When George Eastman purchased the property on Gibbs and Main Street to build a school of music and theatre, one of his primary goals was to provide the citizens of Rochester with a place to study, make, and enjoy music. Etched on the façade of the famed Eastman Theatre is the phrase, “for the enrichment of community life.”
For more than 100 years, the Eastman School of Music and Eastman Community Music School have been engaged in enriching the lives of Rochesterians by all that occurs within our facilities, and by the many programs that occur throughout the greater-Rochester community. The members of the Eastman community have a long legacy of forging partnerships with public and private schools, of creating off-campus concert series, and of volunteering with countless local organizations. The Eastman School of Music is proud to be in the city of Rochester, and we look forward to our continued, and growing, engagement in enriching the life of our community.
Jamal J. Rossi
Joan and Martin Messinger Dean
Eastman Community Music School offers music lessons, ensembles, classes, and workshops to community members of all ages and backgrounds. From pre-school and early childhood programs to college prep and diploma programs to adult ensembles and classes, ECMS nurtures and inspires music students at all levels. 170 teaching artists serve over 1,600 community members during the school year and hundreds more each summer.
Eastman Pathways provides scholarships for dedicated and talented Rochester City School District students to pursue music at the Eastman Community Music School.
Since the program’s inception in 1997, its student population has reflected Rochester’s rich cultural diversity: students from underrepresented communities account for over half of the graduating classes.
93% of Pathways graduates have gone on to attend college, including Eastman, University of Rochester, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, the University of Miami, SUNY Fredonia, the Manhattan School of Music, and Juilliard.
ROCmusic is a partnership of the Eastman School of Music and Eastman Community Music School, the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, the City of Rochester, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rochester City School District.
New Horizons provides entry points to music making for adults, especially seniors. Inclusive for all, including those with no musical experience at all, experienced musicians, and those who have been inactive for years. The program has 12 ensembles reaching 250 adults
Eastman’s mission includes a deep dedication to community engagement, including connections with local partnerships and initiatives in Rochester.
Eastman Performing Arts Medicine (EPAM) delivers the performing arts and medicine to the health care environment working within the following four pillars:
- Heal: Specialized health care and wellness education of performing artists,
- Care: Music Therapy in clinical patient care,
- Learn: Research to explore and develop the potential of the arts in therapy, rehabilitation, and human performance,
- Inspire: Meaningful integration of the performing arts into the hospital environment.
Two major Rochester, NY institutions, Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) and The Strong National Museum of Play (The Strong), have formalized their partnership in 2023 in order to offer two main programs:
- Evenings with Eastman, is a series of short concerts in the museum’s atrium featuring solo instrumentalists or ensembles.
- Story Time Club, are interactive events where ECMS Faculty provide instrumental accompaniment to narrators as they read children’s books aloud.
Programming is offered to the museum’s patrons, predominantly focusing on events for children and seniors.
If Music Be the Food – Eastman faculty members and students join special guests for chamber music concerts at area churches to benefit Foodlink.
- Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 4:00 pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
- Sunday, February 2, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Third Presbyterian Church
- Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 4:00 pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Jazz For Justice – A collaboration between the Eastman School of Music and the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar, the charitable arm of the Monroe County Bar Association.
Press release HERE
UR in Tune – Eastman Faculty bring their scholarship and artistry to the Highlands at Pittsford senior living community.
Eastman School of Music faculty and students perform hundreds of concerts – free and open to the public – at community venues throughout the year, with special commitment to the City of Rochester. Examples include:
- Community Organ Concert Series featuring Eastman organ students at local churches and nearby towns.
- Candelight Concerts First Sunday of each month at 8:30 pm (preceding Compline) in Christ Church.
- Third Thursday Concerts at the Memorial Art Gallery Fountain Court at 7:30 pm.
- Musicale: “Performance Plus” series at the Eastman Museum
Additional, regularly scheduled events
- Piano Series at the Summit featuring Eastman piano majors in solo recital. Founded and coordinated by Rebecca Penneys, Professor Emerita of Piano, this series includes 6-8 concerts per year for the enjoyment of the Jewish Senior Life residents.
- Rochester Celebrity Organ Recital Series featuring world-famous concert organists for recitals several times each year
- Eastman on East: Eastman on East, four concerts per semester for residents at Valley Manor Independent Living.
- “Eastman to Go” at which Eastman student chamber music groups perform for community audiences in the Spring semester
The Eastman School of Music maintains a strong commitment to downtown Rochester, holding positions on both the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation Board and (as of May 2023) the Partnership for Downtown Rochester Board. These Board appointments provide Eastman the opportunity to connect with leaders throughout downtown Rochester, ensuring that the school is a vibrant contributor of the growth and advancement within the community.
Gateways Music Festival, in association with the Eastman School of Music, connects and supports professional classical musicians of African descent and enlightens and inspires communities through the power of performance.
The Orchestra of 125 players from major symphony orchestras, faculty from pre-eminent music schools and conservatories and freelance artists participate in six days of performances and events including chamber music recitals, a full orchestral concert, a film series, professional development activities, open rehearsals, lectures, and panels. Events take place at 50 venues in and around Rochester in concert halls, community and recreational centers, libraries, galleries, houses of worship, senior residences, homeless shelters, and private homes.
Rochester Fringe Festival is a 10- day performing arts festival events, featuring international, national, and local artists including faculty and students. Eastman’s performing venues host many of its events.
CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is a popular nine-day event that features 1,750 artists from all over the world and attracts hundreds of thousands of people to downtown Rochester. Eastman faculty and staff routinely perform in this event. Eastman also serves as one of the festival’s many venues.
Arts In the Loop is a community-driven initiative, supported by Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership, bringing together Rochester’s passionate community leaders to support the connection between exceptional arts, civic engagement, businesses, entertainment, and technology throughout downtown. The vision of this group is to create vibrant and walkable street-level performances and engaging community arts utilizing green spaces, restaurants, clubs, stages, community spaces, galleries, street corners, and business facilities.