Eastman offers countless opportunities to perform. Diverse musical genres are reflected by the School’s many established ensembles: the harp, marimba, percussion, African mbira and gamelan ensembles, Brass Guild, Musica Nova and Collegium Musicum (between them, spanning centuries of repertory), several award-winning jazz ensembles, four choral groups, and the trombone, tuba, and horn choirs. The School’s three symphonic orchestras and two wind ensembles perform both the standard repertoire and lesser-known works. Eastman Opera Theatre’s repertory covers the full range of music theater, from Monteverdi to Sondheim. Students in the opera program also direct and perform numerous studio productions of operatic scenes and short works. Students regularly form “pick-up” ensembles to present student works and concerto performances.
The concert and recital halls at Eastman provide exceptional settings for solo and ensemble performance. Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, a magnificently beautiful hall with a rich cultural history, is the primary venue for the School’s large ensembles. Musicians consider Kilbourn Hall, with its pure acoustics and elegant decor, to be one of the world’s finest recital spaces. Hatch Recital Hall, with 222 seats, is an ideal size for solo, instrumental, chamber and vocal music and boasts state-of-the-art acoustical and multimedia technology. The School has additional smaller performance venues: Howard Hanson Hall, Ciminelli Formal Lounge, a black-box theater for small opera productions, and the Kilian and Caroline Schmitt Organ Recital Hall.
Students often form chamber groups to explore music that intrigues them, and create opportunities to present the music they are passionate about. They initiate performances of medieval chant, new music in tandem with film, jazz of all kinds, and much more. Faculty members partner with them on stage or as advisors — studio teachers, scholars, educators, and composers who offer fresh perspectives on the music. Eastman students seek out venues throughout the city, performing with one another and in creative collaboration with painters, dancers, actors, and other artists.
They also take their music well beyond Rochester. Recently…
- Sixteen string students from Eastman played in the Hiroshima Peace Concert 2005, a special event that took place in Phoenix Hall at the International Conference Center in Hiroshima, Japan in August, 2005.
- Three Eastman Students — a pianist, a vocalist, and a horn player — gave the first chamber concert in the inaugural Conservatory Project at the Kennedy Center. In the process, the students worked closely with professional staff at Eastman and the Kennedy Center.
- Eastman violinists played solo pieces and duets with their studio teacher in a recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall. Their program featured the premiere of a work by an Eastman student composer.
- The Eastman Wind Ensemble’s eighth tour of Asia in the Summer of 2004 featured more than a dozen concerts in major venues. The students performed with a faculty soloist and learned first-hand about tour management from the Sony Music Foundation staff. In February of 2005, the ensemble was featured at Carnegie Hall in New York City performing works by Roberto Sierra, David Maslanka, Jeff Tyzik, and Karel Husa. All of the composers, except Maslanka, were in
- Thanks to a composition faculty mentor, Eastman’s student-run new music ensemble, Ossia, was in residence at the Morelia International New Music Festival in Mexico.