What a night! Fifteen hundred people filled the Eastman Theatre for the first induction ceremony of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. It was a historic event, filled with tears, laughter, stories, and most importantly, music. There’s a great article on the front page of the Democrat and Chronicle with terrific pictures, so please check that out. And here is a copy of the program. Please enjoy the bios and support all our sponsors. We’ll also be posting t videos, photos and comments as soon as the dust settles a bit (and we all get some sleep.) Here are some highlights of the evening:
- Ninety year old flutist, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, gave a deeply moving performance accompanied on piano by Cherry Tsang. Doriot was introduced by Susan Fleet, a music historian and musician, who really helped us understand the barriers that Doriot broke down by her sheer talent and determination. There were few dry eyes in the audience after this induction.
- We shared the richness of Rochester’s heritage from another century with the induction of Corinthian Hall and the performances of Jenny Lind. Mezzo-soprano Kristina Moore played Jenny Lind and graced us with her beautiful voice, accompanied by Gerry Szymanski.
- Cecilia Calloway gave a moving tribute to her father, Cab Calloway, with both words and song. Her own band and Prime Time Funk filled the hall with joyous jazz that had the audience on its feet.
- Chick Corea and Herb Albert sent video greetings to Chuck Mangione who then joined his brother Gap on stage with an unbelievable medley of some of his top hits. Once again the audience was on their feet.
- Joe English showed how a musician evolves both personally and professionally after giving a heartfelt talk about his move into Christian music and how he now practices his faith. He brought this alive with song.
- Jeff Tyzik talked about the influence Chuck Mangione on his life and about the joy of leading the RPO Pops.
- Charles Strouse performed with grace and humor. We all felt the sun had really come out when he ended with The Sun will Come Out Tomorrow.
- Gene Cornish literally had people dancing in the aisles to Good Lovin when he performed with Felix Cavaliere and Prime Time Funk. And he hinted at a Rascals reunion concert. We are all waiting!