Classical 91.5

Eastman Community Music School

An energetic quiet descends on the auditorium as the light dims. You welcome the concertmaster with polite applause, and he leads the orchestra in one final tuning. The conductor strides confidently onstage, swinging her arm with panache to gesture for the orchestra to rise as she takes the bow on their behalf. As she takes her place at the podium, the audience on the edge of their seats, a few coughs break the silence. Suddenly, she slashes the air with her baton, drawing out Beethoven’s famous bah-bah-bah-bahh! and they’re off to the races with his Fifth Symphony.

You let the music wash over you in your seat. Its tense, agitated rhythms draw you in like a racing heartbeat, driving from one moment to the next. But after a minute or two, you find your mind wandering. Am I in the mood for dessert tonight? What was that TV series my sister told me about? Where did I leave my keys again?

A group of students at the Eastman School of Music wants to expand the range of sounds in your life: they're the student-run new music ensemble, OSSIA.

Noah Kahrs is a composer in the last semester of a master’s degree program at Eastman and technical director for OSSIA.

Kahrs says one of the more memorable pieces he worked on with OSSIA was Xerox Rock, by Celeste Oram.

A dozen or so people gather in a rehearsal space at the Eastman Community Music School, near the corner of East Avenue and Gibbs Street. They are playing an instrument called the hammered dulcimer, which requires the use of small sticks or hammers to ping against the strings of an instrument which was developed hundreds of years ago.

But except for their teacher, Mitzie Collins, most of these students are not professional musicians, nor do they plan to pursue that career.

As Collins explained, they are just taking her lessons on the instrument because it’s enjoyable. 

“I love adult learners, because they’re not doing it to make anybody happy but them. I would say a certain number of my adult students have wanted to play an instrument but just time and money and things never made that possible.”

  Celebrate the season with brass music performed by musicians from the Eastman School of Music on November 28th over lunch (12:10-12:50pm). 

You're invited to come out to hear the music in person at the Hochstein Performance Hall (50 N. Plymouth Avenue, downtown Rochester) or listen to it broadcast live on WXXI Classical 91.5.  

New studios and classroom spaces are coming to the Eastman Community Music School.

That’s because the school announced it has received $2.8 million to renovate Messinger Hall

Currently, Associate Dean of the Eastman Community School Peter Kodzas says that space isn’t designed to host a music school. The school is spread out across the Eastman block on Gibbs Street.

Petar Kodzas as new Associate Dean to the ECMS

May 11, 2017
Michelle Martorell

On February 27, 2017, it was announced that guitar teacher Petar Kodzas was named Associate Dean of the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS).   “I am deeply honored to have an opportunity to contribute to [Rochester’s] musical future through my role as an Associate Dean” Kodzas says.  His vision for the future is to make music more relevant.  Growing the ECMS programs and keeping them healthy and successful, Kodzas’ hope is to find new ways to involve more people in music making and music listening.