The Beal Institute Presents: “Visual Music.v2: An Evening of World-Premiere Film and Music Collaborations”

December 17, 2019

More Information:
For Media Inquiries: Eastman Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator: Katey Padden (585-274-1052,

Visual Music posterThe Beal Institute, under the direction of Associate Professor Mark Watters, presents “Visual Music: An Evening of World-Premiere Film and Music Collaborations,” Thursday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music.

Compositions from Eastman’s Contemporary Media and Film Scoring Department will be performed live-to-picture by the 35-piece Empire Film and Media Ensemble. The compositions featured are from four graduating Master’s students: Peiyao Wang, Shoghi Hayes, Aaron Seibert-Castiniera, Zhe Pan, Yixin Huang Derrick Thomas Hegeman, and Linyao Zhang.

The evening’s compositions represent visual music, showcasing films from Rochester Institute for Technology (RIT) student filmmakers, classic silent films, and more.  The second half of the program will feature a new score composed for the classic gothic horror classic Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi.

“We are very excited to be presenting Visual Music.v2, the second annual departmental recital from the newly created Contemporary Media and Film Scoring curriculum at the Eastman School of Music. Sponsored by the Beal Institute, the program showcases the unique talents of our graduating Master’s students,” shared Mark Watters, an Emmy Award-winning conductor and composer and director of the Beal Institute. “I am especially excited about what the students have done with Dracula. This classic from 1931 never had a musical score composed for it. I split the film into four sections and each composer will conduct their own portion, but the film will run continuously.”

Stephanie Maxwell, Professor of Film and Animation at RIT, was integral in collaborating with Watters for the showcase and this evening of visual music. Several RIT student films will be shown alongside their composition counterparts, including work from Tianyi Yin and Bingjie Xiao.

The Visual Music performance is free and open to the public.

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About Beal Institute:

The Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music provides students with instruction and experiences that prepare them for the increasingly evolving opportunities to write, produce, and perform music for film and contemporary media. Founded in 2016 by Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal (BM85) and vocalist Joan Beal (BM84), and under the direction of Mark Watters, Emmy Award- winning composer and conductor, the program builds on the film legacy of the School’s founder, George Eastman.

Students in the Beal Institute have opportunities to work with established visiting artists: professional composers, arrangers and musicians who are actively engaged in the film, television and video game industry. Students are also encouraged to collaborate on cross-disciplinary and multi-media projects with other students, faculty members from humanities, composition, and other Eastman departments, community arts organizations, and other area universities. The Institute enhances the graduate degree program in convergent media and film music.

Jeff Beal, who received his Bachelor of Music degree from Eastman with High Distinction in 1985, serves as artistic director of the Institute and continues to be closely involved with the students, faculty, and administration of the school. 

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 J. 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, Emmy 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.