Rochester, NY – Martin E. Messinger may not have been a stellar student when he took piano lessons at the Eastman Preparatory Department in the early 1940’s, but that hasn’t stopped him from ensuring the school’s continued success.
On October 22, 2005, 10 Gibbs Street will be renamed Messinger Hall in honor of the Rochester native’s mother, Anne Waltuck Messinger, for “bringing her little boy all the way from Irondequoit to learn music and play the piano,” explains Mr. Messinger. A 1949 University of Rochester graduate who went on to become a senior partner at Neuberger & Berman in New York City, Mr. Messinger has donated generously to his alma mater over the years. Most recently, his gift of $1 million helped the Eastman School of Music purchase the Gibbs Street building to house the administrative offices, teaching studios, and classrooms of what is now called the Eastman Community Music School.
“Mr. Messinger’s generosity will give our Community Music School a separate physical presence in the very heart of Rochester’s cultural life,” says Dr. Howard Potter, Director of ECMS. “Now we’ll have the best of both worlds – the Eastman School of Music’s resources, along with our own identity and accessibility.”
The Eastman Preparatory Department (known as the Community Education Division in the 80s and 90s and now called the Eastman Community Music School) first opened its doors in 1921 – the same year as the Eastman School of Music. George Eastman’s vision was to create both a world-class music conservatory and a community music school dedicated to the musical education of area residents.