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Have Yourself a Gala RPO Holiday!

Rochester, NY – More than 170 students from a record-breaking 40 schools – including the City of Rochester and from throughout the seven-county area – will be displaying their vocal talent in the Festival High School Chorale, as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra prepares for its annual Time Warner Cable Gala Holiday Pops concerts.  This year, there are even more options for celebrating and spreading holiday cheer, with two of the six performances in the Wegmans WPOP Series benefitting charitable organizations including EquiCenter, the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong, and two Rochester Rotary Charitable programs, the Rotary Sunshine Campus and Rochester City Roberto Clemente School #8.

Under the baton of Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, the Eastman Theatre concerts feature the GRAMMY® Award-winning vocal ensemble New York Voices, the Festival High School Chorale (directed by Harold McAulliffe) and, in what has become an annual RPO tradition, a spotlight on an RPO musical “family.”  This year, Associate Concertmaster Wilfredo Degláns and his daughters will perform.  The RPO Rhythm Section (John Nyerges, piano; Dave Mancini, drums and Jeff Campbell, bass) also will be accompanying. 

Performances will take place on:
• Wednesday, December 17 @ 7:30 pm (Benefits the EquiCenter and Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong)
• Thursday, December 18 @ 8:00 pm (A limited number of tickets are available for this performance, which benefits two Rochester Rotary Charitable programs, the Rotary Sunshine Campus and Rochester City Roberto Clemente School #8)
• Friday, December 19 @ 8:00 pm
• Saturday, December 20 @ 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm
• Sunday, December 21 @ 2:00 pm

Concertgoers attending this always-popular annual event can look forward to hearing at least a half-dozen of Tyzik’s original holiday songs and creative arrangements of favorites such as Ring in the Joy, Ave Maria, The Little Drummer Boy, and Gospel Hallelujah as well as seasonal favorites Let it Snow, Sleigh Ride, and the Chanukah song, S’vivon.  A special Tyzik arrangement of Do You Hear What I Hear? will be performed by violinist Degláns and his daughters, violinist Sophia (age 9), and cellist Isabella (age 8).

Formed in 1987, New York Voices is the GRAMMY® Award-winning vocal ensemble renowned for its excellence in jazz and the art of group singing.  Their interests are rooted in jazz, but often Brazilian, R&B, classical and pop influences are included with equal creativity and authenticity.  The four members of NYV have traveled the globe with their elegant music, appearing on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, at the Blue Note (Japan, NYC), the Austria Opera House, and the Zurich Opera House. They have been seen at many jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz and Blues Heritage Festival. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, “The group’s incomparable blend, hip delivery and great arrangements resulted in one swinging party.  Their four-part harmonizing was so close, it was hard to tell where one voice ended and another began.”

For the past 13 years, the Orchestra has celebrated the holidays with the voices of the Festival High School Chorale under music director Harold McAulliffe.  Mr. McAulliffe is renowned for his commitment to the Rochester music community through his vocal performances, conducting, and classroom teaching.  A highlight of his career has been the training of the Festival Chorale for more than 10 years.  Currently in his 36th year as Musical Director for Pittsford Musicals, he retired in June after 40 years with from the Pittsford Central School District, having served as District Instructional Leader for Music, Director of the Pittsford Summer Enrichment Institute and a classroom vocal teacher.

The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans; Gala Holiday Pops concerts are sponsored by Time Warner Cable.  The Festival High School Chorale’s appearance is made possible by KPMG with additional support provided by The Helen H. Heller Gala Holiday Pops Matinee Fund.

Tickets for the December 17 performance range from $20-&55; a limited number of $15 and $40 tickets for the Rotary concert on December 18 still are available.  Ticket prices for the Friday-Sunday performances are $24-$60.  All tickets are available online 24/7 at, by phone (454-2100), in-person from the RPO Box Office, and seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.  RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm (non-concert Saturdays, 10:00 am-3:00 pm). 

Celebrating its 86th season in 2008-09, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music, presenting nearly 200 performances each season to a combined audience of an estimated quarter of a million people, including more than 70,000 who experience the RPO’s broad range of educational and community programs.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.  RPO performances are made possible in part with grants
from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County and the City of Rochester. 

Schools with Students Participating in the Festival High School Chorale
1. Alexander                                                21. McQuaid   
2. Aquinas                                                   22. Our Lady of Mercy
3. Avon                                                         23. Midlakes
4. Batavia                                                    24. Monroe
5. Byron Bergen                                         25. Mt. Morris
6. Caledonia-Mumford                              26. Naples
7. Canandaigua                                         27. Newark
8. Charles Finney                                      28. Pavilion
9. Churchville-Chili                                    29. Penfield
10. Dansville                                               30. Pittsford Mendon
11. East Rochester                                    31. Pittsford Sutherland
12. Eastridge                                              32. School of the Arts
13. Fairport                                                  33. Spencerport
14. Gates Chili                                            34. Thomas Jefferson
15. Greece Odyssey                                  35. Victor
16. Greece Olympia                                  36. Wayne Central
17. Holley                                                    37. Webster Schroeder
18. Honeoye Falls-Lima                          38. Webster Thomas
19. John Marshall                                      39. Williamson
20. Keshequa Central                              40. Wilson Magnet