There are at least four concerts playing tonight in Rochester, and they are all taking place at the Eastman School of Music, one of the top ranked musical institutions in the nation.

Most likely, those who are not enrolled at Eastman have never been to Eastman. Although the school is separated from the River Campus by nothing more than a 20 minute ride on the 72 Red Line, our schools might as well be separated by an ocean.

Especially as freshmen, we have very little interaction with the Eastman campus and its full-time students. This is very unfortunate because Eastman has a lot to offer the rest of the University community. The school offers a variety of student and professional musical ensembles, jazz groups and recitals almost every night.

For those students who aren’t fans of the music that Eastman has to offer, the surrounding area is full of life. Java’s and Spot Coffee offer some of the best beverages in Rochester. The Little Theatre plays independent films and also houses a small restaurant. The Red Line also runs near Garth Fagan Dance, where students can take dance lessons for a reasonable price. There are plenty of reasons to go downtown.

Students – particularly those without cars – often complain that there is nothing to do on and around campus. But with the updated UR calendar, Eastman’s calendar and free RTS busing, it is easier than ever to get access to their events. It is also worth noting the prospect of taking lessons or auditioning for Eastman ensembles, another excellent way for our respective campuses to become more interconnected.

We UR students have unique opportunities that are not available to undergraduates at most other schools – we have a world-class music school at our fingertips. We should make the most of it.

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