Eastman Community Music School Hosts New Stage at Fairport Canal Days

May 8, 2019

More Information:
For Media Only: Jessica A. Kaufman (585-274-1057, jkaufman@esm.rochester.edu)

Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) is pleased to announce that it will, for the first time, host its own stage at the annual Fairport Canal Days (FCD) Festival on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.

The Eastman Community Music School has been an integral part of the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, and the Rochester community, since its opening in 1921.  Fairport Canal Days is in its 43rd year and is one of the area’s largest and most respected festivals.

FCD’s Music Director Tim Forster and ECMS Associate Dean and Director Petar Kodzas have worked on the details of this collaboration over the past 6 months.  “We think that Fairport Canal Days is arguably the most community-oriented festival in New York state, so having one of the oldest and most prestigious community music schools in the country joining with us is a big deal,” states Forster.  He adds that music has become a much larger part of the festival in recent years, with over 70 different groups performing this year, on 5 stages, throughout the duration of the festival.  20 of those groups will be from ECMS, performing mainly classical and jazz.  Adds Forster, “I think festival goers will be impressed with the extraordinary quality and diversity of these student groups.  They really are keeping George Eastman’s original vision of music in the community alive.” With the exception of Saturday night, all performances are free and open to the public.

Kodzas sees this as a remote Open House for ECMS. “We at the Eastman Community Music School are very proud of our facility at the Eastman School of Music’s iconic downtown location, but as we continue our mission to involve more people in music, we want to bring our love of music into the surrounding communities.  Fairport Canal Days, as a family-friendly and arts-oriented event, is a perfect venue to share our work! We hope to enrich experiences for festival-goers with our performances and an instrument petting zoo; creating a unique opportunity for kids and their parents to hear a broad range of instruments and ensembles, and then to actually try an instrument themselves. Come visit us at the north end of the Main street, near KidZone!”

Fairport Canal Days opens Friday evening May 31 at 4:30 pm, with the first performing group that evening being the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra – an ECMS group.  Saturday hours are from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00p.m. and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  The ‘petting zoo” will be open Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., and again from 3:00-5:00 p.m. 

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About Eastman Community Music School:

The Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) provides opportunities for community members to learn, discuss, and celebrate music. As one of Eastman’s primary connections to the greater Rochester community since 1921, the school offers music lessons, ensembles, classes, and workshops to student of all ages and backgrounds. ECMS serves an average of 1,600 students per year ranging in age from 4 months to over 90 years old. From pre-school and early childhood programs, to college prep and diploma programs, to adult ensembles and classes, ECMS nurtures and inspires students at all levels. 

About Eastman School of Music: 

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.

More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Guggenheim Fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community.

About Fairport Canal Days:

Now in its 43rd year, Fairport Canal Days is one of the largest community festivals of its kind in New York State. The all-volunteer, non-profit festival takes place the first weekend of June each year on and around the banks of the Erie Canal in Fairport, New York, one of the New York State Canal System’s premier canal towns. This year’s festival will feature over 200 artisans, 70 music groups, and 50 food vendors.

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