ROCHESTER, NY — Interested in singing in a chorus? Performing world music? Playing in a jazz ensemble? Area student musicians who are may now do so through the Eastman School of Music’s Community Education Division (CED), which is offering three new performance opportunities for the first time this fall: the Eastman Children’s Chorus, Youth Gamelan Ensemble, and Preparatory Jazz Ensemble. Those interested in learning more about (or auditioning for) any of the programs — highlighted briefly below — should call 585-274-1400 or visit www.rochester.edu/Eastman/ced.
Eastman Children’s Chorus
Children who love to sing are invited to join the all-new Eastman Children’s Chorus, directed by new CED faculty member Laurie Jenschke, who holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Texas and has successfully led choruses in the United States, Canada, and Germany. The chorus will start the year with a core chorus for singers in grades 3-9, and a senior chorus for grades 10-12. Singers, who are expected to enroll in a music theory class at Eastman to help them grown in music comprehension and reading skills, can expect to grow in many areas. Performances will be held at the Eastman School throughout the year, as well as in the Rochester community and elsewhere throughout New York State. The cost for enrollment in the chorus is $100 per semester, plus the required music theory class.
Eastman Youth Gamelan
Students ages 10-18 who are interested in exploring world music through the Indonesian gamelan — an intriguing ensemble of gongs, drums, metallophones, flutes, and more — may do so in this new class, formed on the heels of Eastman’s wildly successful collegiate gamelan ensembles. Students will learn to play both traditional and new Indonesian music on a large variety of instruments, some of which are easy to play and some of which are more difficult. Along the way, they’ll improve their listening skills, since gamelan music is learned by ear and performed without notation. Regardless of musical experience, anyone with an interest can play. The class — taught by Instructor of Gamelan Clay Greenberg, an Eastman alumnus who has studied and performed gamelan in Bali — will meet on Saturday mornings (from 10 a.m.-noon) during the school year, and costs $150 per semester. All instruments and equipment are provided.
Eastman Preparatory Jazz Ensemble
Students in grades 7-12 with a love of jazz are invited to audition for CED’s new Preparatory Jazz Ensemble, which will rehearse on Saturday mornings (from 9-11 a.m.) beginning September 28. (Auditions also will be held on a walk-in basis throughout the year on Saturdays at 11 a.m. in Eastman Room 514.) Throughout the coming year, the ensemble will focus on the music of the great Duke Ellington — with a goal of ultimately participating in the Essentially Ellington International Jazz Competition at Lincoln Center. While all instrumentalists are encouraged to audition, the traditional instrumentation includes piano, bass, drums, vibes, guitar, trumpets, trombones, all saxes, clarinet, and vocals. The ensemble will be directed by Dr. Howard Potter, Eastman’s new associate dean for Community and Continuing Education, a lifelong jazz performer and educator. Members of the ensemble also will have the opportunity to work periodically with Eastman’s renowned collegiate jazz faculty. The cost is $216 per semester, but is free to students enrolled in a lesson and a class through the CED.