ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For the first time in over a year, part of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra performed in front of a live audience Tuesday evening.
“It’s amazing,” said Mark Dinitto of Rochester. “I used to go see the RPO at the Eastman all the time. And spending the whole year without seeing them is kind of a bummer.”
That bummer of a year has now turned into excitement for those looking to get out of the house and enjoy the arts.
“Living right down the street and being outside is very nice, I’m very excited,” Dinitto said.
“The day is beautiful. It’s so nice to be fully vaccinated and not have to wear a mask,” Linda Scully of Brighton added. “Except I am always cautious about it.”
The people in the crowd were not the only ones excited. Organizers say the orchestra is also excited to perform in front of a live audience for the first time since March 2020.
“We’re ready, we’ve been ready and we’re back!” said Barbara Brown, director of education for the Rochester Philharmonic.
The neighborhood ensemble concerts known as “Around the Town” are held by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in partnership with the city of Rochester.
“It allows us to go into all four different quadrants of the city and perform free concerts, completely breaking down barriers and making classical music assessable to everyone in the Rochester area,” said Brown.
The first stop on the tour was at Barrington Park along Park Avenue with a crowd eager to hear orchestra perform.
Dinitto believes this is a step toward life becoming normal again.
“I haven’t been going to a lot of shows,” he said. “I’m easing into it over the last couple of weeks. This is really nice. It feels safe, and it’s kind of a win, win for everybody, they get to play and it doesn’t seem like there’s much risk involved.”
This was the first of five events held every Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. throughout the month of June.
The others are as follows:
- Tuesday, June 8: Southwest Quadrant: RPO Wind Quintet- Susan B. Anthony Square, 31 Madison St.
- Tuesday, June 15: Southeast Quadrant: RPO Jazz Combo- Mt. Hope Cemetery, 1133 Mt. Hope Ave.
- Tuesday, June 22: Northwest Quadrant: RPO Marimba Band – Maplewood Rose Garden Pavilion, 24 Driving Park Ave.
- Tuesday, June 29: Northeast Quadrant: RPO Brass Quintet - 500 Norton St.