About

Our Mission

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame recognizes those with ties to Rochester whose talents, efforts, perseverance and creativity have contributed to the creation of musical excellence. Each year new members will be honored through ceremony and celebration and their achievements memorialized to promote an appreciation for the greater Rochester area’s rich and diverse musical history and culture.

Our Realm

Our area of jurisdiction is the Greater Rochester Region which encompasses the counties of Monroe, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca and Wayne.


History

In March 2009, an editorial appeared in the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper authored by local musician, Karl LaPorta. He wrote about his vision to have a place in the city where local musicians and their accomplishments could be honored. A place where Rochester’s proud musical history could be celebrated and put on display.

Based on the overwhelmingly positive reaction to his editorial, Karl quickly assembled an eclectic group of supporters, each bringing a different set of skills and a unique perspective to the table including: a prominent local politician, members of the media, business people and of course, musicians. From initial meetings a core group of dedicated and determined volunteers soon formed and began to work out the details of what a “Rochester Music Hall of Fame” should look like. In less than two years, Karl’s vision became a virtual reality.

In 2018 Rochester Music Hall of Fame, INC. took a giant step forward when it opened the doors to its first brick and mortar facility located on the ground floor of the Miller Center building at 25 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY. The building, which also houses the widely acclaimed Sibley Music Library, is part of Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester’s Gibbs St. campus which includes the famed Eastman Theatre.

Founding Members

Founding members of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame committee in 2009.

  • Gerald Brongo
  • Steven Feder
  • Bill Hunt
  • Mike Johannson
  • Tracy Kroft
  • David LaPorta
  • Donna LaPorta
  • Karl LaPorta
  • Kathy Palokof
  • Mark Provenzano
  • Jim Richmond
  • Gary Schurr

(Photo Credit: Jim Dolan)

Current Activities

Currently we produce an annual Induction Ceremony for RMHF inductees and have joined with other organizations to produce or participate in other music related events in the community. Throughout the year board members involved with our school outreach program visit schools in the Greater Rochester Region to give talks to students of all grades about our organization, local music history and job opportunities in the field of music. The talks are often accompanied by video clip presentations of our Induction Ceremonies and live musical performances. Requests to schedule one of our outreach talks for your school, classroom or organization can be made through our “Contact” form on this website.

Since the opening of the Music Hall of Fame facility at 25 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY, a variety of events have taken place there including a series of talks called “BOOKS BACKSTAGE.” Featured authors of music related books discuss the topic of their publications along with their writing process. There are book signings and some talks may include live musical performances.

Another program which was initiated in 2019 is “The Grove Place Jazz Project.” Every Tuesday we present an evening of jazz at the RMHF on Gibbs St. with Eastman School of Music students taking the stage.


The RMHF Trophy

An award-winning artist, an educator and an administrator, Mark McDermott has been creating beautiful pieces of artwork in the form of metal sculptures, fine furniture and architectural designs for over 25 years. His work can be found across the country and around the globe in public spaces, galleries and private collections. Rochester Music Hall of Fame is proud to have our original award created by this Rochester artist. The award is comprised of a gold treble clef signifying music, a silver ribbon which is a traditional symbol of celebration, and an exotic wood base which represents the uniqueness of each of our inductees.

The RMHF Trophy

Mark McDermott

An award-winning artist, an educator and an administrator, Mark McDermott has been creating beautiful pieces of artwork in the form of metal sculptures, fine furniture and architectural designs for over 25 years. His work can be found across the country and around the globe in public spaces, galleries and private collections. Rochester Music Hall of Fame is proud to have our original award created by this Rochester artist. The award is comprised of a gold treble clef signifying music, a silver ribbon which is a traditional symbol of celebration, and an exotic wood base which represents the uniqueness of each of our inductees.

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