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Big Voice: An Inspiring Look at the Creative Process Between a Choir Teacher and His Students - WXXI TV, Saturday, June 16 @ 4:00 p.m. Big Voice chronicles a year in the life of Jeffe Huls, a visionary high school choir teacher, and his most advanced choir – a group of students who struggle with the demands of high school life and personal challenges. Big Voice captures the transformative power of a committed teacher who inspires a passion for music, a sense of belonging, and the value of working together to become one big voice.

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Recent blog posts

Growing Pains: Opera in 2018

Jun 14, 2018

While in the theater, you hear snippets of conversations. While watching Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Light in the Piazza, I overheard the following: “Where is the Bathroom? How long is intermission? Did you know Jill left Andy for another man?!” But over the hum of the Eastman Opera Theatre Orchestra tuning, I heard the five little words every aspiring classical vocalist shudders to hear: “Opera is a dying art.”

After having so much fun researching and speaking about the music that surrounded Queen Victoria, in her personal and public life, I have decided to create a Spotify playlist of some of that music.  It's a crazy anachronism, I know, but if I put it on a wax cylinder or one of Edison's machines, I don't think it would be as useful for you. 

News from the world of Classical Music

An expert in Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia says there are a number of misconceptions about the conditions, and he wants families to understand that people can live well with those diagnoses. One method proven to be effective in engaging people with dementia is personalized music. It's the subject of a remarkable documentary called "Alive Inside," part of the Reel Mind Theatre and Film Series

The film follows a social worker who brings iPods to people living with dementia at nursing homes; once many of the patients hear music from their past, it sparks memories in ways human interaction could not. We'll discuss the role music has in opening pathways in the brain, and the latest in Alzheimer's and dementia research with our guests: 

  • Dr. Al Power, M.D., Schlegel Chair in aging and dementia innovation at the Schlegel--U. Waterloo Research Institute for Aging
  • Brian LeBlanc, Alzheimer's advocate who is living well with Alzheimer's disease
  • Robin Lombardo, northeast regional director for Music & Memory

The Avenue Blackbox Theatre opens on Joseph Avenue

Jun 8, 2018

Rochester’s newest theater is anything but typical.

The Avenue Blackbox Theatre is located on Joseph Avenue in the 14621 zip code. It’s the first theater on the city’s Northeast side. It features chalkboard sidewalk panels outside, 60 seats inside and parades on Sundays.  

Reenah Golden is the theater’s director. She says she grew up in the area and knows firsthand how much talent is in the neighborhood.

The sun's season became official this past weekend — so what do you want to hear? Rooftop bops? Windows-down coasters? Sweated-through squall?

Back at the beginning of time, the human voice was the very first instrument. Probably close in second place were folks banging on stuff – in other words, percussionists. The quartet of gentlemen who form the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion takes primordial pounding into a completely distinctive new league. To be sure, in this Tiny Desk performance, they'll play their sophisticated, modern marimbas and vibraphones, but be on the lookout for the subtleties of tuned cowbells and 3/4" galvanized steel pipes, like those found at the local hardware store.

The #MeToo movement has been a cultural reckoning across industries, from Hollywood to restaurants — but one of the oldest that's been affected is classical music. In March, James Levine, a longtime conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, was fired for allegations of sexual misconduct. And now, centuries-old works from Carmen to Don Giovanni are being challenged for misogynistic plots and themes.

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