Mark Watters

Director, Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media
Associate Professor of Contemporary Media & Film Composition

Six-time Emmy Award-winning composer and conductor Mark Watters’ vast resume includes music for motion pictures, television, DVD, video games, and special events such as the Olympics. In addition to serving as director of the Beal Institute, Mark oversees Eastman’s newly established Master of Music degree in Contemporary Media/Film Composition and teaches graduate courses.

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Dave Rivello

Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media

Dave Rivello directs the award winning New Jazz Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to this, Dave is also a freelance composer/arranger/music copyist. He has served as composer-in-residence at a number of schools, writing for their ensembles and giving clinics and private lessons. As a Beal Institute faculty member, Dave teaches composition, orchestration, and arranging for the recording.

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Rob LaVaque

Senior Lecturer, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Rob LaVaque is a two-time NY Emmy award winning professional musician and audio engineer. As a keyboardist, guitarist, and vocalist, he toured extensively with Grammy Award winner Richard Marx, and multi-platinum recording artist Greg Lake of ELP. Rob continues to produce music and sound design for feature films, television, radio, media, as well as teach digital programming, contemporary styles composition, and audio for gaming with the Beal Institute.

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Jeff Beal

Founder, Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media
Distinguished Visiting Artist

On September 1, 2015, a $2 million commitment from Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal (BM ‘85E) and vocalist Joan Beal (BM ‘84E) announced the launch of the Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, the couple’s alma mater, to build on the film legacy of the School’s founder, George Eastman. As the Beal Institute runs at full speed with its first class of students having graduated in 2019, Jeff makes regular visits at Eastman to meet and work with students and to provide an inside scoop on what he is currently working on in his busy career.

Jeff’s eclectic music has been singled out with critical acclaim and recognition.  His score and theme for Netflix drama, House of Cards, has received five prime time Emmy Award nominations & two statues.  Regarding his compelling score for the documentary, Blackfish, the late film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Beal’s ability to “invoke many genres; thriller, mystery, melodrama.”  Another lauded documentary, The Queen of Versailles, opened the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.  Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote that, “scored wittily by composer Jeff Beal, the film glides along on Beal’s waltz theme, a theme full of elegance and class and a discordant hint of storm clouds.” Jeff has received eighteen prime time Emmy nominations for his music, and has won five statues thus far in his career.

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