Nestled alongside Lake Ontario and the Erie Canal, home to the Genessee River, Rochester offers a cultural landscape with something for the music lover, art aficionado, wine connoisseur, and everyone in between. We are home of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1922, which presents more than 120 performances per year to 170,000 concertgoers. If you come to the convention a few days early, don’t miss the Strong National Museum of Play, home to the nation’s second-largest collection of antique and collectible toys. Your tour of the city might also include a stop at the International Museum of Photography, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Memorial Art Gallery, or any number of more than twenty museums and galleries in the area.
At the core of Rochester’s music scene is the Eastman School of Music, the result of George Eastman’s vision in 1921 to construct a world-class conservatory replete with the nation’s finest faculty and artists. Eastman has remained a leader in music composition, performance, and education for nearly a century, and today, the school’s concert season includes more than 700 performances each year.
There is certainly no shortage of adventures to be had here. The third largest city in New York, Rochester hosts an international summer jazz festival, the beautiful Highland Park (adjoined by Warner Castle), the Geva Theatre Center, Auditorium Theatre, and more microbreweries and wine tasting sites that we can possibly list here. In fact, those who can join us for an optional post-convention day will enjoy a wine tour and tasting in the stunning Finger Lakes region of upstate New York!
Our pipe organ culture in Rochester truly has a life of its own. The more than thirty organ majors studying at Eastman bring music to church services across the city, and multiple community concert series have earned a devoted following of pipe organ enthusiasts. 18th-century instruments include an anonymous Italian Baroque Organ in the Memorial Art Gallery, just a few blocks from the Craighead-Saunders Organ at Christ Church (the latter a process reconstruction of a 1776 instrument by Adam Gottlob Casparini). In the same building, one can hear a 19th-century Hook & Hastings with original pipes from 1862 and 1893. Early 20th-century organs include a 1909 Hope-Jones at First Universalist and a 1928 Skinner at Church of the Ascension. A short trip forward in history brings us to the 1964 Holtkamp at Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word and the 2008 Fritts in Sacred Heart Cathedral.
These instruments represent only a sampling of what is in store for the 63rd annual convention of the Organ Historical Society, July 29 – August 3, 2018. We look forward to welcoming you to Rochester!
Co-Chairs, OHS 2018 National Convention