The Richmond County Orchestra (RCO), Staten Island's premiere symphony orchestra's mission is to entertain and to educate. Under Maestro Aurelia the RCO has been able to attract top international soloists to provide a much-needed opportunity for Staten Island residents to experience the performing arts in their own community as well as to seek and build a stronger community and enhance residents' quality of life through participation in the arts.
The Orchestra continues to fulfill the first part of its mission by providing free concerts each year. The performances are always varied, always creative, and always well attended. Concerts draw a large diverse audience and include people from across the metropolitan area. While many of the concerts take place at St. John's University's Staten Island campus, the Orchestra also performs throughout Staten Island in public libraries, senior citizen centers, places of worship, and other schools. Most recently the Orchestra has been honored by being asked to be the " the orchestra in residence " at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Livingston.
In providing such outlets for music, the Orchestra performs a wide range of traditional scores performed by world know artists, Charles Rex & Cristina Fontanelli and introduces new music for the benefit of Staten Island and greater metropolitan region. Each season includes a living composer in residence and has performed a world premieres of composers Michael Sirrota, Joyce Moorman, Kazuo Nakamura and next season Michael Rose. Each February the Orchestra has an annual "Evening of African American Composers and performers" program in celebration of Black History Month. These are but a few examples of the many ways in which the Orchestra provides the residents of Staten Island opportunities to experience quality performing arts.
The RCO fulfills the second part of its mission by working to improve the civic health of New York's "forgotten borough." The Richmond County Orchestra actively seeks out and has formed working relationships with other community-based organizations to promote the quality of life in Staten Island through cultural and educational means. For example, the Orchestra has invited choral and operatic groups as well as dance troupes, poets and artists to participate in its productions. These programs bridge community arts groups and foster a greater appreciation of the arts by presenting them in complimentary and supporting ways.
This Orchestra succeeds in promoting the civic health and quality of life in Staten Island is through its educational programs, especially its unique mentoring program. Through this talented young professional and seasoned professional musicians sit side-by-side in rehearsals and concerts. All are paid for their services. The program is a much-needed educational service to the Staten Island community, especially in light of recent budget cuts targeting music programs in public schools. It is also a model program that could be adopted by other organizations throughout the metropolitan area and beyond.
The Richmond County Orchestra's commitment to music outreach education under the leadership of music director Alan Aurelia can also be seen in the Orchestra's recent partnership with New York City Kids on Stage, P.S. 44, Susan Wagner HS and Curtis H.S. which includes a residency at the school as well as the participation of students in orchestral productions.
As one can see, the Richmond County Orchestra provides great opportunities to the youth of Staten Island. In fact, the Orchestra provides free programs to people of all ages and backgrounds. Performances are free to students, handicap accessible, and celebrate the cultural diversity of the mosaic that is our community and appeal to an ever-growing audience representing all demographics throughout the greater metropolitan area.
The RCO has launched a competition for the area's instrumental musicians. winners are awarded prizes plus an opportunity to perform with a full all professional symphony orchestra.
Monday, Oct 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time
Monday, Nov 1, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Monday, Nov 8, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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