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RPO Swings into the Holiday Season

Rochester, NY – Hold onto your Santa hats: the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will take the audience on a musical “sleigh ride” as the Wegmans WPOP Series presents Time Warner Cable “Gala Holiday Pops” concerts at the Eastman Theatre.  This year, there will be a total of six performances (two more than last year), as the RPO is joined by the smooth vocals of guest Steve Lippia backed by the Festival High School Chorale, on: 

  • Friday, December 15 @ 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 16 @ 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 17 @ 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 21 @ 8 p.m. (A limited number of tickets are available for this performance, which is a benefit for Rotary Sunshine Camps and Rochester Rotary charitable programs.)
  • Friday, December 22 @ 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 23 @ 8 p.m.

Concertgoers can look forward to hearing Lippia and the Orchestra in Jeff Tyzik’s new “Swing Medley” of Santa’s Coming to Town, White Christmas, Let it Snow, Winter Wonderland and Christmas Song. The concert also will feature RPO holiday favorites such as the Tyzik’s arrangements of Chanukah Suite, Little Drummer Boy, Hallelujah chorus, music from Home Alone and Star Carol. These also are featured on the RPO’s newly-released CD, A Holiday Celebration.

No stranger to the pops stage, Steve Lippia has appeared with major symphony orchestras across the country – including the RPO in 2005 – as well as headlining engagements at Casino showrooms and the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York City.  With a voice reminiscent of Frank Sinatra, Mr. Lippia has performed on BBC, CNN, ABC and Fox.  His third CD is currently in production.

Each year, the Orchestra celebrates the holidays with the forces of the Festival High School Chorale. Directed by Harold McAulliffe, the Chorale, which has been performing with the RPO since 1994, is comprised of more than 150 high school students from the seven-county area.  [A list of high schools is available on request.]

Mr. McAulliffe is renowned for his commitment to the Rochester music community through his performing, conducting, and classroom teaching.  As part of his 39-year career, he has trained the Festival Chorale for more than 10 years.  Currently, he serves as the Instructional Leader for Music in the Pittsford Central School District.

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

Tickets for these performances are $26-$60 (limited Rotary tickets are $40 and $15), available online 24/7 at, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, as well as at all Wegmans Video Departments.  RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). The Wegmans Video Department is open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A convenience fee may apply.

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.

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; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO.