The Beal Institute Presents: Visual Music 4.0: An Evening of Original Music Performed Live-to-Picture by the Empire Film and Media Ensemble

December 21, 2021

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

The Beal Institute Presents -Visual Music 4-January 13, 2022The Beal Institute, under the direction of Associate Professor Mark Watters, presents “Visual Music 4.0: An Evening of World-Premiere Film and Music Collaborations,” Saturday, February 26, 2022, at 7:30 PM in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music and this year’s presentation will feature the music of Eastman faculty and alumni.

Compositions from Eastman’s Contemporary Media and Film Scoring Department will be performed live-to-picture by a 30-piece section of the Empire Film and Media Ensemble. The program will feature works by alumni Jeff Beal ‘85E, and David Rivello ‘89E (MM), as well as Beal Institute Director, Mark Watters. Acclaimed Eastman conductor emeritus Donald Hunsberger ‘54E, ‘59E (MM), ‘63E (DMA) will return to the stage to conduct excerpts from the Lon Chaney silent film classic, The Phantom of the Opera.

Besides Hunsberger’s Phantom compilation, the program includes: NASA’s celebration of the Apollo 11 mission, Go for the Moon by Eastman alumnus and multiple Emmy winner Jeff Beal, conducted by Grant O’Brien; Elemental Forces by Dave Rivello, a collaboration with  BIODANCE; and two scores by Mark Watters, Alice’s Little Parade, a vintage silent era Disney short and his Suite from “Coraline.”

“This year, for a change from our previous concerts, Visual Music 4.0 will feature works from faculty and alumni” shared Mark Watters, an Emmy Award-winning conductor and composer and director of the Beal Institute. “I think it’s going to be a very interesting and diverse program!”

The Visual Music performance will be livestreamed at and will be free to view. The stream will start approximately 15 minutes before the event.

The three-semester-long Eastman Centennial celebration will begin in Fall 2021 and continues throughout 2022. Highlights include acclaimed guest artists performing alongside Eastman’s ensembles; national academic and music conferences; alumni events throughout the country; a documentary being produced in partnership with WXXI, and more. Pillar events include: “Opening of the Doors,” a community-driven celebration scheduled for March 3-6, 2022; “100 concerts to celebrate 100 years”; and a Meliora Weekend celebration in Fall 2022.

For up-to-date information on the Eastman Centennial, including feature stories, future events, videos, testimonials, ways to engage, and more, please visit our Centennial website at

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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.

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. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.

About the University of Rochester:

The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.