“Here they are, in all their glory”: the Summer@Eastman team, left to right: Donna Mero, GerryAnn Westcott, Howard Potter, Jennifer Watson, Sylvie Beaudette, Jose Pedro Zenteno. Photograph by Gerry Szymanski

It’s always summer at Eastman! Indeed, it takes an entire year to plan and market our summer programs, hire the best team of directors, instructors, and staff for those programs, as well as coordinate with the various departments and offices, the Student Living Center, and the University of Rochester’s Pre-Collegiate program. Once a summer session ends in August, we’re already at work ensuring that each and every Eastman summer student will have a rich and memorable experience the following year!

 We have an amazing summer team, for whom helping students and their parents is a priority. Each team member brings us a wide range of knowledge and experience. This is an important factor when planning the collegiate courses, institutes, residential programs, and half-day workshops that constitute the summer offerings, as each program is unique. Our team members’ involvement in music makes them especially attuned to musicians’ needs. Here they are, in all their glory:

 Dr. Sylvie Beaudette, Summer@Eastman director since 2011, programs and oversees the collegiate courses and institutes, and plans the summer concert series, while coordinating general marketing and operations. Dr. Beaudette also teaches Chamber Music and French Diction at Eastman, and serves as piano accompanying requirement coordinator for piano majors. An Eastman graduate in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music and a Goucher College graduate in Arts Administration, she has recorded with the Athena Trio, clarinetist Richard Nunemaker, and soprano Eileen Strempel. Through those recordings and live performances, and the Women in Music Festival that she founded (2005-2014), she has made it her mission to promote women composers. Hailing from Québec, Dr. Beaudette’s native language is French, and she’s been told a few times that she speaks English with an adorable accent.

 Dr. Howard Potter has served as Eastman’s associate dean for community and continuing education since 2002. His summer responsibilities involve planning high school residential programs such as Music Horizons, Summer Jazz Studies, and Eastman@Keuka, as well as half-day programs for all ages, from String Extravaganza, for elementary and middle school children, to New Horizons, designed for people over 50. With more than 40 years of professional performing experience, Howard Potter has played with the Rochester Philharmonic, Erie Philharmonic, National Orchestral Association at Carnegie Hall, and the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. He is a member of the RPO Marimba Band and plays jazz vibes in a variety of  ensembles. The son of a United States career diplomat, Potter grew up in Tunisia, Ghana, Argentina, Brazil, and Washington, D.C., and is conversant in Spanish and Portuguese. That explains why he is so laid back, besides being a jazzer, of course.

 Donna Mero joined the Summer@Eastman team and ECMS in January 2003.  She is the program/operations support for the college’s Summer@Eastman programs, and the registrar and bursar for the Eastman Community Music School. Donna grew up in western Massachusetts and holds a BS in Systems Planning and Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. Music has always been an important part of Donna’s life: playing flute and piccolo with various ensembles in parades, public parks, and orchestra pits, and singing in choirs. She also volunteers for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in her “spare” time. She actually has more gigs than most of us combined!

 GerryAnn Westcott is our veteran, as she has worked in the ECMS and Summer Session office for more than 20 years.  She especially enjoys helping families begin lessons and supporting teachers in all they do. She masterfully coordinates all the summer residential and half-day programs. Outside of Eastman, she has been a pianist, accompanist, and teacher forever, as well as an avid quilter.  We  look forward to birthday parties and holidays so that we can taste GerryAnn’s fabulous baked goods.

 Jennifer Watson joined the Eastman Community Music School in May 2011, assisting with program coordination, payroll, registrations, customer service, and faculty support. She served as camp director for Eastman@Keuka from 2012-2014, helping to craft and launch this new opportunity for middle schoolers. She is assistant coordinator of ECMS half-day programs for middle and high school students. Jennifer previously served as Director of Development and Grant Programs for the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester. She enjoys singing with a local choir, exploring Rochester’s fabulous arts and culture, and spending time with her three adorable children.

 José Pedro Zenteno, our Summer intern, was born in Chile, and is completing a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance at Eastman. He has won first place in the Claudio Arrau Piano Competition and the “faculty award” at the Chautauqua Summer Music Festival. He has performed in Chile, Argentina, the United States, Spain, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Pedro worked hard on marketing for us this fall. You’ll be able to read some of his blog posts throughout the spring. 

— Sylvie Beaudette