Dry your tears all you Eastman students who miss your mommies ? Eastman Family Weekend is this weekend.

Registration numbers have shown that upwards of 200 families, the majority being freshman families, are expected to attend. This number is slightly higher than the estimated attendance of previous years. Check-in begins at 3 p.m. on Friday in the Main Hall of ESM, with weekend activities commencing that afternoon with an organ recital in Schmitt Hall at 4:30 p.m.

The recital is followed by a Welcome Reception in the Cominsky Promenade on the second floor of the main building at 5:30 p.m., which is sponsored by the Student’s Association.

The evening’s events conclude with a free concert by the Eastman Philharmonia in the Eastman Theatre.

The program consists of the “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1” by Grieg, the Bruch Violin Concerto in G minor, and Britten’s “Sinfonia de Requiem.”

Saturday’s schedule begins with a student recital, followed by a faculty and family Brunch in the Student Living Center Dining Center, known as the Servery. The brunch, which has been the most heavily attended event in past years, gives parents the opportunity to meet their child’s studio teacher and the Eastman Deans.

A bus tour is also planned for Saturday that includes stops at both the River Campus and the George Eastman House. For those who are of legal drinking age, there will be a wine tasting at the Max at Eastman Place on Saturday evening featuring wines from the Finger Lakes region.

The final scheduled event of the weekend is an RPO concert conducted by Yoav Talmi, featuring guest violin soloist Anne Akiko Meyers. Over the past several years, Meyers has performed with many of the world’s top orchestras, and has been called, “one of the most dynamic and compelling violinists of her generation.”

She will be performing Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No. 1.” The other works on the program include Haydn’s “Symphony No. 96” and Beet-hoven’s “Symphony No. 7.”

Tickets to the RPO concert were offered to families at a special reduced rate, although tickets may still be purchased at regular price at the ticket box in the lobby of the Eastman Theatre the evening of the concert. The concert is expected to be the second most heavily attended event, following the Saturday morning brunch.

Saturday’s schedule also includes a number of student recitals in Ciminelli Lounge interspersed throughout the day. The performances are by student chamber ensembles who signed up to take part in the recitals. This year’s performers are diverse, ranging from woodwind quintets to a snare drum duet.

Sunday is intentionally left unscheduled so that students and parents have an opportunity to spend some quality time together. Each family who registered for the event is given a list of places to visit in Rochester, including High Falls and the Susan B. Anthony House. Many families often use the day to do some shopping.

Family Weekend 2002 was planned almost exclusively by the new Assistant Dean of Student Life Sigrid Long. She has made several changes to the way the weekend is run.

For the first time, families attending this weekend have to register in advance. This change was made to aid in planning and to accommodate families in events with limited space, such as the bus tour and the RPO concert.

Several of the events planned for this year are new additions to this year’s Family Weekend schedule, such as the Welcome Reception, the bus tour and the wine tasting.

The changes were prompted by last year’s Eastman Orientation Committee. In past years, EOC did much of the planning of Family Weekend. However, this year Long was responsible for planning the event, so when she needed student input, she went to them.

When the committee was asked what changes they would like to see for this year, “they would like for our parents to have some other things to do rather than just going to student recital after student recital,” Long said.

The schedule in past years included more student recitals and fewer organized social or educational events.

Based on the EOC’s input, several new events were added to this year’s schedule. The bus tour was also the brainchild of Long. Since most of Eastman’s students are not from New York State, many of the families aren’t familiar with the City of Rochester.

“This is the city where your child is going to be for the next four years. Most people don’t know that this is the home of Kodak, Bausch and Lomb and Xerox. Everybody knows those companies, but they don’t know that Rochester is where they started,” Long said.

Another new addition to Family Weekend is a new group called the Eastman Ambassadors. This is a group, formed in early October, consists of 12 students, sophomores through seniors, who work for Dean Long, the admissions office and the alumni office throughout the year. For this weekend, the group will serve as hosts and tour guides.

Since the group is only a few weeks old, they didn’t have much input in the planning process for the weekend, but their assistance throughout the weekend will help the events to run smoothly.

In coming years, however, the group will be much more instrumental in the actual planning of Family Weekend. The student input that Dean Long received will add much to this year’s Family Weekend, and with the help of the Eastman Ambassadors, the event will continue to thrive from student’s ideas in the future.

Ristow can be reached at lristow@campustimes.org.

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