Music from Copland House Will Kick Off ArtsFest Thursday, October 20th

Westchester’s renowned “house band,” the internationally-acclaimed Music from Copland House ensemble, will kick off the 2022 New Rochelle ArtsFest with the world premiere of a new work by award-winning composer Steven Snowden that celebrates the unique culture and history of “the Queen City on the Sound.” Snowden drew inspiration for his new work from an unlikely source, the traffic signals at one of New Rochelle’s busiest intersections.

Snowden’s new composition will headline a dazzling salute to New Rochelle’s rich musical legacy, which will also feature works by native or transplanted composers such as Grammy-winner Joan Tower and Derek Bermel, as well beloved songwriters George M. Cohan, Alan Mencken, and George Gershwin. The hour-long program at the New Rochelle Public Library’s Ossie Davis Theatre begins at 7 pm on Thursday evening, October 20th , and is free to the public.

Snowden’s new work was commissioned especially for this concert by two longtime friends of Copland House, artist Creighton Michael and his wife Leslie Cecil. While generations of composers have often evoked the sounds of cities, country sides, churches, and cabarets, this may be the first time that the electronic controls of a traffic signal have inspired a musical composition! Snowden’s brilliant piece “musicalizes” the mathematical algorithms and sequences of the traffic lights at Centre and Huguenot Avenues in downtown New Rochelle. Snowden’s music has hailed as “the most wildly intriguing sight and sound I have experienced” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), and often focuses on underground American history and how past events relate to modern society.

About Music from Copeland House

Fresh from its triumphant debuts at Tanglewood and the Kennedy Center, Music from Copland House has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, the European Broadcasting Union, and other major media; and engaged by North America’s foremost concert presenters, including Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, University of Chicago, Smithsonian Institution, and the Caramoor, Bard, Bowdoin, and Ecstatic Festivals. The group also presents two mainstage performance series in Westchester County and at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and can be heard on the Arabesque, Koch International, and COPLAND HOUSE BLEND labels. Based at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in Cortlandt Manor, an award-winning creative center for American music (, this singular American repertory ensemble has been hailed for its “absorbing concert experiences” (Opera News), and boasts a stellar roster of Founding, Principal, and Guest Artists; as The Chicago Tribune raved, “Copland would have been proud of all of them.”

About ArtsFest

Organized by the non-profit New Rochelle Council on the Arts (NRCA) ArtsFest spotlights the diversity of arts and artists in our community, with open studios, live music and dance, film screenings, pop-up art exhibits, a classic car show focused on design, a spoken word event with the acclaimed READ650, and interactive activities for all ages. This year ArtsFest will feature 40 participating venues, representing the work of hundreds of artists. Highlights will include an  Artisan Market, the ArtsFest Music Festival at New Ro Parc and ArtsFest Dance Festival at New Rochelle High School’s Whitney Young Auditorium as well as open artists’ studios —  including world renowned  3-D artist Charles Fazzino’s Museum Editions studio, where visitors can dabble in interactive arts projects –plus a visit from ArtsWestchester’s ArtsMobile, a Classic Car Show, a spoken word event curated by READ650, a free guided trolley tour of New Rochelle’s exciting street art, the 20 #NRNY Murals, and more. For a complete calendar of events visit

An official ArtsFest calendar will be mailed to city residents and will be available at venues as well as online at NRCA’s website  ArtsFest sponsors include ArtsWestchester, Gwendolen Appleyard Trust, New Rochelle IDA, Charles Fazzino, Mill Creek Residential, Alvin & Friends Restaurant, Cappelli, L+M Wilder Balter, New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District, RXR, The Standard, Town House and in-kind sponsors AJ’s Burgers and New Rochelle Public Library.

 ArtsFest is organized by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts. The mission of NRCA (founded in 1975) is to encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts, and over the years NRCA has sponsored art exhibitions, theatrical  productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, spoken word events, concert series and public art.  Find out more about NRCA at

This concert is made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, ArtsWestchester, the Jandon Foundation, and Friends of Copland House.

The New Rochelle Council on the Arts is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.

About New Rochelle Council on the Arts

The New Rochelle Council on the Arts mission is to stimulate and encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and the public\’s interest and participation therein. It has been exemplified by our sponsorship of a vast number of exhibitions, theatrical productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, and concert series. To create opportunities for the public to encounter and explore art and increase access to the arts in New Rochelle.

NRCA has been in existence for nearly 40 years — it was created by a resolution adopted by the New Rochelle City Council on April 8, 1975. Our mission is to stimulate and encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and the public’s interest and participation therein. This is exemplified by our sponsorship of a vast number of exhibitions, theatrical productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, and concert series.