Hochstein School

Let's do lunch

The High Falls Business Association has teamed up with the Hochstein School of Music & Dance and WXXI to launch Hochstein at High Falls, a noontime summer concert series.
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Just breathe

I went to that breathing class I told you about.  It was billed as a workshop on how to “breathe in four dimensions,” covering not only poses but spiritual topics such as wholeness, awareness and the integration of body, soul, and mind.  My expectations were pretty high as I sailed into the Hochstein School on Saturday with my yoga mat and notebook.

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Breathing lessons

Since resigning my post as the organist and choirmaster for an Episcopal church, I’ve been singing for mere pleasure. But lately (maybe because I have more time for self-reflection) I’m noticing a couple of troubling things about my voice. After practices lasting more than two hours, I sound half an octave higher when I speak. That can’t be good. I must be tense.

The other issue is my ability to sustain a phrase. I run out of breath too quickly. 

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Who’s afraid of the big, bad 20th century?


I finally finished Alex Ross’s book, The Rest is Noise, and it’s got me fired up for 20th century music. Ross traces the threads of music woven into the fabric of politics, technology, history, and society. It’s an absorbing, brilliant book, densely packed with lively writing, vivid anecdotes, and sharp insights.

Ross connects the dots.

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Music in our Schools Month

Music in Our Schools Month needs a serious overhaul. First of all, the phrase itself - used to describe a national, month-long festival of in-school performances - generates as much heat as Administrative Professionals Day, Root Canal Awareness Week, and Better Sleep Month combined. It smells like community service. It calls up images of gymnasiums awash with sweaty 6th graders, parents lolling like walruses on a beach. I hereby suggest that music teachers put their heads together and come up with a new title, one that preferably includes the words "righteous," "awesomemest," and "sweet."

Keep reading.

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Cary Ratcliff: Who He?

He’s a composer.

And he’s having a good year.

In this picture Cary Ratcliff is preparing the Hochstein Youth Singers for Saturday’s premiere of a set of songs called 'Goops and Hula Hoops.'

He’s currently writing an opera for children's chorus and chamber orchestra that will be performed in San Diego in the spring.

Also this spring Concentus Women's Choir will present 'Song of Woman,' to poetry by Rochester poet Francesca Guli.

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