ROCHESTER, NY — The Eastman School of Music celebrates ‘Music in Our Schools’ month (March) with 40 chamber music groups performing nearly 80 educational concerts in schools and other community sites around Rochester from March 23-April 4, as part of the School’s “Music for All” program.
Founded in 1995, “Music for All” strives to take classical music and musicians out of the concert hall and into the community. Each Eastman student chamber music group will present an interactive school program for an elementary, middle, or high school-aged audience on “Music for All” Day — Tuesday, March 23. Then, during the next two weeks, the musicians present a similar performance for an adult audience as well. These performances will occur throughout the Rochester area in a variety of non-traditional settings — including senior homes, public libraries, a battered women’s shelter, a homeless shelter, the Ronald McDonald House, the Hickey-Freeman Company, and other locations.
According to Elinor Freer, assistant professor of chamber music at Eastman and coordinator of the program, Eastman’s ‘Music for All’ program is the most extensive and comprehensive program of any music conservatory outreach program. The participating students receive significant training before presenting their performance. This training begins each year with a seminar in January during which a young professional chamber music group demonstrates for Eastman students the skills necessary to connect with audiences of all ages. In February, Eastman student groups spend time preparing their own school and community presentations under the guidance of Eastman faculty members, before finally taking their show “on the road” in March.
“All 21st-century musicians must become powerfully communicative advocates for their art,” Freer said. “‘Music for All’ gives Eastman students the opportunity to develop the performance and communication skills necessary to become such advocates — and allows them to contribute to building new audiences for classical music.”
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