Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards

Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI)

The Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative presents

Save the date for the EROI Festival 2018:
October 24-26, 2018!

View the full schedule of the 2016 Festival “Breath for Singing: The Organ and the Human Voice” HERE

Download the 2016 schedule and brochure


The Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) will hold its 2016 EROI Festival October 26–28 at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. With the theme of “Breath for Singing: The Organ and the Human Voice,” EROI 2016 will consider conceptual, historical, and practical aspects of the interaction of organ and voice. Among conceptual aspects we will explore the cognitive and psychological benefits of group singing within religious communities. While supporting and encouraging congregational singing is perhaps the most ubiquitous of roles for the organ, comparatively little historical attention has been devoted to this aspect of the organ art. The organ also has a long history of alternating with the choir (the schola cantorum or Kantorei), the organ becoming another voice in such a liturgical dialogue. Both of these roles for the organ will be considered historically through lectures and demonstrations by leading organists and musicologists, examining various repertories of chant, chorales, metrical psalms, and hymns—with the organ as the central focus. Practical considerations of hymn accompaniment will be illustrated through lecture demonstrations and master classes involving Eastman organ students and nationally recognized organists who have developed special artistry in techniques of hymn-based improvisation. The opening keynote lecture on Wednesday, October 26 will be given by Robin A. Leaver (Emeritus Professor, Westminster Choir College), with a hymn festival to follow, featuring a festival choir comprised of Rochester-area church choirs, all led by James E. Bobb (St. Olaf College), Aaron David Miller (House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, MN), and Peter DuBois (Third Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY). The hymn festival will include the premiere performance of a new hymn commissioned for this conference, with text by Thomas Troeger and music by Nico Muhly. Other highlights include a Moravian Singstunde, using an organ built in the style of David Tannenberg, and two evening recitals by Eastman organ faculty.

View the full schedule HERE

Download the 2016 schedule and brochure

Hotel Information

A block of rooms has been reserved at a conference rate of $129 per night for single/double rooms until September 26, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 155 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604 (a half mile from the Eastman School and Christ Church).

When registering online, please use the group code EROIN to receive the discounted rate. (Under your dates of arrival and departure, click “more options,” then “add special rate codes.” Enter the code above in the “group code” box.) The reduced rate is available until September 26, 2016.

Reservations should be made through the hotel’s reservation department (585-232-5000) or by connecting to their webpage HERE. The Hilton Garden Inn offers a complimentary hotel shuttle for guests. Please contact the front desk for more information.

Public Concerts

Although registered attendees will have full access to all conference events and meals, most EROI concerts are open to the public. Below are concert details and admission prices for EROI 2016:

Wednesday, October 26
Recital on the Italian Baroque Organ by Eastman School of Music organ students and faculty.
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave.
Included in Gallery admission

Wednesday, October 26
Hymn festival with organists James E. Bobb and Aaron David Miller, and a Festival Choir from Rochester-area churches conducted by Peter DuBois. Premiere of a new hymn by Thomas Troeger and Nico Muhly.
8 p.m.
Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs St.
Free admission

Thursday, October 27
Concert of chant and chant-inspired repertoire featuring Edoardo Bellotti, Nathan Laube, Stephen Kennedy, and the Christ Church Schola Cantorum.
8 p.m.
Sacred Heart Cathedral, 296 Flower City Park
Tickets: $15 regular/$10 student; available at the door

Friday, October 28
David Higgs and William Porter of the Eastman School of Music play organ repertoire based on chorales, metrical psalms, and hymns, including congregational singing.
8 p.m.
Christ Church, 141 East Ave.
Tickets: $15 regular/$10 student; available at the door