Classical 91.5

Musicians of Rochester

Musicians of Rochester serves as a portrait of musical life in and around the greater Rochester, New York region. Inspired by Humans of New York, Classical 91.5 intern Bridget Kinneary started Musicians of Rochester early in 2015 as part of her Eastman Arts Leadership Internship program. This portrait continues to grow each month as interns and staff meet and share stories and insights from Musicians of Rochester. We invite you to visit this page often to meet new musicians and find out more about the music scene in Rochester.

"I'm just always typecast as funny 'cause I happen to be kind of a funny person."

Nazareth College senior Alma Haddock has a problem. With a brassy voice that's been compared to Ethel Merman's, "I never get to do dramatic roles or sing dramatic songs" she says.

To show another side of her musical talent, she's creating a cabaret show. 

Bryant Keicher

Pianist Henry Kearse has a simple mission – and an easy way to measure if he is succeeding at it.

I wish to make everyone happier, if I can, with something I can play. If I come up with a song out of the blue that means nothing to anyone, then I’ll play it once and then I’ll go on to another song.  I want audience satisfaction. That’s proven by the tip cup, silly as it sounds – if the tips are good, you’ve been a success, if they’re not there – well go home and study some more.

 

Pianist and composer David Costello wants you to relax.

His most recent album “XVII” is a series of unnamed instrumental piano pieces – not exactly classical music, but something drawing on different styles he has played. 

Musicians of Rochester: Petar Kodzas

May 3, 2017

As new Associate Dean to the Eastman Community School, guitarist Petar Kodzas’ vision for the future is to make music more relevant.  By growing the ECMS programs and keeping them healthy and successful, Kodzas’ hope is to find new ways to involve more people in music making and music listening.

Seemingly a broad task, one might wonder how this could be accomplished.  But in an interview with WXXI, Petar Kodzas explains and recounts his own personal musical history.

  Evan Ritter is a student at the Eastman School of Music, originally from Texas. He’s a junior, studying piano performance.  He’s also co-director of the South East Asia Music Festival in the Philippines. Teaching and leading this intensive music festival for students in one of the most impoverished districts of a troubled country is both rewarding and challenging.

The challenges include the fear of extrajudicial killings, strict curfews, and even the occasional pack of wild dogs. 
 

“I think the most important thing is: we need to make sure that we encourage music, and arts in general, solely for the sake of music and art. Because it’s the other part of human life that needs to be stimulated.

If all we give our kids are “how many AP classes can we cram into our high school schedule, how many activities can we do throughout the day,” and never give them the side of artistic stimulation that allows them to express and process them world around them, we’re really doing them a disservice.

Brenda Tremblay

So the first musical I ever did was All You Really Need to Know You Learned in Kindergarten and that first day I walked in,  I’d never been in musical before.  I thought was going to be, you know, a little thing we perform for the parents.  Nope! Nope!  Not at all! I walked in and Mr. Tallman, everyone, there were tons of people, and he just gave us a note and everybody sang in, like, harmony, and I was just like, “WHOA! This is insane! This is what I want to do!

Musicians of Rochester: Philip Carli

Dec 6, 2016

Now one of the world’s most-acclaimed silent movie pianists, Philip Carli saw his first silent films at Disneyland in California. It was love at first sight. These silent films inspired him to create little films of his own as a kid, and experiment with accompanying them on the piano.

Musicians of Rochester: Maria Battista-Hancock

Aug 27, 2016
artist photo

Born in the sunny south of Italy, Maria-Battista Hancock grew up surrounded by music. “In my family, I like to say we had music for dessert,” says Maria. It was through music that Maria learned how to speak English, and through music that she found her calling—music therapy. “My cousin Giovanna is a few years younger than me and has Down syndrome. She's non-verbal, but when we played music as a family, her face would light up and she would try to sing along,” says Maria. “It was then I realized music is so much more than just performing.”  

Musicians of Rochester: Andy Calabrese

Aug 27, 2016

If you’ve listened to a local commercial recently in Rochester, you might have heard the music of Rochester native Andy Calabrese. Jazz pianist, producer, and composer Andy Calabese writes music for commercials and film out of his studio in Pittsford. He’s written music for local businesses such as The Strong National Museum of Play and Xerox. Andy Calabrese started experimenting with a 4 track cassette in 1984, overdubbing synths and guitars. Around that time, he met Chuck Brucato, and started collaborating with him creating music for commercials. They still collaborate today.

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