By Petar Kodzas, Associate Dean and Director of Eastman Community Music School
Celebrating a century of leadership in the music world is an exceptional achievement. Staying current and acknowledging the demands of 21st-century musicianship is always on our mind and requires daily creativity. The same goes for maintaining our facilities and halls – the grandeur of our school requires constant attention in order to stay as beautiful as it was in the 1920s.
Summer 2024 presented Eastman Community Music School with the perfect challenge: critical renovation work scheduled for Eastman facilities this summer required us to redesign many of our summer offerings. In years past, we dreamed about ways to grow our summer programs; this was our opportunity!
This summer’s programing could be nicknamed “locals only!” We are bringing in new programs, expanding the age range of existing offerings, and adding variety to our opportunities. For convenience, we are offering programs in different formats – weekly rehearsals, weekend intensive programs, and half- and full-day programs. Here is a quick review of what’s on the “menu” this summer:
- We invite parents of the youngest ones in our community (4 months – 5 years) to join us for our Early Childhood Music Program offering, a new summer extension of our school year programs.
- String and wind players of all ages can join Summer Studio Orchestra to explore film music and the Great American Songbook.
- Middle school strings, wind, guitar, and piano students are invited to attend the Adventure Music Camp, Guitar Intensive Workshop, and Keyboard Explorations programs.
- High School Wind Ensemble Workshop is our summer staple with a grand finale concert in Kodak Hall. For high-school aged students, we are introducing a week-long Keyboard Explorations program. And, of course, our summer would not be complete without a High School Jazz Workshop, led by members of Eastman’s Jazz faculty.
- Students interested in exploring music outside the classical canon: we hope you’ll try Summer Gamelan Workshop or Mandolin Workshop. These courses are probably not something you can find in your school!
- We thank music teachers from our communities by inviting them to play in two exceptional groups – Music Educators Wind and Music Educators Jazz Ensembles, both led by Bill Tiberio. Don’t miss their final concerts and the pleasure of hearing your teachers perform!
- Finally, we don’t want to exclude parents and grandparents. Our Adult Chamber Music Workshop, recognized by the American Chamber Music Players, is a fantastic opportunity for adults in the home to lead by example. Trust me, your children will be impressed even if they are better players than you!
ECMS was recently voted “Best Music School” in CITY’s “Best of Rochester 2023” readers’ poll. Come and see how private lessons can make your summer more exciting and musically enriching. We hope to see you on Gibbs Street this summer!
Associate Dean and Director
Eastman Community Music School