The admissions office at the Eastman School of Music might have to expect an increase in applicants soon.

Eastman, which has received numerous accolades over the years, has recently been given another one by Newsweek Magazine: “Hottest Music School.” While the weekly news magazine praised Eastman as “heaven for instrumentalists,” the decision to give Eastman its new honor stems from the ability of Eastman students to attend classes at the College as well – or rather, praising the combination of music and academics.

This also notes the second major recognition by Newsweek Magazine in two years – last year UR was dubbed one of the 25 “New Ivies.”

A new dean will further foster Eastman’s growing reputation. Doug Lowry officially became the new Dean of Eastman on Aug. 1, replacing interim dean Jamal J. Rossi, who had been filling the position since April 2006.

Lowry, formerly dean of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, adds his talent to a faculty made up of similarly renowned musicians. However, Lowry, who possesses a bachelor of music degree in theory and composition from the University of Arizona and two master’s degrees from the University of Southern California in trombone performance and orchestral conducting, has cultivated his reputation as an administrator and flag bearer of strong community relations. In Cincinnati, aside from managing the school’s eight divisions, he also brought in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to teach classes at the conservatory. Additionally, he is known for experimenting with musical genres.

“Eastman will now probe into the very nature of music in the 21st century in an effort to catalyze music’s continued relevance,” Lowry said in a press release.

Lowry returns to campus this week to focus on both advancing Eastman’s reputation and drafting up the school’s role in UR’s strategic planning initiative. Eastman, established in 1921 by George Eastman, has long prided itself on musical innovation. Undoubtedly, the Dean Search Committee took this into consideration.

While the long-term plans for Eastman are up in the air, the short-term plan remains the same as always: a highly aggressive fall performance schedule. Already, for the month of September alone, at least 38 concerts have been scheduled, including a large number of faculty performances, a highly anticipated festival featuring the works of Dmitri Shostakovich and Mieczyslaw Weinberg and the continuing “Italian Baroque Organ Showcase” that takes place at the Memorial Art Gallery each Sunday, where Eastman students perform pieces on the only full-size Italian Baroque organ in North America.

Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.

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