Arts Features

Bill Tiberio inspires students, fellow teachers

Mar 31, 2018

You may know Bill Tiberio as a saxophonist –  he has a band that plays around town. Or as a conductor – he leads the Music Educators Wind Ensemble and Music Educators Big Band based at the Eastman Community Music School. Or, as a teacher - he has inspired generations of music students as a teacher at Fairport High School for over 30 years.  

Tiberio grew up in Fairport, where he found himself drawn to music as a kid, playing clarinet in the school band. His early teachers left a strong an impression:

WATCH: Shakespeare as an intervention for at-risk youth

Mar 28, 2018

This week a group of Rochester teens will perform a version of Shakespeare’s "Macbeth". But, this is not your typical "Macbeth" played by your typical actors. Many of the young people involved in the play are also involved in the juvenile justice system. Their co-actors? Members of law enforcement, teachers, therapists and community advocates. It’s all run through a program called Shakespeare from the Streets out of Hillside’s Reinvesting in Youth program. On this edition of Need to Know, we learn how the program is used as an intervention for at-risk teens.


William Shatner, the actor who has been involved in a number of projects on stage, screen and TV, but perhaps best known for his role as Captain Kirk on Star Trek is coming to Rochester.

On April 5th, he will be at the Kodak Center, formerly known as Theater on the Ridge.

WXXI’s Randy Gorbman got to chat with him recently about his iconic TV character as well as his other projects.

Cambridge University Press

When most of us think of Michelangelo, we likely think of the artist who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or the sculptor of that other masterpiece, the David.  But the Renaissance man was also an architect, engineer and a prolific poet. And he had a biting, Tuscan humor. 

Art historian William Wallace has been studying Michelangelo for forty years and he continues to be fascinated by the man and the artist. Wallace will present two public lectures in Rochester this week.


As the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school re-energizes the national gun violence debate, a local composer has turned to music to reflect on a tragedy that shook America to its core just over five years ago.

Eastman School of Music instructor Steve Danyew once attended Sandy Hook Elementary in  Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed by a mass shooter on December 14, 2012.

Danyew's piece "Into the Silent Land" blends elements of a funeral march and a lament.  Near the end, a poem is read over the music by a narrator.

J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester

The history of immigration in Rochester and its refugees is the theme of a theatrical piece that debuts tonight as part of the University of Rochester's International Theater Program. 

Australian-South African director, writer, and theater artist Talya Chalef co-created the piece with an ensemble of UR students.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear Talya about her research in the city of Rochester's archives as she gathered material for the play called "We Don't Live on Mars Yet."

WATCH: Eddie Money in his own words

Feb 19, 2018

This week rock star Eddie Money launched the world premiere of his own musical in Rochester. It’s called “Two Tickets to Paradise: The Eddie Money Musical,” which features the famed “Money Man” himself. The star whose recording career spanned from the late ‘60s through the ‘80s recently stopped by the Need to Know studio. He explained why it was important to share his story - the good, the bad and the near-death – through the medium of a musical for all to see.

With gleaming ivory keyboards and a polished cherry wood finish, the beloved Massey Memorial Organ has been a trademark of the Chautauqua Institution experience for generations. But during a recent routine inspection, staff discovered water damage to the historic organ.

WATCH: Destigmatizing mental illness through art

Feb 5, 2018

At first glance they appear to be intimate, one-of-a-kind watercolor portraits. But when you read between the lines you see life stories of bravery, pain, hope, and resilience. Charmaine Wheatley is an artist-in-residence at the University of Rochester. For the past year she has focused a portion of her work on reducing stigma of those who live with mental illness. Her process was the subject of a short documentary titled: “Portraits of Life” by Epic 10 Films in association with the UR School of Medicine & Dentistry.

On this edition of Need to Know we learn how a project capturing candid conversations with watercolor help to reduce stigma and empower those living with mental illness.

American mezzo-soprano and Eastman professor of voice Katherine Ciesinski is among the 2018 Grammy winning artists named over the weekend.  She sang a leading role in the Houston Symphony's live recording of Alban Berg's Wozzeck, which won in the Best Opera Recording category.