Frederick Douglass at 200
Rochester, NY — 4 August 2017 Statesman, orator, business and civic leader and Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass made his home in Rochester for a generation. The Rochester Oratorio Society mounts a Bicentennial commemoration of his life through readings, re-enactment and music, in FREDERICK DOUGLASS AT 200, Friday, February 16, 2018, 7:30 P.M., in the Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 Plymouth Avenue North, in Rochester. Tickets for this historic event ($25, $10 student with ID) are available from the ROS office at (585) 473-2234, through their web site, www.ROSsings.org, or online. Catherine Cerulli, Executive Director of the University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Center, and Rochester Historical Society historian Dan Cody collaborate in a pre-concert chat and exhibit beginning at 7:00 P.M.
Renowned Douglass re-enactor and Nazareth College faculty member, Dr. David Anderson, offers renditions of some of Douglass’s most revered writings between sections from American composer Kirke Mechem’s settings entitled Songs of the Slave, from his opera, John Brown. Students from Rochester Public School #12, who memorize Douglass passages yearly, will recite them for the ROS audience.
As the featured work on the program, the ROS performs THE EMANCIPATION ORATORIO, by world-renowned Geneseo composer, GLENN MCCLURE, which the Society commissioned and premiered in 2013. This exciting and moving piece combines texts by Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Frances Harper, and contemporary Slave narratives in music employing Western instruments, African percussion and Western New York folk instruments, recreating the three poles of the Atlantic Slave Trade Triangle. Internationally- renowned soprano, Rochester resident KEARSTIN PIPER BROWN, and baritone JONATHAN RHODES, the William Warfield Scholarship recipient at the Eastman School of Music, sing the solo roles. The ROCHESTER EAST HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR joins the ROS to close the program in rousing fashion with the Gospel tune, ‘Lord I’m free,’ by New York composer, Steve Dobrogosz. The fully-professional ROS Orchestra, percussionist, TED CANNING, and accompanist, KEVIN NITSCH, perform under ROS Artistic Director, Eric Townell. This project is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant.
Information on the ROS and its productions may be found at http://ROSsings.org or by calling the office at (585) 473-2234.
CATHEDRAL CLASSICS BY REQUEST
(Rochester, NY – 3 August 2017) The splendid acoustical space and pipe organ of Asbury First United Methodist Church provide the ideal setting for CATHEDRAL CLASSICS BY REQUEST, closing the Rochester Oratorio Society’s 72nd season of concerts, Friday, April 20, 2018, 7:30 P.M., in the church sanctuary at 1050 East Avenue in the Neighborhood of the Arts.
In this program designed to highlight the Society’s sumptuous sound, well-known and favorite masterworks of the sacred repertoire by French composers Louis Vierne and Maurice Durufle, both organ virtuosi who wrote beautifully for choir, appear alongside a brilliant “Regina coeli (Queen of Heaven)” by Mozart and the radiantly austere and ecstatic “Totus tuus,” by Polish composer Henryk Gorecki, written for St. John Paul II. The ROS is joined by special guests, the Rochester East High School Choir, under the direction of Jodi Zajkowski.
The Rochester Oratorio Society, the region’s premier large mixed chorus for adults, presents 4-6 performances annually and presents the international vocal competition, CLASSICAL IDOL, each spring. Information about the ROS and its productions may be found at www.ROSsings.org or by calling the office at (585) 473-2234.