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Rochester Fringe Fest and RIT

(September 30 2013) Written by: Carl Domingo in Coursework

Rochester is a city with a ton of culture to be experienced. These past two weeks, Fringefest, had its second annual running, and it was quite a sight to see. With so much going on, it was pretty hard to attend everything being offered, but with a two week long festival, it was very convenient to be able to see the city buzzing.

With a city immersed in culture, art, and music, there was just so much to pick from. The biggest headline of the festival was a spectacle called Bandaloop, where performers were suspended from the side of a building and danced along the vertical exterior.

fringefest bandaloop

Courtesy of the Democrat and Chronicle

                Walking down Main Street, you could catch a glimpse of a “Pedestrian Drive-In,” where people could purchase headsets to sit on the ground to watch a movie outside. Just past that, you could see “The World’s Most Glamorous Tent,” or the Speigeltent for short. Inside, there was a cool spectacle called “Cirque du Fringe,” Rochester’s very own take on the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.

fringefest spiegel tent

Courtesy of Rochester City Newspaper

                On top of these intriguing events, RIT had its own slew of performers at the festival. One of my own professors, Al Biles, is a very avid trumpeter and is a big fan of jazz. He has managed to fuse his love of music and computing into an awesome machine called GenJam. Essentially, if he plays a tune on his trumpet, the computer actually “hears” the music and can play an accompanying tune back to him. If you ever come to an Open House, you’ll actually get to see him use it in action!

fringefest biles

Courtesy of Rochester City Newspaper

                The RIT Players, one of our student run theater groups, performed Line by Israel Horovitz inside of the Little Theater.

fringefest players

Photo of RIT Players from last year's performance

                A lot of our a cappella groups did performances at the Little Cafe. Groups like Encore, Surround Sound, Proof of Purchase, Vocal Accent, and 8 Beat Measure all showcased their insane vocal abilities inside the coffee shop. 8 Beat even managed to get President Destler (as in the President of the entire university!) to hop on stage and dance with them in their rendition of “Shake a Tail Feather.”

fringefest encore

Encore A Cappelle pictured above

fringefest vocal

Vocal Accent pictured above

 

Video of 8 Beat's Performance with News 10 courtesy of University News

                My personal favorite was a set done by the RIT Ukulele Club. In our very first off-campus appearance, we played a thirty minute set in the Little Café, performing versions of “Colors” by April Smith and You and I by Ingrid Michaelson, a club favorite. President Destler even got a front row set of our performance (SO COOL).

fringefest ukulele

Picture of Ukulele Club with President Destler in the middle

                Overall, it’s pretty safe to say that the second annual Rochester Fringe Festival was a major success. With 360 shows over ten days, downtown was a pretty vibrant place to be this week. It is definitely one of the many festivals in Rochester worth attending, and, especially when RIT has its own groups performing, it’s a great time to catch some of the best that this school have to offer.

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