Brockport Symphony Orchestra to perform Erie Canal Bicentennial concerts

By on September 18, 2017

In celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial, the Brockport Symphony Orchestra will kick off its eighth season with a special Empire State concert tour. This tour will feature gala performances Thursday, September 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Eisenhart Auditorium at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Avenue in Rochester, and Saturday, October 7, at 3 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium at the New York State Museum, 222 Madison Avenue in Albany. Admission and parking are free; donations to the orchestra will be gratefully accepted at the door.

The Rochester performance, held in conjunction with the World Canals Conference, will celebrate the grand opening of the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s “Rochester in 1838” exhibit, sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The Albany performance, held in conjunction with I Love NY’s “Path through History” Weekend, will celebrate the grand opening of the New York State Museum’s “Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal” exhibit, sponsored by New York State’s Office of Cultural Education.

Under the baton of music director Jonathan Allentoff, the two concerts will showcase the talents of narrator Bill Andrews, Deputy Mayor of Brockport, nationally-acclaimed vocalist Mary Wojciechowski, and the Smithsonian Gold Medal Artists of the Golden Eagle String Band.

The program features the premiere of Allentoff’s “Erie Canal Portrait” for Narrator & Orchestra composed in honor of the Erie Canal Bicentennial, and a new setting of “Songs of the Erie Canal” for Narrator, String Band & Orchestra by Allentoff and William Hullfish. Hullfish has also restored and arranged three works that were performed at the opening ceremonies of the Erie Canal, including “DeWitt Clinton’s Grand Canal March,” “The Grand Canal Waltz” and “Meeting of the Waters.”

Highlighting the canal’s influence on Hollywood and Broadway, Wojciechowski will perform three concert selections from the 1953 Erie Canal themed movie musical entitled, “The Farmer Takes a Wife” by Harold Arlen and Dorothy Fields, as well as George M. Cohan’s “Down by the Erie Canal.”

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