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Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Pops the Cork on the Holidays with New CD

Rochester, NY – Just in time for the 2006 holiday season, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra – under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik – is releasing a new commercial recording with some of Tyzik’s most popular pieces and arrangements.  “A Holiday Celebration” features more than a dozen tracks of the best live performances from the RPO’s 2005 Gala Holiday Pops concerts with the individual talents of the Orchestra’s Peter Kurau, horn (The Cricket and Frank Luellen Chair), and Rebecca Gilbert, flute (The Charlotte Whitney Allen Chair), as well as Tyzik’s bonus performance on the flugelhorn.

As this CD’s producer, conductor and arranger, Tyzik’s inimitable pops style is evident in everything from his hugely popular arrangements of Chanukah Suite, The Little Drummer Boy (with a musical nod to the rhythmic insistence of Ravel’s well-known Bolero), and The Twelve Gifts of Christmas with world-renowned tenor –  and Eastman School of Music alumnus – Tonio Di Paolo as the vocal soloist.  Mr. DiPaolo also is featured in O Holy Night and Ave Maria.  The nostalgic Celtic sounds of the Wexford Carol and Three Songs from “Home Alone” exemplify the recording’s versatility, rounded out by the nearly 200 voices of the Festival High School Chorale which represent 30 high schools in the seven-county area.  [For the complete school list*, see addendum below.]

“I consider this the best holiday CD project I have ever been involved in,” says Tyzik, who has conducted on two other RPO holiday recordings in the past, the most recent of which was released in 1999.  “From the incredible RPO to the High School Festival Chorale to the wondrous voice of Tonio DiPaolo…it’s THE holiday gift this season.”

On Monday, November 20, “A Holiday Celebration” CD will be available for sale at $15 (including tax), online at; by phone at (585) 454-2100 (shipping and handling not included); through the RPO box office during normal business hours, and at RPO concerts beginning with the first Nutcracker performance on Friday, November 24 through the Gala Holiday Pops concerts ending on December 23.  The disc also will be available at local Wegmans stores, Barnes & Noble (Pittsford), Borders (Hylan Drive), Parkleigh and Record Archives.  Prices may vary at retail outlets.  

This recording was made possible due to a landmark agreement in August 2006 between the American symphony, opera and ballet orchestras and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), which allows for the creation and sale of audio recordings made from live performances. Musicians share in revenue from CD sales, and ownership and copyright are retained by the orchestra institutions.  The RPO is only the second orchestra so far to be releasing a recording under this agreement. 

Now in its 84th season, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  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 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming in recent years.

Note:  Digital artwork of the CD cover is available as are photos of Jeff Tyzik and Mr. DiPaolo.  Interviews with Tyzik also are possible on request.

*Addendum: The Festival High School Chorale includes students from the following high schools: Alexander, Avon, Batavia, Brockport, Caledonia-Mumford, Churchville-Chili, Clyde Savannah, Eastridge, East Rochester, Gananda, Greece Athena, Greece Odyssey, Greece Olympia, Irondequoit, Keshequa, Livonia, McQuaid, Mercy, Midlakes, Mt. Morris, Naples, Newark, Pittsford Mendon, Pittsford Sutherland, School of the Arts, Spencerport, Victor, Webster Schroeder, Webster Thomas, and Williamson.