Among other events, Eastman School of Music will host a benefit concert for its scholarship fund for African American classical vocal students
When your metro area's got a world-renowned music school at its center, there's no shortage of cultural activities for the musical-minded. There's enough going on at Eastman School of Music on Gibbs Street in Rochester — one of Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman's many contributions to the community — over just the next few weeks to just about fill this week's Front-Row Seat, from a benefit concert for a scholarship fund for African American voice students to an evening devoted to music-film pairing. Here's a sampling:
Warfield fund benefit
This year's benefit concert for the William Warfield Scholarship Fund — which has provided financial aid to more than 35 students at the Eastman School of Music since the fund was founded in 1977 — is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School on Rochester's Gibbs Street.
It will feature the 2019 scholarship recipient, Eastman student Jonathan Rhodes, a fourth-year performance major from Orlando, Florida. The tenor made his professional concert debut with the Rochester Oratorio Society in 2018 and has been a featured performer in the Landmark Society’s 90th anniversary concert alongside the Ying Quartet and members of PUSH Physical Theatre. A multi-year scholarship recipient of the scholarship fund, he most recently placed first in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition. After graduation, he intends to pursue a master’s degree in vocal performance.
The concert will also honor George Shirley, the Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Emeritus Professor of Music of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
Joining Rhodes and Shirley on the concert program are former Warfield Scholarship recipient Nicole Cabell (soprano); Robert Sims (baritone); Thomas Warfield (tenor); Herb Smith (Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra principal trumpet); Eric Logan (bass) with Paulette Gissendanner (soprano); and the Mount Olivet/Mount Vernon Combined Choirs. A Meet & Greet Artists’ Reception follows the performance.
Over four decades, recipients of the William Warfield Scholarship have included such notable singers as soprano Julia Bullock, winner of the 2014 W. Naumburg Foundation’s International Vocal Competition; soprano Nicole Cabell, winner of the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition; and bass-baritone Jamal Moore, who was featured with the University of Rochester a cappella ensemble The Yellowjackets on the NBC competition "The Sing-Off" in 2011 and is performing internationally with the a cappella group The Exchange.
The William Warfield Scholarship Fund was founded under the leadership of Anastasia L. “Tessa” Martin to honor the life and legacy of William Warfield and provided financial support and encouragement for African American students to attain success in the field of classical vocal music.
Tickets are $25 leading up to the concert and $30 at the door ($10 students with University ID) and available at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, www.eastmantheatre.org or 585-247-3000.
Also in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman, the Beal Institute — under the direction of Associate Professor Mark Watters — will present “Visual Music: An Evening of World-Premiere Film and Music Collaborations,” at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, Jan. 16.
Compositions from Eastman’s Contemporary Media and Film Scoring Department will be performed live-to-picture by the 35-piece Empire Film and Media Ensemble. The compositions featured are from graduating Master’s students: Peiyao Wang, Shoghi Hayes, Aaron Seibert-Castiniera, Zhe Pan, Yixin Huang, Derrick Thomas Hegeman, and Linyao Zhang.
The evening’s compositions represent visual music, showcasing films from Rochester Institute for Technology student filmmakers, classic silent films, and more. The second half of the program will feature a new score composed for the Bela Lugosi classic "Dracula."
The performance is free and open to the public.
We're not done talking about Eastman yet. Several faculty artist concerts are scheduled throughout January, including the following:
Jan. 16: Nathan Laube, associate professor of organ, 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave., Rochester. Includes selections byByrd, Van Noordt, Sweelinck, and Louis Couperin.
Jan. 24: Masumi Per Rostad, associate professor viola, 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall. Features pianist Alexander Kobrin and clarinetist Michael Wayne with music from Schumann, Enescu, and Reger.
Jan. 26: Robert Morris, professor of composition, 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall. Program includes several of Morris' compositions and features saxophonist Douglas O’Connor, pianists Daniel Campolieta and Zuzanna A. S. Kwon, and clarinetist Andrew Brown.
Jan. 28: Jonathan Retzlaff, associate professor of voice, and Russell Miller, professor of vocal coaching and repertoire, 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall. The program, "An Elly Ameling Inspiration," includes single works from the Baroque to the 21st century.
Jan. 29: George Sakakeeny, professor of Bassoo, 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn. Sakakeeny will be joined by pianist Chiao-Wen Cheng, oboist Erik Behr, clarinetist Michael Wayne, flutist Bonita Boyd, and others in the performance of works by Mendelssohn, Telemann, Faure, Brahms, Mozart, and Poulenc.
Jan. 30: Oleh Krysa, professor of violin, with Barry Snyder, professor emeritus of piano, 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall. The first of a cycle of three concerts to be performed Jan. 30, Feb. 8 and March 27, performing the complete violin sonatas of Beethoven in celebration of the composer's 250th anniversary.
A major anniversary year
Moving around the corner from Eastman and up East Avenue, a Rochester gallery is looking for proposals to mark two very important anniversaries.
With 2020 marking not only the 200th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony's birth but the 100th anniversary of the landmark 19th Amendment giving women the vote nationwide, Rochester Contemporary Art Center is requesting proposals for a site-specific public art installation that reflects these anniversaries.
"We seek proposals for a site-specific public art project that celebrates, acknowledges, and remembers these anniversaries, while also challenging audiences to think about voting and civic engagement," reads a release from RoCo, at 137 East Ave. in Rochester. "RoCo’s public art program will give one artist the opportunity to envision, produce, and exhibit a sculpture or multimedia work adjacent to RoCo that recognizes these anniversaries. The completed work will be exhibited 24/7 and free of charge to the public." It's open to artists not only from the Rochester area but nationwide. RoCo is making the request in conjunction with the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House.
Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 31. For more information, call RoCo at 585-461-2222.