UR’s Eastman School of Music has been named a Yamaha Institution of Excellence alongside 9 other colleges and universities in an inaugural annual award. The schools have been recognized as institutions with an extraordinary commitment to innovating the study of music, and have been awarded for their challenging, enriching, and diverse curriculums. 

“Each Institution of Excellence was selected for its extraordinary effort to prepare and equip modern music students in unique and meaningful ways,” senior director of Institutional Sales at Yamaha Dan Rodowicz said. “This program demonstrates our commitment to finding, celebrating, and collaborating with institutions who share our vision for music’s crucial role in society.”

As a Yamaha Institution of Excellence, Eastman has access to Yamaha’s roster of guest presenters with various performance backgrounds, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with Yamaha on projects of mutual interest and provide feedback on the needs of higher music education. In previous years, Yamaha had occasionally provided guests for Eastman classes and workshops on a variety of topics, including audio and recording technology, music software utilization, and careers outside of performance. Several Eastman faculty members are also Yamaha artists: Professors Alexander Kobrin (piano), Michael Burritt (percussion), and James Thompson (trumpet).

“Eastman has, throughout its history, stood apart from its peers by placing equal emphasis on artistry, scholarship, and leadership,” Joan and Martin Messinger Dean Jamal J. Rossi said. “Eastman graduates are positioned not only to assume the highest level music performance and scholarly positions across the world but to have the dual ability to be leaders in their respective areas of expertise, as well as of creative arts organizations and businesses.”

Eastman has been at the forefront of the music curriculum and innovation of its program since it was established in 1921. The Arts Leadership Program — which provides career and professional education for music students — and the Master of Arts in Music Leadership — a 14-month degree program that prepares music students to lead traditional and non-traditional music programs — are a testament to how the University is committed to providing students with not only musical skills but managerial and leadership skills to be successful in their respective fields. Both programs are supported by the Yamaha Graduate Fellow Program. 

Yamaha has sponsored undergraduate and graduate students for the Eastman Leadership Academy (ELA) through the Yamaha Graduate Fellows program since 2017.

“Taking part in the ELA program was such a unique experience. I was able to learn all about the ins and outs of arts administration, understanding how vital logistics can be when operating performing arts institutions,” UR senior Christopher Corona said. “This program benefited me as I was able to realize the significance of the operational aspects behind musical organizations and how vital administration is to enable musicians to be the best they can be.”

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