Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) of the Eastman School of Music, together with Grammy-nominated, Rochester-based Musician Jimmie Highsmith Jr, are proud to announce the creation of the Hosea Taylor Jr. Memorial Community Band. A formal announcement and press conference will be held Monday, May 2, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at East High School, 1801 East Main Street, Rochester, New York, in their auditorium.
“Hosea Taylor Jr. was a true champion for our community,” shares Highsmith Jr., “I witnessed him give away musical instruments and lessons for free to so many youths of Rochester, New York. His dedication to mentorship and the undeniable fact that music brings people together is the driving force behind this band’s creation.”
The program is open to any City of Rochester resident aged eight and above, and to all levels of experience. Rehearsals will be held at East High every other Saturday beginning in June, throughout the summer, and will include performances throughout the community. Mentorship and fellowship are a priority of the band, led by director Daryl Smith, co-directed by Highsmith Jr, with teachers and volunteer, and musical mentors including Gateways Music Festivals’ Director of Programs (and former ROCmusic Director) Armand Hall, and RPO and Gateways performer Herb Smith (both graduates of Eastman).
“Eastman Community Music School has been in the heart of downtown since the first days of our existence. We are proud of many programs that we offer on campus as well as our partnerships with educational and cultural institutions in the City of Rochester,” shares Petar Kodzas, Associate Dean and Director of the Eastman Community Music School. “This grassroots project, imagined by Jimmie Highsmith Jr., embodies our goals to bring music to all corners of Rochester, serve students of all ages and generations, and strengthen our community with the gift of music.”
“The Hosea Taylor Jr. Memorial Concert Band is great way to get the students engaged and form unity in the community,” shares Barbara Groszewski, Senior Location Manager at First Student. “First Student is honored to be a part of this program to provide the transportation needed to be get the students to the program.
The band creation is made possible through the partnership of Eastman Community Music School, Jimmie Highsmith Jr., City of Rochester, ROCmusic, East High School, First Student, and Rochester City School District. The Hosea Taylor Jr., Memorial Community Concert Band is graciously underwritten by Judy and Bill Rose.
Media Only Eastman: Jessica Kaufman, Director of Communications; (585)278-4748, email@example.com
Jimmie Highsmith Jr; (585) 666-0019; Blacsax1@yahoo.com
About Hosea Taylor Jr.:
Hosea Taylor Jr. was a well-known musician, mentor, and community activist. A native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Wilberforce College, Taylor moved to Rochester in the early 1970s and worked as a mentor with Action for a Better Community. He was also a civil rights activist in the community and an informal mentor to many youths. “Hosea was a man who loved people,” Jahaka Mindstorm, a friend of Taylor’s for 36 years, stated. “From the time he first came to Rochester, there was no limit to what he would give. He gave free music and martial arts lessons. He would give people in need whatever he had really, down to his last dollar.” To learn more about Taylor’s life, a great resource is local Rochester writer by Kathleen M. Blasi’s children’s book, Hosea Plays On, illustrated by Shane W. Evans.
About Jimmie Highsmith Jr.:
Rochester, NY based Saxophonist/Flaulist Jimmie Highsmith Jr., has shared the stage with and opened for multiple Grammy® Award winners, including Najee, Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole, Víctor, Reggie and Joseph Wooten, Chris Botti, Grover Washington Jr., James Lloyd, Tia Fuller, Wycliffe Gordon and Wynton Marsalis just to name a few. In the last 20 years he has recorded 11 top selling smooth jazz CD’s that have sold thousands worldwide with his 6th CD “The Anthology of Sound” receiving a Grammy® Nomination. Jimmie has also been honored to play on over 200 recordings with several other musicians, singers, and rappers. Jimmie Highsmith Jr’s work and production represents some of the best in the Smooth Jazz Genre.
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.
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.
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 https://www.esm.rochester.edu/100.
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.