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RPO announces travel packages for Carnegie Hall concert 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra today announced additional details of its May 7, 2014, concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall. The performance - part of the Spring for Music festival - will see 250 local musicians and staff heading to NYC. The RPO is encouraging Rochester fans to make the trip as well.

Tickets to the concert are on sale now for $25 through the Eastman Theatre Box Office (454-2100, 433 E. Main St.). The RPO has also put together five different travel packages for local audiences interested in making the trip. These range from $295 to $1295 per person and include various perks, such as lunch and a tour of Lincoln Center and a post-concert reception at the Russian Tea Room. Tickets to the Carnegie Hall show will also come with a lilac-colored flag emblazoned with the RPO and Spring for Music logos. Attendees will be encouraged to wave at the start of the concert to show their hometown roots.

The RPO's Spring for Music concert was initially announced well over a year ago, during Aril Remmereit's brief tenure as RPO music director. While Remmereit was initially set to lead the orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Michael Christie will now wave the baton. Christie is a Buffalo native, music director of the Minnesota Opera, and music director laureate of the Phoenix Symphony and Colorado Music Festival.

The RPO's Spring for Music program will feature "Merry Mount," the only opera composed by former Eastman School of Music Director Howard Hanson. The piece is based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Maypole of Merry Mount," and the libretto has been linked to Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter." "Merry Mount" had a successful debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1934 and then went on national tour, but has not been performed often since. The Carnegie performance will include the RPO as well as the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and the Bach's Children Chorus.

Note that the program will also be performed in Rochester at Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre on April 10 and April 12; tickets start at $22 ($10 for students).

For more information on the Spring for Music/Carnegie Hall performance and tickets and travel packages visit rpo.org.

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