The Eastman Community Music School is getting a new home on Oct. 22. The school, which is now located on 26 Gibbs Street, will be opening a new building named Messinger Hall.

The newly renovated Messinger Hall – formerly 10 Gibbs Street – was made possible by the generosity of Martin E. Messinger ’49. Messinger’s interest in the Eastman Community Music School stems from his piano lessons at the Eastman Preparatory Department in the ’40s.

He is dedicating the building in honor of his mother, Anne Waltuck Messinger, for “bringing her little boy all the way from Irondequoit to learn music and play the piano,” Messinger said.

Since graduating from UR, Messinger has worked as a senior partner at Neuburger & Berman in New York City – a financial management and consulting firm – while actively giving back to the university.

The purchase of the Gibbs Street building was the result of his most recent gift of $1 million to the university. Messinger Hall will be the new home to administrative offices, teaching studios and classrooms of ECMS.

The Eastman Community Music School was originally created by George Eastman in 1921, the same year the Eastman School of Music opened.

George Eastman hoped there would be a world-class music conservatory and a community music school available to enhance music education in the Rochester community.

ECMS continues to be an integral part of the Eastman School, working toward the goals of helping to introduce students of all ages to the joy and discipline of music and develop a solid foundation for young musicians who are thinking of a professional career in music, while providing a rich environment that supports each student’s musical participation and enjoyment.

Additionally, ECMS works to present opportunities for lifelong musical experiences and offer ongoing development for music teachers and other music professionals.

ECMS receives many benefits from both UR and Eastman, such as shared faculty and extensive facilities, including concert and rehearsal halls and the world renowned Sibley Music Library. Their recitals, concerts, lectures and master classes are also key to the artistic environment.

“Mr. Messinger’s generosity will give our [Eastman] Community Music School a separate physical presence in the very heart of Rochester’s cultural life,” Director of ECMS Dr. Howard Potter said. “Now we’ll have the best of both worlds – the Eastman School of Music’s resources, along with our own identity and accessibility.”

The ceremony for the dedication will be held Saturday afternoon at the Atrium at Miller Center. Both City of Rochester and university dignitaries will makes speeches, which will be followed by a trumpet fanfare to celebrate the revealing of the Messinger Hall plaque.

During the reception, participants will be allowed to tour the new Messinger building for the first time. There will also be performances by ECMS students.

Brod can be reached at mbrod@campustimes.org.



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