WXXI AM News

HomeStage

It will be a while until live music is scheduled regularly at our local venues. Until then, we have artists performing from their homes so you can enjoy a show in yours. Welcome to HomeStage.

HomeStage: Charles Jaffe

May 7, 2021

The musicians of Rochester have skills other than making music. Charles Jaffe excels in marquetry, the art of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. On this HomeStage, Jaffe combines both - a song and marquetry he's working on. (Also check out all the HomeStage performances here)

In normal times, you may have heard Alyssa Rodriguez busking at the Rochester Public Market - where people would stop to ask, “what is that unusual instrument you are playing?”

She could also be found playing electric violin in the Irish rock band The Sisters of Murphy, playing old swing tunes with the Gregory Street Vagabonds, fiddling for English and Irish dances, and teaching lessons and classes at the Kanack School of Music.

More recently, she has stepped as a solo musician; she just released her first EP - called Chicory. But these days, we shouldn’t be seeing her around Rochester at all: she was supposed to travel to Sweden, and then on to Finland, with a Fulbright, to research and study Nordic Folk Music and String Pedagogy.

Everything is still up in the air - but she keeps making fascinating music - writing her own songs and dance tunes and continuing to explore the world of traditional Nordic and Scandanavian music.

Watch her performance in this week's episode of HomeStage!


Dr. Heather Holmquest is a Lecturer in Music at Nazareth College. She is the soprano section leader at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, and she sings with Voices, a premier vocal ensemble under the baton of Dr. William Weinert. In addition to musical pursuits, Heather is an avid knitter, spinner, dyer, and all-around fiber artist.

A native of Great Britain, James Kealey came to the USA from Sheffield Cathedral to earn his Master of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music. He is Associate Director of Music/Organist at Third Presbyterian Church where he oversees and coordinates children’s music ministry, including several vocal and bell choirs, and is the primary accompanist for services and rehearsals.

In this episode of HomeStage, watch them perform music by French composer Louis Vierne.

In this edition of HomeStage, we'll visit a different kind of home.

Peter DuBois is the director of music and organist at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester. They have been streaming their Sunday services online since March.

Benjamin Krug has been playing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for 13 seasons.

Watch them perform "A Song Without Words" by Craig Phillips, an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music.

HomeStage: Erin Hannigan

Nov 17, 2020

This HomeStage performance comes all the way from the Lone Star State.

Oboist Erin Hannigan is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and she played in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Now she's the principal oboist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Erin loves animals and has always had rescue dogs. But she wanted to do more. She and photographer Teresa Berg joined forces to create Artists for Animals. They have raised tens of thousands of dollars for animal shelters in northern Texas, with concerts, galas, community outreach, and even cute calendars.

One secret about Erin: Even though she's a dog lover, she also rescued a Siamese kitten named Gabby.

On this week’s HomeStage, she performs a piece called “Jimson Weed,” composed by Alyssa Morris.

HomeStage: Yi-Wen Chang

Nov 10, 2020

Pianist Yi-Wen Chang is a sensitive and thoughtful musician who is one of the teachers at The Hochstein School.

She performs around the world as a soloist and concert pianist and she's a regular favorite on the Live from Hochstein lunchtime concert series.

Here she performs two original compositions, written during the pandemic shutdowns.

Jason Milton/WXXI

Danielle Ponder and her band -- Avis Reese, Derek Bennett, Levi Bennet and Jonathan Sheffer -- are on the stage at The Little Theater. In front of them are 280 seats, virtually all of them empty.

This is not the gig from hell. This is the COVID-19 reality.

HomeStage: Womba Africa

Oct 13, 2020

Drum and dance group Womba Africa's name means "We are coming," as in, We are coming to you with something new, something exciting. Get ready.

The group faced multiple obstacles to come from Ghana, and they have a vision to promote West African music and culture and to empower indigenous cultural groups to also share their heritage through preforming arts.

HomeStage: Dylan Dowdle

Sep 25, 2020

Dylan Dowdle is a student and a full time chef in Geneva, but that doesn't get in the way of his music. Before the shutdowns, Dylan and his guitar could be found playing bar gigs around the city.

He has a new EP out this week, "Dylan Love." You can find it on dylanlove.bandcamp.com.

HomeStage: Sally Louise

Sep 14, 2020

Sally Louise originally moved to Rochester to study at the Eastman School of Music, but as the spring term wound down and the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up, she decided it was time for a change.

The classically trained soprano is now a full time singer/songwriter, and her single "Bodily Exile" is now available on digital platforms.

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