring gala

This Friday, the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will host the fifth annual spring gala and silent auction. The gala is the RPYO’s sole fundraising event, and proceeds will support the operational expenses of the youth orchestra. The gala will be held at Irondequoit Country Club and will include performances by RPYO musicians and a special performance by RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde and RPO Principal Oboe Erik Behr.

Despite its nearly 50-year history, you might be unfamiliar with the RPYO.
Here’s the quick and dirty:
James Mick rehearses with the RPYO
  • The RPYO was founded in 1970 to provide advance-level student musicians grades eight through twelve the opportunity to perform symphonic masterworks. Entrance to the RPYO is by audition only, and the main season consists of three formal concerts in the Rochester area each year.
  • RPYO members are mentored by RPO musicians, and perform a side-by-side concert with the RPO every year in Kodak Hall.
  • James Mick, assistant professor of music education at Ithaca College, is the RPYO’s current music director. He succeeds (and is mentored by) former music director David Harman, who retired in 2013-14 after 21 years of service.
  • RPO Music Director Ward Stare, who grew up in Pittsford, played trombone in the RPYO under the baton of David Harman. Other RPYO alumni currently perform with the RPO and New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco, Chicago, and Cleveland symphony orchestras, and many additional professional and community ensembles.
  • The RPYO has performed around the world, and has been invited to play Carnegie Hall in 2017!

“This event demonstrates all that is wonderful about the RPYO, including students performing, parent and RPO musicians’ involvement, and community outreach” said RPYO Music Director James Mick. “There are too many great things to mention and all are important to the health and vitality of the RPYO.”

As an RPYO mentor, RPO musician Erik Behr is looking forward to performing at the gala for the first time. Behr will perform Bach’s Double Concerto with his wife, RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde, and the RPYO.

“We are both passionate supporters of the RPYO as we both had amazing experiences playing in youth orchestras as young people,” said Behr. “The educational value and friendships that are created by playing in orchestras and band programs are beyond compare.”

According to RPYO Board Chair David Lane, the gala is expected to draw 180 people. There will also be a silent auction with more than 80 items, including lunch for four with Ward Stare, RPO and Jazz Festival tickets, and restaurant gift certificates. There will also be a raffle for a 48” SONY HDTV.

“It’s a fun evening of chamber music in a relaxed environment—business casual attired is welcome,” said Lane, owner of DAVE Digital Audio Visual Environments and an ardent supporter of education at the RPO. “If the Gala is very successful, it will also help fund our trip to Carnegie Hall next year!”

If you go
RPYO Spring Gala and Silent Auction
Friday, April 29, 6-9:30 PM
Irondequoit Country Club (4045 East Avenue, Rochester)
$$: $25 adult, $15 student
Please call 585-454-7311 X224 to
inquire about ticket availability

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