Eastman Community Engagement

For the Enrichment of Community Life

When industrialist George Eastman purchased the property on Gibbs and Main Street to build a school of music and theatre, one of his primary goals was to provide the citizens of Rochester with a place to study, make, and enjoy music.  Etched on the façade of the famed Eastman Theatre is the phrase, “for the enrichment of community life.”

For more than ninety years, the Eastman School of Music and Eastman Community Music School have been engaged in enriching the lives of Rochesterians by all that occurs within our facilities, and also by the many programs that occur throughout the greater-Rochester community.  The members of the Eastman community have a long legacy of forging partnerships with public and private schools, of creating off-campus concert series, and of volunteering with countless local organizations.  The Eastman School of Music is proud to be located in the city of Rochester, and we look forward to our continued engagement in enriching the life of our community.

Jamal J. Rossi, Dean




Eastman at Strong

Twice a semester, Eastman School of Music students present an outreach presentation and concert to visitors at the Strong National Museum of Play.

Contact Person: Petar Kodzas (pkodzas@esm.rochester.edu)


George Eastman Day of Service

George Eastman Day of Service is a half-day of community service sponsored by the Office of Student Life, during new student orientation, for all incoming Eastman undergraduates.

Contact person: Alyssa Shoup (ashoup@esm.rochester.edu)


If Music Be the Food

Special guests join Eastman faculty members and students join special guests for chamber music concerts to benefit Rochester’s Foodlink, a non-profit regional food bank.

Contact person: Carol Rodland (crodland@esm.rochester.edu)

Jazz For Justice

Jazz For Justice is the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar’s yearly fundraising social event, featuring Eastman School of Music student musicians, a live auction, raffles, and food donated by local restaurants and vendors.

Over the past several years, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $350,000 to support a variety of programs that focus on at-risk youth and the legal needs of the Rochester community, including veteran outreach. Funded programs have included: Rochester Teen Court; Lawyers for Learning’s Peace Camp; Deaf Equal Access Fund; Rochester Diversity Clerkship Program, in addition to many others supporting Rochester’s youth and our greater community.

Messinger Ambassadors

A grant-supported outreach four-day residency for selected chamber music ensembles and soloists.  Focus is on rural communities in upstate New York.

Contact person: Petar Kodzas (pkodzas@esm.rochester.edu)

Music for All

Each year the Music for All program sends more than 40 Eastman student chamber music groups into the community, performing for audiences from preschoolers to senior citizens.

Contact person: Petar Kodzas (pkodzas@esm.rochester.edu)

UR in Tune with The Eastman School of Music-Eastman at Highlands




Eastman Pathways

A component of the William Warfield Partnership between the Eastman School and the Rochester City School District, Pathways provides scholarship aid to outstanding RCSD students to pursue music studies at Eastman.

Contact person: Jan Angus (jangus@esm.rochester.edu)

New Horizons Programs

New Horizons is a program designed in particular for senior adults, with no minimum or maximum age or ability requirement. New Horizons is a community of music-makers flourishing in a non-competitive, collaborative, and supportive environment.

Contact person: Howard Potter (hpotter@esm.rochester.edu)


A partnership of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, the Eastman School of Music and Community Music School, the City of Rochester, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rochester City School District. Inspired by El Sistema, RocMusic provides tuition-free music and string instruction to urban children in their own neighborhoods.

Contact person: Alex Pena (alexander.pena@rochester.edu)

Urban Strings

This partnership with Rochester City School 17 and Eastman music education students provides violin, viola, and cello lessons for third graders.

Contact person: John Fetter (john.fetter@rochester.edu)




Eastman at St. Michael’s Series

These concerts are part of a series of monthly recitals at the historic St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. The concerts, which include jazz and classical works, are free and open to the public.

Contact person: David Higgs (david.higgs@usa.net)

Eastman at Washington Square

Free Thursday lunchtime concerts at the First Universalist Church by Eastman collegiate and Community Music School students and faculty.

Contact person: Sophia Gibbs Kim (skim@esm.rochester.edu)

Grove Place Jazz Project

Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, 20 Windsor St, Rochester, NY 14605

Each Tuesday at 7 p.m., Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, in association with Eastman School of Music jazz students, presents The Grove Place Jazz Project. A different jazz ensemble is featured each week, showcasing the talents of Eastman School of Music students and other area jazz musicians. The series is co-sponsored by the Friends of The Grove Place Jazz Project.

Musicale: Performance Plus Series with the Eastman School of Music

Monthly recital series featuring outstanding performers from the Eastman School of Music and informed program commentary by Eastman PhD students in Musicology. Presented at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film.

Contact persons: Michael Anderson (manderson@esm.rochester.edu) and Petar Kodzas (pkodzas@esm.rochester.edu)

Eastman School of Music Piano Series at the Summit

This series presents Eastman piano majors in solo recital or in shared programs. Dates are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contact person: Rebecca Penneys (rpenneys@esm.rochester.edu)

Salon Concert at Asbury First

The Salon Concert Series is presented by the Rochester Academy of Medicine. Pianist Rebecca Penneys, violinist Mikhail Kopelman, cellist Stefan Reuss, and guest artists present Rochester premieres, rarely heard masterworks, and old favorites.

Contact person: Rebecca Penneys (rpenneys@esm.rochester.edu)

Rochester Celebrity Organ Recital Series

Eastman’s Department of Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards teams with the Rochester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, as well as local churches, to bring world-famous concert organists to Rochester for recitals and master classes several times each year.

Contact person: David Higgs (david.higgs@usa.net)

Going For Baroque

Every Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., an Eastman organ student demonstrates the sounds of the Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery in a brief mini-recital.  These demonstrations are free with gallery admission.  

Contact person: David Higgs (david.higgs@usa.net)

Third Thursday at MAG with Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ

On the third Thursday of each month From October to May at 7:30 p.m., the Eastman School of Music and the Memorial Art Gallery present varied concert programs by faculty and guest artists featuring Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ at the MAG. These programs are free with gallery admission. 

Contact person: David Higgs (david.higgs@usa.net)

“Tuesday Pipes” at Christ Church

Every Tuesday, Eastman students, faculty, and alumni present a 25-minute lunchtime concert at Christ Church. Performances feature the Craighead-Saunders Organ and Hook & Hastings Organ. Each free program begins at 12:10 p.m. 

Contact person: David Higgs (david.higgs@usa.net)

Community Organ Concert Series

Eastman students present hour-long recitals at local churches in Rochester and nearby towns. These monthly concerts are open to the public, and a free-will offering will benefit the Eastman Organ Department student travel fund. 

Contact person: David Higgs (david.higgs@usa.net)




First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

The Rochester Fringe Festival, which recently celebrated its third year, is a 10-day multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts festival featuring international, national, and local artists. Eastman’s performing venues host many of these events, which often include our faculty members and students. Fringe 2015 offered more than 500 performances and events. It showcases theater, comedy, visual arts, family entertainment, music, dance, physical theatre, street theatre, musical theatre, opera, poetry, literature and other experiences. The Fringe is a not-for-profit corporation pioneered by several of Rochester’s leading cultural institutions.

Gateways Music Festival

A biennial event held at the Eastman School of Music , begun in 1993 to showcase the vitality and increase the visibility of African Americans performers and composers of classical music.

Contact person: Keith Elder (kelder@esm.rochester.edu)

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

Eastman is one of the many venues for this popular eight-day event featuring jazz artists from all over the world. Faculty and staff routinely perform in this event.

Contact person: Keith Elder (kelder@esm.rochester.edu)