Even though it wasn’t a contest, Lourdes High School won.
Last year, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale moved out of its longtime home, Mayo Civic Center, and performed throughout town. After concerts last season at Century High School, Assisi Heights and Lourdes, the RSOC has decided to perform its 2014-15 season at Lourdes.
Jeff Amundson, RSOC executive director, said there were a few reasons why Lourdes was chosen.
First, the RSOC has always tried to work with young people on musical development, and being at a school helps with that goal. Amundson said that RSOC musicians will work with students at various schools, not just Lourdes.
“We are always working hard to increase our outreach,” he said. “We believe this move will also bring younger people to our concerts.”
Also, the Catholic high school’s auditorium is state-of-the-art. The school opened in 2013, and the symphony performed its Cityscapes concert there last February.
“There are just exceptional acoustics in the building,” Amundson said. “To be frank, it’s superior to any place in town.”
After decades of performing in downtown Rochester, Amundson said he knows it will take a while to get the word out and the attendance up.
“Honestly, new things can impact attendance; we are aware of that,” he said. “The good news is that people loved it. The response from our patrons have been overwhelmingly positive. Many people told us that if stayed at Lourdes they would buy a season subscription.”