Pathways Open House for Prospective Students

Saturday, March 3 @ 3:00pm, Eastman School of Music (26 Gibbs Street)

Join us to learn more about Pathways, go on a tour, hear a recital, meet current Pathways students… and find out how to apply!

About Pathways

The Eastman Pathways Program, a partnership between the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester City School District (RCSD), provides RCSD students in 4-12th grades with generous scholarships to pursue music studies at the Eastman Community Music School. Each year, Pathways is home to almost 70 of Rochester’s top student musicians. Students begin with private lessons, and can advance through theory and music history classes, participate in ensembles and some choose earn an ECMS Diploma.

Eastman Pathways honors the legacy of world-renowned baritone William Warfield, who graduated from both the RCSD and the Eastman School of Music. Graduates of the Pathways program have attended colleges such as Eastman, University of Rochester, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, the University of Miami, SUNY Fredonia, the Manhattan School of Music, and Juilliard. Since the program’s birth in 1997, its student population has always reflected Rochester’s rich, cultural diversity: underrepresented minorities account for over half of the graduating classes.

Application Information

We want to ensure the success of all the students in our program. So, we require that all prospective students meet the following requirements before applying.

To apply for the Pathways Program, the student:

  • Must be recommended by their RCSD instrumental, vocal or general music teacher
  • Must be in 4th-10th grades
  • Must have played their instrument for at least one year and
    audition on a NYSSMA solo
  • Must be in good academic standing (2.0 minimum) and have
    no disciplinary referral
  • Must be a participant in the school music program and continue in 2017-201
  • Must maintain 90% attendance or above
  • Students attending SOTA must be registered in a music ensemble

If the student meets the above requirements, congratulations! You’re eligible to apply for Pathways! Keep reading to find out more…

Before reading this section, remember that acceptance to Pathways is NOT based on income. We are looking for talented students with good teacher recommendations. Your income level will not effect your acceptance to Pathways.


A Pathways Scholarship covers private lessons, and any classes or ensembles you are eligible for.

To determine the amount of your Pathways scholarship, we look at Page 1 of your IRS form, which you submit with your application:

Income under $40,000  Full tuition scholarship
Income above $40,000  Scholarship amout based on a sliding scale

Additional costs:

All students are required to pay a $30.00 registration fee per year. There may be other fees (up to $25/semester) for materials such as theory text books, or music books. Need-based funding for materials is sometimes available upon request.

Step 1: Get a School Teacher Recommendation

Ask your school music teacher to submit a recommendation.

Step 2: Submit a Pathways Application

Fill out the Pathways Application Form online.

Here is a checklist of all the information you will need to complete in the application:

General Information

Your Contact and School Information

Your Legal Guardian Contact information

Proof of Family Income

Page 1 of your family’s latest IRS form (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ)  must  be  submitted with your application

Grade Consent Form

Permission to check your grades throughout the year

January Report Card

Evidence of your current academic standing

Citywide Commitment Form

Agreement to partner with the RCSD and give back to the district
RCSD Music Teacher Recommendation Form This form must be filled out and submitted by your RCSD teacher. We cannot process your application until we have this recommendation.

The entire Pathways application is now available online. You may request a paper copy by emailing

Step 3: Perform an Audition

After we receive your application, you must perform a live audition. Further information regarding your audition day and time will be sent to you after you submit the application

During the audition, we will ask you to:

  1. Tell us the names of notes in bass and treble clefs
  2. Sightread a short piece appropriate for your NYSSMA Level
  3. Perform a prepared solo from the NYSSA Manual

Select a NYSSMA Solo with your school music teacher, and practice before your audition. Follow these guidelines when choosing your solo:

Elementary Choral Students  Perform any traditional song such as: My Country Tis of  Thee, My Favorite Things or Edelweiss.
4th and 5th graders  Perform a NYSSMA Solo Level 1 or higher
6th, 7th and 8th graders  Perform a NYSSMA Solo Level 2 or higher
9th and 10th graders  Perform NYSSMA Solo Level 3 or higher

Pathways Calendar

** Asterisks indicate important dates for prospective students

SEPTEMBER 8  Welcome Back Party!
SEPTEMBER 9  First semester begins
OCTOBER 8  NY Music College Fair @ Eastman

TBD: College Workshop

NOV 22 – 26  Thanksgiving Break


 Holiday Party!

MCSMA Solo Festival

1/11-1/12: Highschool

1/18-1/19: Middle School

1/25-1/26: Elementary/Jazz

JANURARY 20  First semester ends
FEBRUARY 18 – 24 Winter break!
** MARCH 2  Pathways Openhouse for Prospective Students
APRIL 15 – 22 Spring Break
** APRIL 27 – 28 Pathways auditions for New Students
MAY 13 Cithwide Performances @ Kodak Hall

5/5, 5/10, 5/13: Rehearsals @ East HS

MAY 14 NYSSMA Solo Fest
MAY 15 Pathways Graduation Dinner
** MAY 20  Acceptance Letters mailed to New Students
MAY 21 – 26 ECMS Jury Week
** JUNE 4  Pathways Orientation for New and Returning Students (required)
JUNE 10 ECMS Commencement and Awards

Events for Pathways Students

These events are FREE and open to all current Pathways students!

A welcome and orientation event for all Pathways parents and students. Lunch and lots of fun provided! Invitation and RSVP sent via email.

Saturday, September 8


Messinger Hall 1

Eastman Community Music School

Come celebrate the holidays with your Pathways classmates! Our team is currently planning some new games and fun for the evening, so we hope you can join us!

More info to come!

Date TBA: Dec. 1 or Dec. 8

Attend a special Gala event with your Pathways classmates. Includes an RPO ticket, VIP pre-concert talk, cookies, visits from the conductor and musicians…and more!

Date: February 9th, 6:30pm

FREE for all Pathways students!

A celebration for all Pathways graduates. You and some family members are invited to dinner and an awards ceremony.

Date: May 15th

Throughout the year, we offer info sessions for Pathways students who are applying to college, or have questions about careers in the music field. Eastman School of Music faculty often join us and are available for questions. Stay tuned for dates and topics!

Contact Us!

Please contact Hannah with any questions regarding Pathways!

Hannah Harrow, Program Coordinator

Kelly Follman, Pathways Liaison
Rochester City School District
Dominic Pickard, Director of Arts
Rochester City School District
Eastman Community Music School