ROCHESTER, NY A number of local and national organizations are ensuring that promising middle-school and high-school students from the Rochester City School District are on the path to high-quality music instruction at the Eastman School of Music.
Four local organizations Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, Rochester Area Community Foundation (Anne McQuay Arts and Cultural Fund; Fund for the Fine and Performing Arts), Fred & Floy Willmott Foundation, and Target Stores along with New York City-based Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and The ASCAP Foundation have given more than $83,000 this year to a scholarship program of the Eastman Schools Community Education Division (CED) that benefits students in the Rochester City School District. This program, in existence since 1997, is part of a larger program now known as "Pathways."
Eastman Pathways provides nearly 70 motivated City school students with scholarship aid that allows them to pursue music studies through Eastmans Community Education Division at little or no cost. Scholarship recipients follow different paths (hence, the name) depending upon their ages and ability levels. This year, a pilot group of younger children in grades 4-6 selected by their City school music teachers are taking group voice lessons and "Theory in Motion" classes at Eastman. This offers them the musical background and skills that will help them progress more quickly when they begin private lessons. Middle school and high school students take private lessons on the instrument of their choice and music theory classes from CED faculty artists. Those showing exceptional musical ability and commitment ultimately may be eligible to pursue a rigorous course of study through paths intended to help them prepare for entry into an undergraduate degree program in music and for admission to Eastmans collegiate division. Each path requires commitment and communication among students and their parents, CED faculty, and music teachers from the City School District.
"Pathways is all about helping City school students develop their music potential to the fullest," said Eastman School Director James Undercofler, who recently received the "Arts Award 2001" from the City School District for his efforts in developing programs that benefit City students. "This wonderful program wouldnt be possible without the support of our generous donors."
Eastman Pathways is just one program of the William Warfield Partnership, a collaboration since 1996 between the Eastman School and the Rochester City School District (RCSD). Named after the world-renowned bass-baritone and graduate of both the RCSD and Eastman, this partnership is designed to provide a variety of diverse music opportunities for RCSD students and teachers.