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.)
(Star Tribune 02/14/2017)
The Maria Schneider Orchestra is on tour performing the Grammy-winning “Thompson Fields” this month, with six concerts on the West Coast and one in Minnesota. . . . After earning a master’s degree from Eastman School of Music and moving to New York in 1985, she has figured out how to make a living in music, starting as a copyist to jazzman Gil Evans (who wrote charts for Sting). In 1992, she formed the Maria Schneider Orchestra. The group has recorded nine albums, including the last seven for ArtistShare, a fan-funded label. (Also reported by Jazz Police )
Answer Man: Rochester, Minn. Is NOT the wrong Rochester
(Post Bulletin 02/17/2017)
I asked this perceptive emailer and AirBNB host, Evan M. Lowenstein, for more details and he said, “Twice now, we’ve had Eastman School of Music candidates and their parents from China book with us, only to not show up. When we finally heard from them, they both had the same story: they had flown to the wrong Rochester…”
As loyal readers will recall, I had a marvelous column item on Oct. 21, 2015 — I remember it like it was yesterday — about famed baritone Nathan Gunn making exactly the same bone-headed error — having spoken with Nathan at the time, I think he would agree with that characterization of the error. He was going to visit his daughter at the Eastman School, as I noted in a column a few days later, and somehow the airline reservation was messed up.
I think I’ve found the common thread to these tales of travel woe — it’s the Eastman School’s fault. The Eastman — yes, established by the founder of Eastman Kodak almost a century ago — is one of the top music schools in America, but it also apparently plays a virtuoso role in heartbreak for travelers.
(Oregon Arts Watch 02/15/2017)
Schneider attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. in the ‘80s, after earning a degree in jazz composition the University of Minnesota and briefly attending the University of Miami. She has recorded nine albums, many fan-funded through ArtistShare, and received Grammys in a number of categories, such as classical composition, vocal performance, best arrangement and engineering. The Thompson Fields received her latest Grammy in 2016 for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.
While all the members contribute to her band’s sound, Schneider’s band owes its vision and direction, as well as its name, to its leader. That’s different from the band that performs the next day at the festival. Kneebody’s same five guys – keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood — have played and composed as one since 2001. Their democratic approach to playing, composing, and working together means that no one person controls the direction of the music on stage or off. (Note: Kneebody members Adam Benjamin, Shane Endsley, Kaveh Rastegar, and Ben Wendel are Eastman School of Music alumni.)
(City newspaper 02/15/2017)
There is perhaps no better ensemble with which to showcase the 20th anniversary of Eastman School of Music‘s OSSIA New Music group than the JACK Quartet. Founded at Eastman, the quartet will perform in Kodak Hall on Wednesday. Original members Christopher Otto (violin) and John Pickford Richards (viola) and new additions cellist Jay Campbell and violinist Austin Wulliman will perform two contemporary classical stunners alongside students in OSSIA and Musica Nova.
(The Des Moines Register 02/15/2017)
On Tuesday, the Des Moines Storytellers Project is dedicating a night to those sometimes awkward, but so-often meaningful exchanges of friendship. . . . Sophia Ahmad serves as vice president of public relations at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Previously, she was director of marketing and public relations at the Des Moines Symphony and Academy, where she continues to serve on the faculty. An Eastman School of Music graduate, she fancies herself a pun aficionado.
(The Roanoke Times 02/14/2017)
The evening will feature the jazz band from the high school, gourmet desserts provided by area restaurants, freshly brewed coffee and a performance by featured artist Chris Vadala, two-time Grammy award winning jazz saxophonist from the University of Maryland. . . . One of the country’s foremost woodwind artists, Chris Vadala, is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings to date, as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores, performing on all the saxophones, flutes and clarinets. A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, earning the honor of the Performer’s Certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education, received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College, and pursued postgraduate study in woodwinds at Eastman.
Livonia grad, playing with YoYo Ma, wins Grammy Award
(Livingston County News 02/16/2017)
Sitting in the audience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon, Shane Shanahan didn’t immediately realize he had just become a two-time Grammy winner. . . . A classically-trained percussionist with degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and the Hartt School in Connecticut, Shanahan developed a taste for different kinds of percussion from around the world shortly after earning his masters.
(The Chattanoogan 02/14/2017)
Following its annual board meeting in January, the Lee University Board of Directors awarded tenure to eight faculty members effective August 2017. The new tenured faculty members are Richard Albright, Matthew Fisher, Andrew Harnsberger, Mary Mathias-Dickerson, Brian Peterson, Randy Sheeks, Arlie Tagayuna, and John Wykoff. . . . Dr. Harnsberger is an associate professor of music and percussion coordinator at Lee. He earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he also received the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. He received his Master of Music (MM) and his Bachelor of Music (BM) from Virginia Commonwealth University.
(Florida Today 02/15/2015)
He looks barely old enough to drive, but don’t let appearances fool you about New Zealander Thomas Gaynor. The guy knows his way around the pipe organ. Judge for yourself, because this talented Kiwi will be in Brevard for a concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26, at Advent Lutheran Church, 7550 N. Wickham Road, Suntree. . . . Winner of many international organ competitions, Gaynor is pursuing his doctoral degree in musical arts.at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in New York. Hiw recently released first CD, recorded at Wellington Cathedral in New Zealand, was one of five recording to best represent the “Eastman Sound.” He is currently assistant director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church in Rochester, New York.
(Chronicle of Higher Education 02/24/2017)
Faculty Appointments: Chelsea Burns, preceptor of music at Harvard University, to a faculty member in the music-theory department at the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music. Mara Culp, a visiting assistant professor of music education at Ithaca College, to a faculty member in the department of music teaching and learning at the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music. Orit Hilewicz, a candidate for a doctorate in music theory at Columbia University, to a faculty member in the music-theory department at the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music.
Conference to explore Liszt’s cultural influence
(Fairport-East Rochester Post 02/15/2017)
“Liszt and Virtuosity — An International Symposium” will feature performances and 11 of the world’s prominent Franz Liszt scholars March 2-4 at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester. (Also reported by Penfield Post)
(Albany Times Union 02/16/2017)
His daughter, Lyla, 24, who has a Chinese language degree, now works in New York City for a firm that fosters business partnerships between Chinese and American companies. His son, Rider, 21, is a senior at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester who is finishing his degree in jazz bass performance.
(Democrat & Chronicle 02/14/2017)
Mitzie Collins (1941 – ): One of the founders, in 1971, of the Golden Link Folk Singing Society of Rochester, this Texas native is known throughout the area and beyond for her playing of the hammered dulcimer and other instruments. A 1963 graduate of the Eastman School of Music majoring in piano, she and husband Tom Bohrer founded Sampler Records in 1975, specializing in traditional folk music. She received a master’s degree in 2005 from the Eastman School, where she now teaches. She is the founder and director of the Striking Strings Hammered Dulcimer Ensemble, and she’s the former host of a WXXI-FM program featuring music for children.
CCSO Conductor Finalist brings Rhythm on Fire to Performing Arts Center
(KRIS TV 02/15/2017)
Akiko Fujimoto is increasingly recognized as one of the most dynamic and versatile conductors of her generation. As the Associate Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony, Fujimoto conducts over 40 performances annually, including the Baroque Series, Pops, Ballet, and Education concerts. . . . Born in Japan, Fujimoto moved to the United States at age 14 and went on to Stanford University, where she studied music and psychology. She holds Master of Music degrees in conducting from Boston University and the Eastman School of Music.
(North Country Now 02/15/2017)
SUNY Potsdam’s Crane Wind Ensemble, led by Dr. Brian Doyle, comprised of 58 wind and percussion majors in The Crane School of Music will perform a concert featuring Dr. Lauren Becker, assistant professor of horn at Crane, Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Hall. . . . Prior to Becker’s appointment at Crane, she taught horn at Nazareth College, the University of Rochester and the Eastman Community Music School.