Here are some select recent clippings showing the variety of hits/mentions identifying musicians and scholars as Eastman School of Music alumni, faculty or students. (Note: Some links may have expired.)
(LA Weekly 01/16/2017)
When considering the most indispensable backup musicians behind so many iconic albums and shows, Steve Gadd stands out as one of the most versatile and influential drummers in the world. At the age of 71, Gadd is still furthering his reputation by constantly touring and recording with a list of Grammy winners that includes his stalwart cohorts Eric Clapton, James Taylor and Chick Corea.
Gadd’s inherent sense of rhythm was nurtured from birth by his parents as well as his Uncle Eddie, a former Army drummer. Growing up outside of Rochester, New York, Gadd was something of a percussion prodigy, appearing on The Mickey Mouse Club when he was 9 and sitting in with Dizzy Gillespie the following year. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, he played regularly with Chuck and Gap Mangione. He then spent three years in the U.S. Army, playing with the field and stage bands, which provided him with the personal and musical skill set he would draw upon throughout his career.
(Tampa Bay Times 01/20/2017)
Now Upton, 26, is one of the orchestra’s most recognizable faces. As principal, he handles brief solo interludes written for the oboe, often in support of a visiting violinist or pianist. This weekend it’s his turn to shine. Upton will stand by conductor Stuart Malina to play Mozart’s Oboe Concerto, which shows off the instrument’s expressiveness and versatility.
At 19, in his sophomore year at Eastman School of Music, he won a position in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He went on to earn a master’s degree at the Juilliard School.
(Chicago Tribune 01/18/2017)
Contemporary jazz is coming to Tommy Nevin’s Pub in Evanston thanks to Skokie resident Dave Flippo. He will be bringing his quartet, Jazz From Planet Flippo, to the popular restaurant and performance venue twice a month starting Jan. 22.
Flippo, who earned a bachelor of arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master of musical arts in music composition from the Eastman School of Music and a doctorate of musical arts in music composition from the University of Michigan, has been teaching in this area since 1987. He currently teaches music, jazz and classical piano at Triton College and the College of Lake County, as well as giving private lessons.
(Broadway World 01/21/2017)
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) and the Humphreys School for Musical Theatre (HSMT) presented two special events with award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown on January 19th and 20th.
He studied composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., with Samuel Adler, Christopher Rouse, and Joseph Schwantner.
Eastman School teams with ArtistShare
(Rochester Business Journal 01/20/2017)
Eastman School of Music has announced a partnership designed to help launch the careers of students and alumni. The school is teaming with ArtistShare Inc., a company founded in 2001 as the Internet’s first crowdfunding platform for creative artists. Eastman School musicians selected for the program will have access to featured billing on the ArtistShare and Launchpad websites, professional career and marketing services, creative project support and the opportunity for worldwide release of their recordings on the ArtistShare label, officials said. (Also reported by Musical America)
(Greensboro News and Record 01/19/2017)
The family story goes that Kevin McDonald loved to watch a video of his great aunt — who had been a nurse in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps — being honored years later for her service. He liked to watch the drums being played during the ceremony featured in the video. But today, McDonald won’t be watching someone else play the drums. As a petty officer 1st class in the U.S. Navy, he’ll play his own set during the inauguration of Donald Trump, who will be sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States.
McDonald received a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from the Eastman School of Music, part of the University of Rochester in New York, and a master’s degree, also in jazz performance, from the Manhattan School of Music. He applied for a vacancy with the Navy Band three years ago and was accepted.
(TWC News 01/17/2017)
There will be some Rochester talent in Washington D.C. on Friday for the presidential inauguration. A total of 11 alumni from the Eastman School of Music will be performing at President-Elect Donald Trumps Inauguration. They’re part of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. This is the group four years ago at the Eastman Theatre. The Marine Band will perform at the swearing-in ceremony, the Pennsylvania Avenue parade and the Armed Forces inaugural ball.
(Shreveport Times 01/22/2017)
It’s down to the wire for the 2016 Wideman International Piano Competition as the finalists move into the third and final round this month.
The three finalists to advance are:
- Alison Chiang, Eastman School of Music, Brahms: Concerto No. 1 in D minor
The winner will be announced live and judges will present the gold, silver and bronze medals. The judges are Alon Goldstein (1996 Wideman Gold Medalist), Al Mouledous (professor of Piano at the Meadows School of the Arts, SMU), Jeffrey Rink (international conductor) and Nelita True (professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music).
(Lockport Union-Sun & Journal 01/22/2017)
On a recent wintry weekend, 23-year-old Brendan Lanighan was stuck in an airport in Baltimore. His destination was Atlanta and a date with the renowned Glenn Miller Orchestra, but canceled flights after bad weather and an airport shooting left the trombonist in limbo.
Then, in high school at Williamsville East, Brendan met Steve Shewan and found a mentor. Shewan helped nurture Brendan’s love of music and inspired his application to Eastman School of Music. As it turns out, that was Brendan’s only application to music school and he filed it after the deadline. He was admitted anyway.
(The Daily Nebraskan 01/18/2017)
Christopher Marks’ music career began at age five with piano.
Marks said he became interested in playing and took lessons until he was a teenager. At age thirteen, he became interested in the organ.
His love for both piano and organ followed him into college. Marks received his bachelor’s degree in piano at the University of Richmond, going on to the University of Illinois to receive his master’s degree for the organ. Marks earned his doctorate for the organ at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.
(Democrat & Chronicle 01/14/2017)
Even after a tough day, when she wonders how much more she has to give, Yunjin Audrey Kim’s work as music director at Rochester’s Spiritus Christi Church fills her with energy and inspiration.
Kim, 31, has a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from James Madison University and a master’s degree in vocal performance and literature from Eastman School of Music. She works part time at Spiritus Christi on North Fitzhugh Street, juggling other music-related commitments for the Pittsford Central School District and the Rochester Association of Performing Arts.
Composer, arranger and teacher Fred Sturm, was a force at the Eastman School of Music when he chaired the jazz department and directed several ensembles from 1991 to 2002. Sturm died of cancer in 2014 but his impact on the local music scene endures. Bill Tiberio and Mark Borden, band directors at Fairport High School and Honeoye Falls-Lima High School respectively, have organized a tribute featuring an all-star big band with Fred’s son Ike Sturm, Jeff Campbell, Tom Davis, Bill Dobbins, Jim Doser, Mark Kellogg, Clay Jenkins, Bob Sneider, Rich Thompson, John Viavattine, and others.
The Baptist Temple to hold benefit concert
(Henrietta Post 01/17/2017)
The Baptist Temple at Clover Center for Arts and Spirituality, 1101 Clover St., Rochester, will present “Songs of Praise: A Vocal Scholar’s Perspective” at 3 p.m. Jan. 29. The benefit concert will feature director and pianist Kevin Nitsch and Eastman School of Music vocal scholars Nicole Miniello, soprano; Hailey McAvoy, contralto; Patrick Kelly, tenor; and Thapelo Masita, bass and cellist.