Frederick Douglass at 200

Frederick Douglass at 200

Frederick Douglass at 200
Friday, February 16, 2018
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm  

Hochstein Performance Hall
50 Plymouth Ave N
Rochester, NY 14614

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,, 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 or by calling the office at (585) 473-2234.