Office of Advancement

Student Testimonials – Kelly Kasle

KellyHi! I am a senior bassoon performance major at the Eastman School of Music. As I prepare to leave and move on to graduate studies or professional work, I find myself reflecting on how this school has changed my life.

I first discovered classical music when I was enrolled in ballet at the age of three. I recall my ballet instructor playing records of Tchaikovsky and Mozart. By the age of 8, I knew I wanted to play an instrument. At the encouragement of my parents, I studied piano for two years. It wasn’t until fifth grade that I discovered the instrument that would be my passion. A group of sixth grade band students gave a presentation to my class and it was the first time I had been introduced to the bassoon. I loved it from the moment I heard it up close!

When it came time to look at colleges, a family friend who is also an alumnus, suggested Eastman. I came here during my junior year to take a lesson from Professor John Hunt. From the moment we stepped into the main hall, my dad said to me, “You’re going to study here. I just know it.” Eastman immediately felt like home. I knew I could thrive in this creative and supportive environment. As a freshman, I was thrilled to be placed in an octet to perform with upperclassmen. I learned more that year than any other musical experience because I had to be on my game to play to the standards of the upperclassmen. It was then that I fell in love with chamber music and now dream of having my own revolutionary chamber ensemble.

“This school has changed my life.”

Eastman has allowed me to grow not only as a musician, but also as a leader and young professional. Since my sophomore year, I have been working at the Institute for Music Leadership which has opened my eyes to opportunities beyond playing in a symphony. In January 2012, I was given a project to create a 10-minute music news show called On Campus TV for I had the opportunity to interview guest soloists who performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. It was a great experience for me!

The generosity of many of our alumni enabled me to attend Eastman and continue my musical journey. Through your support, the School is able to provide scholarship assistance to students, making the Eastman experience possible for others, and changing their lives like mine.


Kelly Kasle ’14E
BM Candidate, Bassoon
Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program Certificate Candidate