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Students from Rochester, NY and Alytus, Lithuania Partner for an Historic Concert 

Rochester, NY- In a first-of-its-kind event, musicians from the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra from Rochester, New York, will perform live in a simultaneous transmission, live streaming, trans-Atlantic concert with musicians from the Alytus Music School Youth Symphony Orchestra, Svajone, from Alytus, Lithuania, an official sister city of Rochester.

The concert will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, February 2, 2014 at Hale Auditorium at Roberts Wesleyan College, 2301 Westside Dr., Rochester NY 14624. The Alytus-Rochester Sister Cities Committee is lead sponsor of the project.The Hochstein and Alytus students will trade musical selections in an hour long symphonic concert. The Hochstein students will be performing live on stage, while at the same time, the Lithuanian students will be shown live on a projection screen; in Lithuania, the Hochstein students will be shown on the screen for a live Lithuanian audience. More than 150 student musicians will participate.

"We believe this is the first live, trans-Atlantic youth symphony orchestra concert ever to take place in Rochester,” said event organizer and Alytus-Rochester Sister Cities Arts and Culture chairperson Jolanda Chesonis. “This concert is a wonderful opportunity to bring together the people of our two communities to build new relationships and strengthen our bonds of friendship and cultural understanding. And what better way than to showcase our talented young musicians and their respective schools.”

Among the dignitaries expected to attend are Zygimantas Pavilionis, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States and Mexico, who will travel from Washington, D.C. to see the performance at Roberts Wesleyan College. In Alytus, Deborah A. McCarthy, the American Ambassador to Lithuania, is expected to attend as well. 

“We are so honored to be asked to join this very special transatlantic performance,” said Casey Springstead, Director of the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra. “The HYSO will benefit tremendously from sharing a concert with our counterparts in Alytus, and I think we will quickly realize that we have much more in common with the Lithuanian musicians than we have differences. This promises to be a concert we will remember for a long time.”

Alytus is a city of about 70,000 people in southern Lithuania. It has been an official Rochester Sister City since 2009.

"Music is truly the universal language, and we look forward to the joy of shared music-making with the young musicians of Alytus," commented Margaret "Peggy " Quackenbush, President and Executive Director of Hochstein School of Music & Dance.

The Alytus-Rochester Sister Cities Committee works to foster communication and cultural exchanges between the two cities. Chairman and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Lithuania for the State of New York, Rimas Chesonis, of Webster, said: "This is a further example of the strong personal affection between our two cities and the potential for projects of mutual value, whether cultural, academic or economic."

Tickets are $5 for adults and free for students and children. They will be available at the door or in advance by calling (585) 663-3036 or (585) 216-9714.

For more information, please contact Jolanda Chesonis, Chairperson for Arts and Culture, Alytus-Rochester Sister Cities Committee, at jchesoni@rochester.rr.com, 585.506.5094 or Cheri Trimble Miller, Public Relations Coordinator, Hochstein School of Music and Dance, cheri.trimble-miller@hochstein.org, 585.454.4403 ext 21.