Classical 91.5

Live learning and virtual concerts go hand-in-hand at the Eastman School of Music

Oct 7, 2020

Distanced wind players at Eastman

Since the pandemic shuttered all live music performances, musicians have been struggling to figure out how to bring music back to the people, and how to keep up the learning and performing.  The creativity has been outstanding as so many have learned to use technology both to learn and share their art.

Eastman School of Music has continued to provide virtual performances of many of their concerts - including faculty performances and large ensembles- FREE via livestream at this link- with concerts added all the time: Friday (10/9), beginning at 7:30pm, Eastman will offer a combined performance featuring Eastman Wind Orchestra and Eastman Wind Ensemble- both LIVE- a great night of entertainment, right from their home.

For students attending Eastman, the challenge of in-person music making has been met with a wonderful spirit, creativity and camaraderie.  Dr. William Weinert, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles at ESM says, "everyone is really trying very hard to get the most out of it, because we've been deprived for so long."

ESM rehearsal tent

Rochesterians have had an opportunity to see some of this creativity and music making first hand this fall as ensembles began the semester rehearsing outside.  The tent, constructed in the parking lot near the Student Living Center became the brand new outdoor rehearsal space. Both choral programs as well as the wind ensembles benefitted greatly from this safe space  for open practice, warmup activity before a lesson, and small group rehearsing.

Although curriculums have had to be adjusted due to COVID-19, and students and faculty are masked and socially distanced during lessons, rehearsal and performances, the learning and adapting has been moving along well this semester.  As the weather changes, ensembles will have to move inside. But no doubt, the creative spirit, enthusiasm and joy of making music together will continue at the Eastman School of Music.