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This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general. Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Eastman Connects and Keeps the Music Playing

I miss the bustle around Gibbs Street. Eastman School of Music students and faculty walking around with instrument cases, stopping in at Java's, playing concerts, and all the rest. But it helps to know that even though they're mostly not around physically in Rochester, the Eastman community is still making music and enriching our world while they are studying. It's all just online! Here are a few highlights to share, including an inspiring chorus, new cinematic music, the ode to joy, and more.

47 students and 10 faculty/staff from Eastman Opera Theatre worked together virtually from their individual homes to bring us a magical performance of the ending number from Candide- "Make Your Garden Grow". 


Eastman Opera Theatre chose the story of Candide as it is incredibly relevant during these trying times. By the end of the story, Candide realizes he has it in himself to predict his own destiny, it’s not about a preordained fate. This empowering, uplifting message, combined with the vast number of people who came together to perform it, makes for a powerful video.

Eastman Harmonie, composed of 8 Eastman students, recently came together to bring a virtual rendition of Beethoven's popular "Ode To Joy", a favorite and recognizable tune for any musician or music appreciator. Eastman Harmonie is a wind octet which includes 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, and 2 horns.

The Empire Film and Media Ensemble recently shared a performance of this theme by film and TV composer Miriam Cultler from the documentary film Flannery - The Storied Life of the Writer From Georgia, about the beloved American writer, Flannery O’Connor. 

And here is Bob Sneider (Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media) with Grant Le! performing Jimmy Hugh's "Exactly Like You." 

And the Rochester and Eastman classical guitar community has kept playing and connecting online, with Classical Guitar Night at the Virtual Little Cafe and their Sunday Guitar Salons. You can stay in touch through the Rochester Classical Guitar Facebook page

You can find more "Eastman Connects" videos and graduation celebrations for the class of 2020 on the Eastman School of Music's website and Facebook page.  Thank you to the musicians of the Eastman School for continuing to inspire our community and the world through music - and congratulations graduates!

Mona Seghatoleslami is the Music Director, host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. She also hosts the lunchtime concert series Live From Hochstein Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m., interviews musicians, produces special programs, and works on any project she can find that helps connect people and music in our community through WXXI.