October 30, 2001

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

Rochester, NY- The first transatlantic videoconference staging between two music schools will take place next month, as the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, Scotland, provide the opportunity for a "parallel" educational musical exchange.

Through the technology of Internet2 in the United States and SuperJANET4 in the United Kingdom, two live trumpet master classes will take place on Friday, November 16, at 10 a.m.

Eastman Trumpet Professor James Thompson will give a 30-minute individual master class to a trumpet student from the RSAMD, followed by Bryan Allen, head of brass at RSAMD doing the same for one of Thompson’s trumpet students.

Both schools have been working closely on this far-reaching opportunity. "The Eastman School of Music’s technology project with the Royal Scottish Academic of Music and Drama forges a dynamic international partnership that begins to show one distinct future for classical music teaching and performing," says Eastman School Director and Dean, James Undercofler. "We are thrilled to be working with such brilliant and distinguished colleagues." Principal of the RSAMD, Sir Philip Ledger, heartily concurs. "The establishment of an International Consortium by the Eastman School of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to explore the place of distance learning in performance training and the curriculum is a tremendously exciting development."

"This is the first use of Internet2 technology for transatlantic interactive education, particularly in a musical context," according to Kevin McPeak, director of technology services and music production at Eastman, and coordinator of the exchange. " It reinforces the true nature of ‘distance learning,’ which is to link up similar communities of learning."

In addition to the master class, Eastman is participating in a second internet partnership with the RSAMD. Next semester, McPeak’s seven-week seminar through Eastman’s innovative Arts Leadership Program (ALP) titled, "Tune In, Log On: Technology and Music in the Post-Napster World," will be open to RSAMD students participating simultaneously with the Eastman students.

Closer to home, Eastman’s Rheinhild Steingrover, assistant professor of German in the Humanities department, will be co-teaching a course through videoconferencing with University of Buffalo History Professor Patricia Mazòn, titled "German Culture and Society, 1790-2000." The course, offered through both schools, will meet twice per week, with each teacher taking turns lecturing on a variety of topics. Students will work in small groups, including mixed groups of Eastman and University of Buffalo students.

With upcoming technological advances, the RSAMD and the Eastman School look positively to the future, toward an exciting partnership inclusion of the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia. "Individual tuition, masterclasses, assessment, student recruitment and the professional development of alumni will all be possible as the technology is refined," says Sir Philip.