NEWS

The RMHF Board of Directors extends its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and many, many fans of Jerry Lewis who passed away Sunday, August 20 at the age of 91.

Comedian Jerry Lewis

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Presenting…New Music from
Rochester Music Hall of Fame Board Members

by Scott Gudell

From day one, the board members of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame have been a diverse group. Their “day jobs” include working in sales, accounting, law, banking, college’s and even as a mailman. Others, whether professional artists or “after hours” experts, include music producers, musicians, photographers and more. All of the board members, as you would suspect, are passionate about music plus several have recorded and released their own albums. Here’s a solo disc from a current board member (with help from another current board member) and one from a former member:

Chasing Ghosts – Jerry Falzone
                                                                 (self released)

He may have started out in Pearl, a hard-rock band that earned national press in the early 1980s in magazines such as Billboard, but Jerry Falzone has settled into softer west coast country rock in the last decade. The high water mark was 2012’s Just Before The Storm, with a wealth of stand-out originals such as: “Sweet Virginia,” “Come Back Now” (with guest vocalist Jerry Engler), “We Will Meet Again” and the title cut. A few years later, Liar’s Moon followed with another all-original outing, but he shook things up by sneaking in a sax, violin and cello on a few cuts.

Falzone’s latest disc, Chasing Ghosts, carries on the tradition of softer country music meets folk rock ala bands such as Poco, the Eagles and singers such as Jackson Browne. Falzone has rounded up some of the usual suspects who helped him in the past including Ken Colombo (piano), Bob Martin (guitar), Greg Andrews (drums), Pearl’s Debbie Randyn (background vocals) and Kate Lee (violin). The sound is big and the arrangements are bold right from the beginning as the disc opens with the glorious “It Feels Like Heaven.” Later, the sax shines on songs such as “Built to Last” and “Cold Cold World,” followed by stand-out songs such as the “Without Love.” Falzone drops in a Neil Young cover (“I’ve Been Waiting For You”) and comes in for a landing with the evocative, haunting title song at the very end. Throughout the disc, Falzone’s vocals are pure as spring water and soar like summer clouds whether running solo or harmonizing with others. With love as a common theme on most of the songs, more complex lyrics would be a welcome guide into the cryptic world of relationships.

All three discs have a polished, sparkling production but Chasing Ghosts adds more of a pop sheen than in the past. Passionate lovers of folk rock will still chose Just Before the Storm as their favorite CD but this disc is a nice addition to this decade’s trilogy.

Science – The Majestics
(self released)

Science – The Majestics

Reggae has pulsed through Ron Stackman’s blood for decades. He was a founding member of the band, Bahama Mama, in the 1970s. That eventually mutated into Big Roots in the 1980s with their nine or ten man roster (depending on the night) which eventually paved the way for The Majestics. The Majestics have just released Science, their latest CD release.

Tight, nimble and oh so casual, The Majestics consist of Ron Stackman (keys and guitar,) Jim Schwartz (bass,) Lou Lavilla (drums) and Kevin Hart (lead guitar) plus Brother James on percussion and a four piece horn section with yet another Rochester Music Hall of Fame board member, Jimmy Richmond. “We don’t sound like Jamaicans when we play” Stackman had said year ago, “we were brought up on rock.” “The Science disc is a mix of tunes written by Ron Stackman, Jim Kraut (from Bahama Mama) and a couple of old deep cut reggae gems” former Rochester Music Hall of Fame member Hart stated in an email. Regardless, the purity of the reggae sound and style carries through with the disc, one which is built on deep, rich bass and steady, reliable percussions as the disc clocks in at a brief 30 plus minutes.

The horns majestically announce the arrival of the group as they open with “Love is the Greatest Science.” Happy, light and upbeat, the song is followed by a deep dose of melancholy as the band calls out an “Untrue Girl” on the second song. Jim Kraut’s “Buck Rogers” is mystical, hypnotic and elusive while The Majestics capture the instrumental essence of former Paragon member John Holt’s mid 1970s hit, “Up Park Camp.” There’s danger and deception in the grooves of “Caught You Red Handed” while the band takes us home with a studio enhanced dub version of “Buck Rogers.” Rochester, a US city about as far north of Jamaica as possible, is home base for the Majestics and a handful of other top ranking reggae groups. Together, they continue to prove that this is a rich musical town with a rich sound.

CD Release Party: The Majestics are releasing their new album, Science
Aug. 19, Sat. 7 PM Three Heads Brewing,
186 Atlantic Ave, Rochester, New York

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Rochester Music Hall of Fame visits School #33

A large group of students enrolled in a summer learning program at School #33 in Rochester, attended a musical performance and presentation sponsored by the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.  For the second time, representatives of the hall of fame spoke to the fifty or more students gathered in a classroom, about careers in music.  They brought along one of the hall of fame’s 2017 Lowry Award winners, Sam Nitsch, to inspire and entertain the kids with his musical talents.  He was a big hit!

RMHF president, Karl LaPorta, described the students as respectful and engaged listeners adding, “we love talking to so many smart kids who are very interested in music and in careers in music in some capacity.”  Also on hand to help with the presentation were Jim Richmond and Tracy Kroft.  

School #33 classroom with RMHF reps. Karl LaPorta, Jim Richmond, Tracy Kroft and Lowry Award winner Sam Nitsch

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To help honor and induct trumpeter Lew Soloff into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame: Class of 2017, several musicians took part in the live ceremony, including Blood Sweat and Tears vocalist David Clayton Thomas and his musical director George Koller. Both gentlemen have relatively new CDs available. Here’s a look at them…

Canadiana – David Clayton Thomas

(Antoinette Records)

by Scott Gudell

Americana is a type of music that has its roots in early folk and country music of the states and has come to represent the “new” earthy country style, sans the ‘twang’. The Canadian mirror image of that is Canadiana and Toronto based David Clayton Thomas (DCT) has just released a thirteen song CD that salutes the rich writing and singing talent that is found throughout Canada.

Although DCT is an incredibly writer, having written some of Blood Sweat and Tears monster hits, he chose to cover songs by a dozen other Canadians while including only one DCT original. By now most people realize that The Band was a Canadian group so the CD opens with DCT’s spirited version of Robbie Robertson’s “Ophelia.” Many of the other covers are earthy and grittier than the originals as he cherry picks classics such as “Early Monnin’ Rain” (Gordon Lightfoot,) “Both Side Now” (Joni Mitchell), “Heart Of Gold” (Neil Young) and “Suzanne” (Leonard Cohen.) These, and other well-known performers, have topped the music charts in of both countries and helped define the sound and style of the last few decades.

Regardless of whether you’re from the US or from Canada, these versions are alluring and ultimately a passionate tribute from an important vocalist of our time.

Secret Space Program – George Koller

(Self released CD)

by Scott Gudell

As an “in demand” bass player, George Koller has appeared on countless recordings and has worked with world class talent such as Holly Cole, Eartha Kitt, Phil Woods and even Peter Gabriel. Secret Space Program is the latest disc with Koller (bassist/singer) as the leader.

The CD opens with “Where Did They Go,” a rousing, briskly paced original that hints at the probing lyrics and style of Moses Allison while “What Might Have Been” is a much quieter, more reflective lament. Koller’s version of “Cool Water,” originally a 1930s country and western song, is an amazingly serene gem that would be suitable in a film noir movie. Other songs slow things down even more with lullaby that hint at the easy going style of singers such as Michael Franks.

Koller (and Thomas) were great additions to the 2017 Rochester Music Hall of Fame ceremonies on April 30, 2017. Here’s hoping they both make a return visit to the area.

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 ‘Chasing Ghosts’ with
Jerry Falzone & Liar’s Moon

Album review:

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The RMHF mourns the passing of former Rochester Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon 

He had been an early advocate of the burgeoning Rochester Music Hall of Fame organization. In 2012 Redon accepted two Hall of Fame trophies at its first Inauguration Ceremony at Eastman Theatre on behalf of the City of Rochester for a long gone City venue, Corinthian Hall and a momentous event that had been held there, The performances of Jenny Lind (The Swedish Nightingale).

read more:

Leonard Redon 2012

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(D&C)
Shaffer, Clayton-Thomas celebrate with 2,000
at Hall of Fame

Paul Shaffer

JOHN SCHLIA

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Honoring Rochester Music Hall of Fame inductees

GJS1GEVA“The Show Must Go On”: A Tribute Concert for Larry Swist – 8/6, Buffalo, NY – See more at: http://www.sonicscoop.com/2014/07/27/the-show-must-go-on-a-tribute-concert-for-larry-swist-86-buffalo-ny/#sthash.lhRCwj7R.dpu

 

TICKET RAFFELRadio visionary,  Andrew LaRMHF SHOW UPDATE

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“Life Is Good” for Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly

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Danielle Ponder: Live at Three on 3/3

by Scott Gudell
(Freelance Unlimited)

The back story is almost as dramatic as the tidal wave of sounds cascading from the stage whenever singer Danielle Ponder performs.  She grew up in the inner city in a family that always revered and respected music.  She’s the daughter of a preacher man yet she’s had family members jailed.   She’s a public defender by day and a musician by night and throughout it all, she’s as positive, upbeat and focused as can be. As she told Jeff Spevak in the fall of 2016 for an article in the daily paper, “I write about heartbreak and romantic love, or I write about social and political issues, or personal freedom…”   She routinely and confidently takes complete control of a club or concert hall for several hours (including a memorable salute to 2016 Rochester Music Hall of Fame inductee and James Brown alumni Pee Wee Ellis).  Although Ms. Ponder generates the high wattage power from the stage, it’s ultimately the audience’s responsibility to capture the energy and to use it in a positive manner going forward.

Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People took the stage at Three Heads Brewing right at 8p on Friday March 3, 2017.  What started out as a brisk, cold night turned into a fierce storm a few hours later…both inside and out. Served up with brisk, cold beers and ales with musical names such as Strawbeery Fields Lager, Rochestafarian Scotch Ale and Ring of Fire IPA, Ponder and her tight band went for it right from the beginning with “Something Funky.”  Channeling the soul of Aretha, the style of Amy and the potency of Adele, Danielle Ponder built layer upon layer of sight and sound to create an intoxicating presentation.  From 60s gospel and soul to 70s reggae, right up to today’s rap, Ponder pushed, prodded and propelled.  With compelling originals such as “Three Word Revolution” (there’s that ‘three’ again) to “All I Know” (“I wanted you/ you needed me / you told me you’d be better”), Ms. Ponder turned in a passionate, blistering show.

When it came time for an extended encore, Ms. Ponder unleashed a dynamic version of Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” and used the glory of a gospel sound to confirm and uplift.  She bravely guiding us away from guns pulled from the gutter, weapons that destroy and denigrate our people and our society.

Was the audience with her?  Yeah!  Does she…and the people…have the power?  After a show like that…triple Yeah !!!

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Record Theater founder Lenny Silver dies

more…

Leonard Silver

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Rochester icon ‘Java Joe’ dies at 68 (D&C)

To most, he was “Java Joe”  more…

Joe Palozzi

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LOCAL DRUMMER RALPH BUSHEY DIES

The RMHF is saddened to hear of the passing of great local drummer Ralph Bushey. Ralph was a talented, versatile drummer who could play anything with anyone. Ralph would at any one time be playing with a half dozen bands. He was also passionate about local music. We all also remember Uncle Ralph’s Magic Sauce, which was another of Ralphs great talents and passion along with cooking. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ralphs family and friends.

MORE…

Ralph Bushey

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Musicians with local ties snag Grammys

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La Muralla salsa orchestra brings the rhythm

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RMHF 2016 alumna performer, Dee Ponder
“Is a voice for justice” (D&C)

Dee Ponder performing at RMHF 2016 Induction Ceremony

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News from the Clubs = Abilene Bar and Lounge

by Scott Gudell

A consistent, long time supporter of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame (RMHF) has been Danny Deustch and his club, the earthy, roots oriented Abilene Bar and Lounge. They’ll be celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2018 and, year in and year out, they host strong local, regional and national acts. Although the club originally focused on Americana music and it’s still at the core of what they present, they continue to evolve and offer a wide variety of other sounds and styles as well.

One of the artists recently presented by Abilene was Kim Simmonds, one of the founding members of the iconic British blues rock band Savoy Brown. The Friday, Jan 13, 2017 show was presented at the Penthouse at One East Avenue as part of Abilene’s “on the road” series. It was a casual, solo performance as Simmond’s relied on his harp and two acoustic Gibson guitars (note: Henry Juszkiewicz, the current CEO of Gibson, was raised in Rochester and was officially inducted into the RMHF in 2015). Simmonds presented the crowd of about 75 people a sort of ‘MTV Unplugged’ meets “home concert” evening of songs and stories. He performed a newer number called “I Can’t Stop the Blues” as well as classic Savoy Brown songs such as “Hellbound Train” while casually interspersing stories from the early British Invasion in-between the notes. His version of “Train to Nowhere” (originally sung by Chris Youlden) was presented with a blues drenched slide followed by a Mississippi Fred McDowell song, “Shake Em On Down,” insuring that the entire evening stayed focused on the blues.

Looking forward, Abilene is bringing a number of top notch artists to town. Thursday, February 23, will feature one of these artists who’s also been a long time supporter of the RMHF, John Mooney. Another passionate blues artist, Mooney’s style is fierce, focused and can fire up a crowd with his slide and steel guitar. He was a protégé of one of THE founders of American blues, Son House (who lived in Rochester for many years and was inducted into the RMHF in 2013.)

You’ll be able to catch a rollicking Commander Cody in March, the alluring and intriguing Eilen Jewell in April and Americana master Dave Alvin in May. Interestingly, Alvin wrote the song “Abilene” which was part of the inspiration for Danny’s club. Having seen each and every one of these artists in concert over the last few years, I highly recommend you pick one or two and check them out. You can confirm times, dates and venues by going to Abilenebarandlounge.com

Rochester Music Hall of Famer, Lou Gramm,
says it’s time to hang up the MIC

Lou Gramm performing at
2013 RMHF induction ceremony

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Singer, Brianna Collichio,
inspires as she copes with CF

Brianna Collichio of Spencerport will sing the national anthem at Bills/Jets game

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NORTHFIELD MUSIC SHOP
A Rochester Family Business

Northfield Music
50 State St # 15, Pittsford, NY 14534
Phone: (585) 586-4662

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Tamra Cherubin
Rochester’s Own, Soul/R&B singer-songwriter

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Radio Visionary and Founder of WDKX,
Andrew Langston, Chased his Dream

Andrew Langston

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RMHF Saddened by The Passing of Danny Mayer

danny-mayer

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and bandmates of Danny Mayer as they mourn his recent sudden passing.

Mayer was a beloved and highly acclaimed musician in the Rochester area best know for his 16 years as the lead vocalist for the rock/metal band, CATCH 22.

Danny was a unique talent, a wonderful person and a devoted father.  He will be dearly missed by the Rochester music community.

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RMHF HOUSE BAND – PRIME TIME FUNK
“PULVERIZES THE PIECES”
ptf-citynp-resize

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Melia in Concert / Montage Music Hall

by Scott Gudell

by Scott Gudell

The Montage Music Hall hosted a pre-Halloween show on Sunday October 30, 2016 as former Runaways Lita Ford roared into town with a tight, full assault band dedicated to sustaining the hard rock of the 1980s and 1990s.  Opening the show was Rochester’s Melia (plus an early appearance by a separate band, Rock-n-Roll Social Club).

Melia has performed sporadically in and around the Rochester area for several years, but has also ventured out of town to Buffalo, Niagara Falls, New York City and more. She also grabbed a few awards at Indie Music Channel Awards events in LA. Melia is celebrating the release of Skeletal Remains, a potent four song EP (mastered by Eastman School grad Bob Ludwig). The new disc is crisp, in-your-face, vibrant, bold and, as she has said, it has a “dark, bittersweet theme throughout the EP.” “Charge Like a Bull” cracks the EP open with its razor sharp rock and roll attack and it keeps rumbling from there.

In keeping with the Halloween theme, Melia painted half of her face in a dramatic black/white skeleton design for the show, echoing the cover of her new EP. She aggressively took the stage dressed in all black and ripped into “Charge Like a Bull” followed by another song from the EP as well as a handful of older songs such as the bitter “Just a Bride” and the withering “Soundproof Walls.” She’s learned a thing or two from Lita and the Runaways (with a bit of Avril Lavigne punk princess tossed into the mix) with Melia’s confident “take no prisoners” stage approach. Many opening acts fight to grab the attention of the crowd impatiently waiting for the headliner but Melia hit the crowd hard with fresh, updated rock sounds and earned their allegiance. The crowd may have journeyed out into the dark night to pay tribute to Lita, but Melia made sure she methodically recruited a few new people into her growing army of fans.

Click on Album Cover
melia **************************************************

Long Time WXXI Jazz Radio Host
Tom Hampson Has Passed Away

Tom Hampson

Tom Hampson

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Best Wishes from The Cowsills
do ss 7cowsills ********************************************************

MS. LaRue performing at 2016 RMHF Induction Ceremony

MS. LaRue performing at 2016 RMHF Induction Ceremony

Florence LaRue of 5th Dimension fame sends note
to RMHF expressing sincere thanks

Ms. LaRue performed the song “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” at the RMHF 2016 induction ceremony held in April at Eastman Theatre’s Kodak Hall in honor of Class of 2016 inductee James Rado (co-author of the Broadway musical HAIR).

The pop vocal group, 5th Dimension, of which LaRue was an original member,  recorded the song which peaked at number one for six weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the spring of 1969.

 florence-larue

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Fernando Laires, renowned pianist, dies at 91
(Democrat & Chronicle)

RMHF Remembers John Ellson

John Ellison 1952 - 2016

John Ellson 1952 – 2016

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame and its board members wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Mr John Ellson who passed on the 17th of September.
John was a tireless ambassador, promoter, and producer for UK Jazz, and an integral part of the Rochester International Jazz Festival.
He was a wonderful human being, capable of lifting the spirits of all those near him and he will be sorely missed.
The RMHF shares in the sadness of his unexpected death.

RIP “E”

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Giant Panda debuts at # 1 on Billboard Chart

Click on D&C to read more

Click on D&C to read more

Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad - photo by JOSUE RIVAS

Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad                       (click on image to hear song)                                                   photo by JOSUE RIVAS

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Rochester’s own, singer, songwriter and meditation Guru, Alana Cahoon, releases new CD

Click on image to learn more

Click on image to learn more

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Upstate recording studios and local businesses support music production tax credit

Tony

Supporters of New York is Music, a coalition of more than 200 music-related organizations, gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Rochester and GCR Audio Recording Studio in Buffalo to call on the New York State Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass the Empire State Music Production Tax Credit (A10083A/ S7485A) and support the creation of jobs in the music production and recording industry in New York state.

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Dossenbach meant music in Rochester

Hermann (1868-1946) and Theodore (1870-1924) Dossenbach: Brothers of German immigrant parents, they settled in Rochester with their family in the early 1870s and went on to become prominent figures in the music scene here. Hermann taught music, and he founded the Dossenbach Orchestra in 1900. It became the Rochester Orchestra in 1912, continuing as a group until 1919. He also founded a music school that was the precursor to the Eastman School of Music. Theodore began the Rochester Park Band, which he led until his death in 1924, after which Hermann led the group until his death in 1946.
Herman Dossenbach and the Rochester Park Band perform on Aviation Day, June 1, 1928. They are on a portable bandstand designed and patented by Hermann's brother Theodore Dossenbach.

Herman Dossenbach and the Rochester Park Band perform on Aviation Day, June 1, 1928. They are on a portable bandstand designed and patented by Hermann’s brother Theodore Dossenbach.

Theodore Dossenbach

Theodore Dossenbach

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Orest Hrywnak dies at 59, ex-local radio promo guru 

D&C

Orest Hrywnak worked for more than 20 years in promotions for Rochester radio stations and also worked for the Rochester RazorSharks. He died early Thursday.

Orest Hrywnak worked for more than 20 years in promotions for Rochester radio stations and also worked for the Rochester RazorSharks. He died early Thursday.

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No chainsaw as Music Hall of Fame adds six

Click on D&C to read more

Click on D&C to read more

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RMHF 2012 Alumni Performers
to put on a Variety Show
THE SWING THING

Local dance group parties like it’s 1939. Its Sweetheart Ball is a chance to get in on the action.

Groove Juice Swing Dancers

Groove Juice Swing Dancers

LINDSAY STEPHANIE PHOTOGRAPHY
Groove Juice Swing teaches and performs locally.

GJSThe Flower City Fellas are part of the Groove Juice Swing Family
LINDSAY STEPHANIE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Rochester Music Hall of Famer &
King of airwaves dies at 93
Nick Nickson, WBBF voice

Nick-11-e1362087777957-258x300******************************************************

Douglas Lowry, Eastman’s Dean Emeritus dies

Douglas Lowry. Photo courtesy of ESM.

The Board of Directors of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame, would like to extend its most heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Douglas Lowry, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean Emeritus of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, who passed away on October second.  A remarkable academic leader, conductor, composer and great friend to the Hall of Fame.   Douglas Lowry (1951 – 2013) http://www.esm.rochester.edu/news/2013/10/university-mourns-the-loss-of-eastman-school-dean-emeritus-douglas-lowry/

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RMHF Board members visit The Children’s School #15

RMHF Board members visit The Children’s School #15

  Now it’s the Four Rs

Summer school for the kids at The Children’s School of Rochester, school No. 15  in the city offers instruction in the basic Three Rs—Reading, Riting and Rithmetic, but a new R has been added.  The fourth R is Rmhf as in, the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. RMHF president Karl LaPorta with Board members Tracy Kroft and Jim Richmond gave a history lesson on local music to the kids on July 24th at the request of  Curriculum and Instructional  Practice Specialist, Mary Frenzel.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the presentation which included discussion on local luminaries such Cab Calloway and Chuck Mangione, a short video of clips taken from the Class of 2012 hall of fame induction ceremony and live musical performances by LaPorta and Richmond.  Cab Calloway seems to have piqued their curiosity the most according to Frenzel,  “…We already have several kids wanting to research Cab Calloway further!” Hall of fame Board members are available for similar presentations for students of all ages.  Inquires can be made on the contact page of this web site.