ROCmusic Hires New Director: Dr. Armand Hall

September 17, 2018

More Information:
For Media Only: Jessica A. Kaufman (585-274-1057,

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra: Nicole Morelle, 454-7311 ext. 245,

The Hochstein School: Debbie Tretter, 454-4596 x25;

City of Rochester: Jessica Alaimo,424-7135, Jessica.Alaimo@CityofRochester.Gov


ROCmusic, a collaborative and innovative arts-outreach program that engages children and their families in the experience of making and appreciating classical music, has hired Dr. Armand Hall as its new Director, as of September 10. Dr. Hall comes to ROCmusic from the University of Memphis, where he was Associate Director of Bands and Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education. Dr. Hall has taught, adjudicated, and been a clinician at the middle school and high school levels, in addition to collegiate teaching, and worked as a teaching artist in El Sistema-inspired community music programs around the country. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University.

“I am ecstatic to be selected to lead the ROCmusic program, a significant conduit between our community and our culturally-rich city,” shares Dr. Hall. “The institutional support for our program is unparalleled, which speaks volumes about our community partners. I look forward to strengthening and increasing opportunities and access to music for Rochester students and their families. Our team will continue to build a program that represents the city of Rochester; one of which the community is proud.”

ROCmusic is a partnership between The Hochstein School, Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), Eastman Community Music School, Gateways Music Festival, City of Rochester, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rochester City School District.

Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren comments, “ROCmusic is one of the most unique programs available to children residing in the City of Rochester.  To have Dr. Hall at the helm of this incredible program means that not only will so many of our children continue to receive impeccable classical music education, tuition free, but that the program will continue to grow and thrive.  The impact that ROCmusic has on our community’s youth helps bring us one step closer to achieving our goal of creating safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our students, which will ultimately lead to the creation of more jobs and an improved quality of life in our city.”

“Dr. Hall brings wonderful experience as a music educator, conductor, and passionate advocate for El Sistema-inspired programs across the country,” adds Dr. Margaret Quackenbush, President and Excecutive Director, The Hochstein School. “As the next leader of the ROCmusic program, I’m confident that he’ll strengthen and build our program to serve even more of Rochester’s children and youth.” 

Curtis Long, President and CEO of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, notes, “Dr. Hall’s background and experience make him the ideal person to take ROCmusic and its exceptional collaborative model to the next level.  This is a program which is already making a positive impact on the lives of many Rochester children and families and, under Dr. Hall, is going to do much, much more.”

Jamal Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music, says, “The appointment of Dr. Hall signals the start of an exciting new chapter for ROCmusic.  His extensive experience as a public school teacher, a university professor, as a presenter and panelist at national conferences, and as a recognized music leader will enable ROCmusic to grow in powerful ways.  The commitment he has demonstrated in the past to his students and to the communities where he taught and lived bodes very well for the students of ROCmusic and their families.”

Established in 2012, ROCmusic recently expanded to all four quadrants of Rochester, giving every student a better opportunity to receive musical instruction. ROCmusic is looking forward, constantly working to better serve the community, and growing to serve more and more people in the city of Rochester.

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About ROCmusic 

ROCmusic is an innovative arts-outreach program that engages children and their families in the experience of making and appreciating classical music, offers tuition-free classical music instruction and instrument lessons to students in grades 1-12 who reside in the city of Rochester, NY. The program is designed to instill a love of learning, responsibility, respect, and academic success, ultimately positively affecting social change in our students and the communities surrounding them. Every gift made to the ROCmusic fund is a deductible donation that directly benefits student scholarships and the organization’s operational cost. No previous musical experience or training is required and there is no charge for instruments, participation, or instruction. For more information please visit:

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About Eastman School of Music: 

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.

About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division—about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 percent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Six alumni and three former faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, and numerous alumni and faculty have received Grammy Awards. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 800 concerts to the Rochester community.

About The Hochstein School:

The Hochstein School was founded in commemoration of genius and is dedicated to providing access to opportunity regardless of age, level of skill, ethnicity, or ability to pay. Hochstein’s vibrant community of musicians, dancers, and supporters choose to come together to develop the ability to speak and communicate through music, dance, and expressive arts (music, art, and dance therapy). Established in 1920 as The David Hochstein Memorial Music School, today Hochstein serves approximately 4,000 students annually from a 12-county region surrounding Rochester, N.Y. and continues its commitment to the Rochester community by offering a variety of free and low-cost concerts and performances in the Hochstein Performance Hall, and locations around our city, throughout the year. For more information, visit

About The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO): 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people – 34,000 of them youngsters – through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 25-year tenure with the RPO.

About the City of Rochester, New York: 

Located in western New York on the Genesee River and the southern shore of Lake Ontario, the City of Rochester, with a population of 208,046 residents, is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York State. The metropolitan area has a population of almost 1 million people. Rochester combines small-town accessibility with big-city services and amenities. Amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States, residents enjoy a housing market known for great bargains, short commute times, world-class cultural and entertainment offerings and a fast-growing innovation economy poised to thrive in the 21st century. A host of colleges and universities produce an educated workforce that drives the city’s innovation and technology sectors. The city’s rich history as a center for civil rights and social justice remains an important element of Rochester’s legacy.  Mayor Lovely A. Warren is the city’s 69th Mayor and the first female to hold this position. She is committed to creating more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all residents.

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