Eastman News Highlights November 24, 2014

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.)

Vienna’s Albanians get in on the Mozart act

(BalkanInsight 11/21/14)

Ralph Locke, a US musicologist working on the exotic in western music, told me by email that the characters “needed big moustaches and turbans to disguise their identity as much as possible from their girlfriends…I prefer to think that they were understood as Muslim,” he wrote.

Students from the Eastman School of Music (in Rochester, New York, USA) as turbaned Albanians in this Cosi fan tutte performance of 2010. Eastman musicology professor Ralph Locke argues that the disguises should be considered Muslim rather than Christian Albanians. | Photo by Steve Piper

(Note: Ralph P. Locke is professor of musicology at Eastman)

Derrick Smith’s voice still resonates

(Democrat & Chronicle 11/23/2014)

Derrick Smith was known not only as an immensely talented vocalist, but also as an inspirational teacher who would greet you with a smile. His booming baritone voice found a home locally on the faculties of the Eastman Community Music School and Nazareth College. He also performed at Carnegie Hall and abroad.

““The richness of his voice reflected the warmth of his humanity,” said Peter Dubois, an assistant professor of sacred music at the Eastman School of Music and host of the nationally syndicated radio show With Heart and Voice.

“He had a voice that was just beautiful — resonant and deep,” said Howard Potter, director of the Eastman Community Music School.

“You were always glad to see Derrick. He was a wonderful person,” added Paul Burgett, a vice president at UR who knew Mr. Smith when he was a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music and Burgett was its dean of students. (Also reported by Time Warner Cable)

School looks to expand repertoire
(Rochester Business Journal © 11/20/2014)

Jamal Rossi sees a bright future for the Eastman School of Music.

The schools dean was honored late last month at an investiture ceremony, taking the opportunity to honor the schools past while also looking forward to its future. Rossi described a future with new programs that stretch across disciplines, a major development project and a push to make the school more affordable.

While he acknowledged challenges for the Eastman School, such as a changing music world of fewer orchestras and fewer public school teaching positions, Rossi said the school remains well equipped to turn out musicians who can navigate and succeed in this new landscape.

I am convinced that the core values on which this school was built will remain the keys for educating future generations of musicians who can best meet the challenges of yet-unknown obstacles, and musicians who will take best advantage of unanticipated opportunities, Rossi told those in attendance.

MU music director marches to her own beat

(Columbia Daily Tribune 11/17/2014)

When the University of Missouri Friends of Music Board of Directors met recently, they were greeted by the new director of the School of Music — a raven-haired, 45-year-old mother of two named Julia Gaines, who has spent her performance career as a percussionist, mastering drums, marimba, vibraphone and dozens of other instruments — a far cry from her predecessor, classical violinist Rob Shay, who moved on in June to become Dean of the University of Colorado College of Music.

When the family moved to Moscow, Idaho, Julia was in the second grade, and it was here she started her musical journey as a pianist. By the seventh grade, she had shifted to the drums, graduated from Moscow High School in 1987 and moved on to Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, earning a degree in percussion performance in 1991.

Next came a master’s degree from Eastman School of Music, then finally a switch to the University of Oklahoma to work on a doctorate. In 1996, Julia took a part-time position at MU, hired by Mel Platt, and finished her OU doctorate in Columbia.

John Taylor Ward to Present Concert in Nisswa

(Brainerd Dispatch 11/19/2014)

Ward was born to a musical family in North Carolina. As a boy, he appeared as a soprano soloist at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, Durham Cathedral in the United Kingdom and Claire and King’s Colleges in Cambridge. He received a high school diploma from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and entered the Eastman School of Music, from which he received a bachelor’s degree. In 2010, he began his graduate studies at the Yale School of Music, where he is currently a doctoral student. He has served as the assistant conductor of the Opera Theatre of Yale College, while his scholarly research focuses on performance practice.

The Lakes Area Music Festival was established during the summer of 2009 when co-founding artistic and executive director Scott Lykins returned to his hometown of Brainerd with four colleagues from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Brand new area band caters to novice musicians

(The Keene Sentinel 11/15/2014)

Donna Morse admits that first rehearsal in September was nerve-wracking. Months of preparation had brought them there, a concert band for novice adult musicians, and founders Morse and Vicki Moore of Keene weren’t sure what to expect on that first evening.

Two months later, the Monadnock New Horizons Band is prepping for its first-ever concert Dec. 6 at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary of the Keene United Church of Christ in Central Square.

The approximately 30-piece band is affiliated with an international group that introduces music to beginner adults, and those who haven’t touched their instruments in years or decades. The New Horizons International Music Association was formed in 1991 by Roy Ernst, professor emeritus at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Classical pianist steps back into the 19th century today at the Hotel Fauchere

(Pocono Record 11/16/2014)

Why did composer Benjamin Godard name three of his pieces after poets? Cristina Dinella will explain and play those and other 19th Century French compositions on piano at the Hotel Fauchere today.

These days, people listen to music while texting, not fully present,” says Dinella, who graduated from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester last year. She discovered the pleasures of playing and explaining while doing a recital of American music at the Eastman House and contacted other historical societies about doing similar programs.

Marietta church hosts organ dedication

(Marietta Times 11/15/2014)

First Presbyterian Church in Marietta hosted David Schelat on Nov. 9 for the Organ Dedication Service as part of its 150th anniversary celebration. Schelat began organ lessons with First Presbyterian Church’s organist many years ago. As his skills and virtuosity increased, he studied organ and conducting at The Ohio State University with Maurice Casey, at the Eastman School of Music, and additional post-graduate studies at Syracuse University.

Third Peak to Peak Concert This Saturday

(Estes Park Trail Gazette 11/20/2014)

Finally, Jerry Brubaker, the fourth horn to arrive (just last year), completed the quartet. He knows arranging. He is an exclusive composer and arranger for Alfred Publishing Co. Inc., having published over 300 works for band, symphony orchestra and chorus. With a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s from The Catholic University of America, he served for 30 years in the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC, as a French horn soloist and, ultimately, as the Navy band’s chief composer/arranger. Whenever he thinks one of the Four Horns’ arrangements need improving, he simply rewrites it.

Tsan is guest performer for Holiday Pops concert

(The Times 11/14/2014)

HERKIMER — The Symphoria Holiday Pops Concert will present a holiday tradition with special guest artist Danan Tsan at 8 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Herkimer Junior-Senior High School.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Tsan joined the U.S. Army, assigned to the U.S. Army Field Band, and joined the Soldiers’ Chorus, later becoming lead singer for the unit’s rock band, The Volunteers. She was a solo feature with the London Symphony Orchestra in Barrow, Alaska, and other features with the Chicago Pops, the Naples Pops and the Cincinnati Pops

MUSIC: A sacred oratorio
(Rochester City Newspaper © 11/20/2014)

This season’s performances of “Messiah” in Rochester give you the opportunity to hear the piece interpreted by such venerable groups as the Rochester Oratorio Society and the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, who long ago made the work their Christmas calling card. And the Eastman School of Music offers you an opportunity to dust off that old vocal score from college and join in a “Messiah” Sing on December 7… at7 p.m., just after the RCO’s afternoon performance. And that is not counting numerous church choirs or community chorus performances of the favorite choruses and arias throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Playing It Forward

(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle blog 11/18/2014)

George Eastman’s philanthropic efforts in Rochester, NY are legendary, but his founding of Eastman School of Music and its sister school, Eastman Community Music School reflected his passion for music by offering training for musicians from childhood on. In 1919, Eastman also provided $15,000 for band and orchestra instruments for Rochester school children.

Fast forward to 1991, when Eastman’s vision expanded with the founding of New Horizons. Eastman could not have known how the legacy he left through Eastman School of Music and Community School would become a global phenomenon through Roy Ernst and New Horizons. At the same time in Rochester, urban schools were struggling to provide any extra instructional enrichment.