Rensselaer Orchestra and An Ensemble Of Students At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute To Performa At Carnegie Hall

On October 24, the Rensselaer Orchestra, an ensemble of students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, will make a historic debut performance at Carnegie Hall. Hosted by DCINY and under the direction of Maestro Nicholas DeMaison, the ensemble will perform Missy Mazzoli's River Rouge Transfiguration and Jean Sibelius's Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 82. The performance celebrates the launch of Rensselaer's new Bachelor of Science degree in Music and is part of an evening of activities in support of student scholarships. For tickets and information, visit DCINY. Tickets start at $20.

River Rouge Transfiguration by Mazzoli is inspired by Detroit's supernatural landscape, including a hallucinatory image of the River Rouge Auto Plant as a massive pipe organ. It is music about the transformation of grit and noise into something massive, resonant and unexpected. The "grit" of the percussion, piano, and pizzicato is folded into string and brass chorales that collide with each other, collapse, and rise over and over again.

Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82, symphony for orchestra in three movements by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, is one of his most popular symphonies. The work begins with a serene and stately opening, moves through a largely gentle middle movement with theme and variations, and builds to a majestic conclusion. Much of that conclusion is based on a proud three-note motif that grows and develops as the movement progresses.

"The Rensselaer Orchestra performance is a concrete example of how we are implementing our vision for Rensselaer as The New Polytechnic," states Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President of Rensselaer. "This vision is inherent in everything we do - it establishes Rensselaer as a vital crossroads for student, faculty, and alumni/ae collaborations across disciplines, sectors, geographies, and generations."

"Our students are tremendously excited to have the opportunity to perform in such a world-class, iconic venue," states Mary Simoni, Ph.D., Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. "And, many of those performing are future engineers, scientists, architects, and entrepreneurs. They are drawn to the orchestra because music is an essential part of who they are. Our students gracefully cross the divide between the arts and sciences."

"We chose the featured piece, Missy Mazzoli's River Rouge Transfiguration, because it feels very relevant to the transformation of Rensselaer over the past 20 years," states Nicholas DeMaison, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Rensselaer Orchestra and Choir. "While being inspired directly by the composer's visit to the Ford River Rouge plant, it manages to capture more broadly the transformation of Detroit from a former industrial capital to what it is now: a city in the process of re-imagining itself, a poetic and inspirational place. Rensselaer has experienced a similar transformation - from an institution renowned for research, engineering, and science into one that seeks a broader integration of human endeavor, which includes a full embrace of music and the arts." Click here for an interview with the Conductor, Nicholas DeMaison

The Rensselaer Orchestra comprised of students enrolled in the five schools of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is dedicated to the performance of great literature for the orchestra, drawing repertoire from the dawn of the ensemble to the present, regularly premiering new and experimental works for orchestra. The ensemble makes its performing home in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Troy, NY.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America's first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 86 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century-to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to

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