Concert Celebrates Halloween Music from Traditional Folk to Harry Potter

Performance includes RIT Orchestra, Suzuki Strings and Rochester Boys Choir

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Emily McKean

Conductor Michael Ruhling, far left, leads the RIT Orchestra in a rehearsal. The orchestra will partner with The Hochstein School of Music and Dance’s Suzuki Strings and the Rochester Boys Choir to present a family Halloween concert on Oct. 30.

Three Rochester-area music organizations are coming together to present a concert celebrating music about and inspired by Halloween.

The Rochester Institute of Technology Orchestra, accompanied by The Hochstein School of Music and Dance’s Suzuki Strings and the Rochester Boys Choir, will present a family Halloween concert at 3 p.m. Oct. 30 in Ingle Auditorium on the RIT campus. The program will include the tone poem “Danse Macabre,” music from the Harry Potter film series and selections from the orchestral work “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

“Over the next two years the RIT Orchestra will explore the influence of folk and sacred music on orchestral repertoire,” notes Michael Ruhling, conductor of the RIT Orchestra. “Many of the characteristics of this music, such as simple, highly repetitious melodies supported by uncomplicated harmonies, also work marvelously as teaching tools for young musicians, such as those in the Suzuki program and Rochester Boys Choir.

“Through the Halloween concert, we also hope to have some fun and lively interaction with the audience as all players, and hopefully concert attendees, will be in costume for the performance,” Ruhling continues.

The RIT Orchestra has established a tradition of offering family concerts on Halloween, and Ruhling hopes this concert will lead to further collaborations between the music groups and assist the university in developing expanded initiatives in music education, performance and technology. For more information about the concert visit

The RIT Orchestra, formed in 1981, includes students and Rochester community members and performs orchestral works from circa 1600 to the present. The Rochester Boys Choir was founded in 2002 and has performed across the United States including with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Washington, D.C. The Hochstein School of Music and Dance is a national recognized community school of the arts and features educational and community programs and numerous performing ensembles including the Suzuki Strings.