Music on the River Campus

Like I mentioned in my “About Me” post a while back, I’m a clarinetist and saxophonist. Since I ended up applying to Rochester for computer science, and not the Eastman School of Music, I assumed that music would take a back seat when I got to college.

Thankfully, I was completely wrong.

Within the first week of living on campus, I had successfully auditioned for the Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra, and signed up to take weekly clarinet lessons at the Eastman School (by the way, these lessons are provided at no extra cost, and are worth 2 credits). All have been wonderful experiences so far. The groups rehearse once or twice a week, and the atmosphere is laid back.

So far, I’ve performed in four concerts (two with the Jazz Ensemble, two with the Chamber Orchestra); for one of the orchestra concerts, we got to travel to Keuka College on the beautiful Finger Lakes. The directors of both groups are excellent. Bill Tiberio, the Jazz Ensemble director, is probably the nicest and most relaxed man in the world, and Dr. Harman, who conducts the orchestra, is an accomplished conductor and clarinetist.

The Eastman Kodak Theatre.

That’s enough about the groups I’m involved in. What else is going on musically at Rochester? Here’s a list that should give you guys a taste:

  • There are many musical groups on campus, including a pep band, two orchestras, several jazz combos, rock, percussion, and brass ensembles, ten or so vocal groups, and then the countless student-run music groups and bands.

The UR Pep Band played outside Susan B. Anthony Residence Hall while freshmen moved in.

  • The YellowJackets, an all-male vocal ensemble formed in 1956, have released their own albums and competed on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” in 2011.

The YellowJackets.

  • You don’t need to be an Eastman student to major in music. Rochester has its own music department, and offers majors, minors, and clusters in music. However, the school does offer a Dual Degree program for students who wish to pursue a degree at the River Campus, in addition to a music degree at the Eastman School.

One of the Eastman classroom spaces.

  • There’s a cool video about the iconic 50-bell “Carillon” that sits inside of the top of Rush Rhees Library.

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon in Rush Rhees Library.

  • In 2008, the Chamber Orchestra traveled all the way to Chile to perform.

Hopefully this gave you guys a taste of what musical life is like at Rochester!


About the author

Ty Kelley

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