The “Eastman at Washington Square” concert series, presented by Eastman Community Music School in cooperation with the First Universalist Church of Rochester, returns to downtown for the winter portion of its 23rd season on Thursday, January 5. Upcoming highlights of these free weekly lunchtime concerts lights include a jazz session by Eastman faculty members Bob Sneider, guitar; Mike Melito, drums; and Danny Ziemann, double bass; a performance of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” sonata by pianist Jiale Li; and the award-winning Fuego Saxophone Quartet.
Each performance takes place in the First Universalist Church, located at 150 South Clinton Avenue at Court Street. The church, which was dedicated in 1908, was designed by noted Rochester architect Claude Fayette Bragdon in Romanesque style and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The music begins at 12:15 and ends at approximately 12:45 p.m., and audience members are invited to bring a brown bag lunch to eat while they listen. Each half-hour informal concert features talented Eastman School of Music and Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) faculty, students, alumni, and friends of the school, highlighting a particular genre of music each week.
The “Eastman at Washington Square” series was initiated in 1994 by leaders from Eastman School and First Universalist Church. The first series director was ECMS Piano Instructor Howard Spindler; the current director is ECMS Senior Flute Instructor Sophia Gibbs Kim.
“This series embodies the true spirit of Eastman,” said Kim. “Not only does it feature a diversity of musical genres, but the featured artists reflect the many faces of Eastman—faculty, students, and alumni from both the collegiate level Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Community Music School—performing in a historic church building in downtown Rochester.”
The concert schedule through the middle of the semester is:
January 5: Music for a While
A recital of voice and guitar music by Dowland, Purcell, Rodrigo, and more, featuring ECMS faculty Teresa Ringholz, soprano, and Sungmin Shin (guitar).
January 12: Jazz at Noon
Eastman faculty members Bob Sneider, guitar, Mike Melito, drums, and Danny Ziemann, double bass, in a laid-back lunch hour.
January 19: Lunch with Ludwig
Pianist Jiale Li presents a passionate performance of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.29, Op.106, the great “Hammerklavier.”
January 26: Jazz Performance Workshop
Jazz performed by students of Eastman School of Music faculty member Clay Jenkins.
February 2: Freshwinds
Eastman School of Music first-year wind players—flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn—in a concert of woodwind quintet repertoire, coached by Eastman School of Music faculty member Anne Harrow’
February 9: Keyboard Sonatas, Waltzes, and Etudes
Works by Stravinsky, Granados, and Kapustin performed by pianist E-Na Song from the studio of Eastman School of Music faculty member Rebecca Penneys’
February 16: Keyboard Joy: Beethoven and Liszt
Pianist Jee Hae Ahn, from the studio of Eastman School of Music faculty member Rebecca Penneys, presents selections of Beethoven, Liszt, and Kirchner.
February 23: Violin Folk Music from America and Eastern Europe
Violinist Wendy Toh, from the studio of Eastman School of Music faculty member Renée Jolles, is joined by pianist Xi Chen, from the studio of Eastman School faculty member Douglas Humpherys, in a performance of music by Morton Gould and Leoš Janáček.
March 2: Fuego Saxophone Quartet
The ensemble of Eastman graduate students Nicki Roman, soprano saxophone, Erik Elmgren, alto saxophone, Harrison Clarke, tenor saxophone, and Gabriel Piqué, baritone saxophone, perform music of William Albright and Marc Mellits. Collectively, they have received winning prizes in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Collegiate Solo and Quartet Competitions, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Solo and Chamber Competitions, the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, and many more.
March 9: Eastman Viola Ensemble
Composed of students of Eastman School of Music faculty members Carol Rodland, George Taylor, and Phillip Ying, the ensemble will perform music of Dowland, Mahler, and more, under the direction of Adam Paul Cordle and Alexander Trygstad.
March 16: Flutissimo!
ECMS Krusenstjerna Scholarship Flute Choir performs under the direction of Sophia Gibbs Kim.
If Rochester City Schools are closed due to inclement weather, the church building will also be closed and the concert will be canceled. More information and updated listings are available at www.esm.rochester.edu/community/calendars/lunchtime/ . Information about the Eastman Community Music School is available at www.esm.rochester.edu/community or by calling 274-1400. More information about the First Universalist Church of Rochester can be found at www.uuroc.org .
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