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EXCLUSIVE: Rochester teen musicians to celebrate milestone with special concert (video)

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

The Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is gearing up for a big performance next month. RPYO is an ensemble of top high-school musicians in the region.

“The upcoming performance is a side-by-side with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra,” said Vice President of Education for the RPO Barbara Brown. “Another thing that makes it special is the location. It will be in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater. It’s one of the most grand and beautiful performance space that we have available to us in our area.”

“There’s this energy on the stage that’s unmatched,” said Brighton High School Senior and RPYO Principal Cellist Elizabeth Norris. “Both the professional musicians and people in the RPYO are so enthusiastic to be playing this music together and learning about each other. And introduced to the crazy communication between the two worlds.”

Norris has been playing cello since she was five years old.

“It’s a creative outlet and a way to de-stress,” she added. “Separate from schoolwork and extra-curricular activities, music is both a way to expand your knowledge and make new friends, and display your emotions when it’s not easy to say it out loud.”

Milestone year for RPYO

Brown explained that this is also a special year for the RPYO. It was founded in 1970. And, it’s celebrating its belated 50th anniversary this season.

“The RPYO itself is a longstanding tradition,” she said. “We’re proud to be celebrating 50 years. For the RPO, it will be celebrating it’s 100th season. It’s not a milestone that all orchestras make. Rochester should be proud of the musical community we have here. We’re here because of the support we have from the community.”

The annual RPYO/RPO concert, called Golden Mentors, is happening at Eastman Theater on March 5 at 3 p.m. They’ll be playing Margaret Bonds’s Montgomery Variations, “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Marquez’s Danzón No. 2, and Respighi’s Pines of Rome. Tickets are $15/$10 for students and available here.