Eastman deans hold Town Hall Meeting to combat student concerns

On Monday, Oct. 22 deans at the Eastman School of Music held a Town Hall Meeting in the Directors’ Dining Hall to address student concerns. Dean Douglas Lowry, Executive Associate Dean Jamal Rossi and Dean of Student Life Linda Muse, in addition to various members of the administration attended. Student representatives from a number of groups, including many from the

Students’ Association government, as well as some concerned students, also attended.

The problem of theft during concerts was addressed and a specific room was suggested as a possible holding place for students’ possessions. The possibility of adding more ushers to guard frequented doors was also posed as a solution.

Students brought up the problem of stands missing from Annex practice rooms.  According to the deans, this is not due to a lack of new stands, but is rather a problem that students create by taking stands from practice rooms and bringing them home or to gigs.  As the issue has been in discussed constantly for the past five years, it was agreed upon by all of the forum from page 1
administration present that a solution must be found and implemented soon.

Senior Lucas Goodman expressed frustration over concert dress violations at orchestra and wind ensemble concerts, pointing out that some women show up in black jeans and T-shirts while men are required to wear tuxes. He argued that the rumpled state of the ensemble is unprofessional and embarrassing. Rossi urged him to take the issue up with the concert office.
“Coming from students, it is more powerful,” Rossi said.

Senior Tommy Dougherty asked about the process for bringing of outsiders in master classes when they are in close proximity to Rochester, such as guest artists who are in town performing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Lowry explained that the faculty is usually responsible for bringing in guests, but also admitted that that is not necessarily the best way to orchestrate this process.

Another concern addressed was why Eastman does not offer a Eurhythmics or Alexander Technique class. The deans explained that the classes run when there are faculty members trained to teach them but there is no one on faculty at present with the necessary expertise. Lowry said that it is something Eastman might look into in the future, but noted that they are not hiring anyone for the 2013-14 academic year.

Senior Nick Conn proposed that concerto competitions be diversified to include instruments with less popular concerto repertoire. Rossi assured him that the programing of concertos is a highly discussed topic and said that, in the future, Eastman might consider changing the conditions to make competitions more competitive among instrument families rather than allotting each instrument a concerto every few years.

Master’s student Michael Conrad brought up the possibility of making more studio recordings of Eastman ensembles available to prospective students. Rossi replied that the Eastman website might be a better route for broadcasting performances.

Dougherty also brought up the issue of rehearsal schedules. He informed the deans that the first rehearsal following a concert is typically a sectional, and that there is not enough time in between concerts to learn the new repertoire before the first rehearsal. He proposed fewer rehearsals and strategically placed sectionals.

Chudy is a member of the class of 2013.



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