Described as "one of the Rochester area's unique and notable treasures" (SUNY Brockport The Stylus), the RPO Marimba Band was established in 1979 by Bill and Ruth Cahn and John Beck and is comprised of members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's current Percussion Section. The group continues a half-century of tradition that was established in the 1950s by the Eastman School of Music's Marimba Masters.
Specializing in music written and arranged for the melodic percussion instruments, the RPO Marimba Band primarily features ragtime xylophone pieces and novelty music from the early decades of the 20th century, many Latin and jazz tunes. The band performs on two marimbas, vibraphone, steel drum, drum set, and various percussion instruments.
Since their formation, they have performed in venues throughout western New York, including the Eastman Theatre, WHAM-TV, WROC-TV, WXXI FM, Live from Hochstein, the Xerox International Jazz Festival, Rochester City Hall, Monroe County Office Building, RIT's Ingle Auditorium, SUNY Brockport, Ontario Beach Park, Hamlin Beach Park, Perinton Amphitheatre, Camp Good Days and Special Times, Honeoye Lake Gazebo, RPO Concerts in the Park Series and many other outdoor festivals.