Getting Involved

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Do you sing? Do you play?  Do you want to sing or play? Looking for something to keep you out of trouble?

A few groups in town are recruiting - Audition notices have come in recently to WXXI for Madrigalia (looking for tenors and altos), the Roberts Wesleyan College Community Orchestra (looking for strings), Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus (auditioning singers and players), and the Rochester Oratorio Society (another opportunity for singers!)

I’m sure that there are other similar groups in the area that are also welcoming new members (there are orchestras in Penfield, Brighton, Brockport, and Greece. A concert band in Perinton. A wind ensemble for music educators. The Rochester Medical Orchestra. Anyone else I’m missing? 

Update: Here's one I hadn't known about, via WXXI listener David Weiss:  

"The Irondequoit Community Orchestra was established by Conductor Russ Thomas in September, 2011.  Presently the group is strings-only and we are actively recruiting new members who play violin, viola, cello or bass.  The group rehearses Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm in the Dake Jr. High School Music Room (beginning in September).  Anyone interested should contact David Weiss.  The orchestra is associated with the Irondequoit Concert Band and the West Irondequoit Community Education Program." 

Many of these groups involve already knowing how to play an instrument or sing a part, but you can also find plenty to do when you’re just starting out in music.  Several groups in the Rochester area welcome true beginners to a variety of musical activities.  

Do you know about the Rochester Chapter of the American Recorder Society?


Or the Finger Lakes Native American Flute Society?


Or even the Rochester Ukulele Support Group


There is also an amateur viola da gamba group in Rochester, though I can’t find them online…(update: Check out the Viola da Gamba Society of America - there's a Western New York chapter that you can contact for Rochester gamba connections). 

 Eastman Community Music School and the Hochstein School have a number of beginner groups and ensembles, and New Horizons is great resource for those starting in music later in life. 

Another Update:
Check out the comments below for more details - and thank to Robert Slon for pointing out that there is a wonderful organization with great website for anyone interested in singing. Check out the Greater
Rochester Choral Consortium ( They list almost thirty choral groups, with a link to each group's website, a schedule of upcoming concerts, and info for choral groups that want to join the Consortium.

Then if you’re planning ahead to next summer, you can join a few groups that meet to learn different types of choral music:  the Eastman Summer Sings and Musica Spei’s Renaissance Summer Sings.


So much for “nothing to do around here”! I hope you find time to make some music this year. And if you know about other good opportunities – let me know. I’ll add them to the list.