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Season 40 — 2015 - 2016 Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus

This season is about celebrating the past 40 years, but also looking forward to the future and how we make classical music relevant again to a new generation. I am confident that our diverse programs have something to offer everyone and promise to be some of the most innovative for Rochester audiences in the coming year.

We start in December with “Classical for a Cause: Handel’s Messiah in Context”. You may be asking yourself what context is needed for this landmark piece, and may be surprised to learn a little about its history. As a trivia buff, I was excited to hear about the little known origins of this piece. It was originally met with mixed reviews, and only found success when performed at a charity event to benefit orphans. With Dr. Petit’s selection of works, GVOC honors the oratorio’s connection to charity by performing the first part of “Messiah” along with “Anthem for the Foundling Hospital”, a work that concludes with a famous chorus borrowed from “Messiah:” “Hallelujah!”

Moving on to our annual Pops dinner concert/silent auction, we invite you to “Rock around the Clock Tonight” with GVOC’s performance of rock n’ roll hits from the 50s to now! A cocktail hour begins the evening, followed by dinner and then some great music. Also, leading up to the concert, come take part in our annual Silent Auction.

Finally, we conclude the season with “Forty and Forward”, which celebrates the past and the future. We celebrate forty years of bringing the Greater Rochester community together to listen to great music. We cap our season with traditional favorites, contemporary compositions, and a new work commissioned for GVOC’s 40th year. Inspirational works from Tallis, Pärt, Tavener, Gjeilo, Mahler, Elgar and a 1st ever GVOC commission from Eastman graduate, Jennifor Bellor, will be unveiled during this concert. The commission will honor our founder, Sister Virginia Hogan, through the verse and melody of Hildegard Von Bingen.

Season 40 — 2015 - 2016: Classical for a Cause

Classical for a CauseHandel's Messiah in Context

Handel’s “Messiah” is one of the most famous compositions ever, but if it were not for a charity event, the masterpiece could very well have disappeared into obscurity.

Thomas Coram founded London’s Foundling Hospital in 1741 to rescue, sustain, and educate abandoned children. In 1750, Coram collaborated with visual artist William Hogarth to bring London’s elite into the hospital to hear and see Handel conduct “Messiah”, along with the “Anthem for the Foundling Hospital”. The event was so successful that Handel conducted “Messiah” in the Foundling Hospital annually until his death, raising the modern-day equivalent of over a million dollars for the orphanage.

GVOC honors the oratorio’s connection to charity by performing the first part of “Messiah” along with “Anthem for the Foundling Hospital”, a lovely work for soloists and chorus that concludes with the renowned chorus borrowed from “Messiah:” “Hallelujah!” As this work was once new music, the program also features Handel-inspired works composed in 2009 by Sir John Tavener and Michael Nyman.

Dec. 4, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at St. John of Rochester

Season 40 — 2015 - 2016: Rock With GVOC Tonight

Rock With GVOC TonightRock n' Roll Favorites from the 50's to Now

GVOC’s Annual Dinner concert

Cash bar 4:30 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm
Concert 7:30 pm

It’s daylight savings time again, so come “Rock around the Clock Tonight” with GVOC and our celebration of rock n’ roll hits!

Dinner is served in the Harro East Ballroom, followed by rock n’ roll favorites arranged for choir and orchestra. We’ll share our “Heart of Rock and Roll” (Huey Lewis) by do- ing the “Jailhouse Rock” (Elvis Presley) and by shouting “Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!” (Jerry Lee Lewis)

Come also to support GVOC at our most important fundraiser of the year by donating to and bidding in our silent auction. Only with the support of our friends can we perform for you more hits on this program by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, and Bruce Springsteen.

March 13, 2016, 4:30 p.m. at Harro East Ballroom

Season 40 — 2015 - 2016: Forty and Forward

Forty and ForwardProgram of Timeless Classical and Contemporary Music

With its concert “Forty and Forward,” GVOC celebrates forty years of bringing people together through great art, while also looking forward to a bright future for music in our community. Music creates human bonds, and all selections on the program celebrate an interconnectedness of ancient and modern -- perhaps eternal -- music-making.

The program opens with a celebration of “40” in  Thomas Tallis’ motet for 40 voices, “Spem in alium.”  Then, Arvo Pärt’s “In Principio” (2003) explores the mystery of Creation in the composer’s distinctive style of “spiritual minimalism.”

In “Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - the Four Seasons,” Richter, one of the most in-demand composers today, borrows from Vivaldi’s original score and dwells on rhythmic motives.  The music becomes simultaneously old and new.

Jennifer Bellor composes GVOC’s  first-ever commission, “898 Hildegard.” Named after a planetoid in our solar system, the work will honor GVOC’s founder, Sister Virginia Hogan by quoting verse and melody of Hildegard von Bingen.

The Romantic music of Mahler and Elgar appear on the program, but in new forms for voices instead of instruments.  Their texts celebrate light, and Tavener’s “The Eternal Sun” sings of our cosmic sun as a mere re ection of a greater, divine sun.

Ola Gjeilo’s “Luminous Night of the Soul” closes out the program as an ode to our divine souls that eternally inspire great art.

June 4, 2016, 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church

June 3, 2016, 7:30 p.m. at Fairport Arts Center

Past Seasons