Eastman Experience: Summer Classical Studies
A three-week program (offered online for 2021)

Eastman Experience: Summer Classical Studies
The Premier Program for Classical Musicians

July 11- July 30, 2021
Petar Kodzas, director

“Summer Classical Studies was beyond helpful for me as a musician. I feel like I left this program as a more mindful, curious, and well-rounded musician. I learned way more in three weeks than I thought could be possible. I was truly impressed with the quality of teaching and their dedication to the students. Considering the program was remote this year, I can only imagine how much I would have learned in-person.” –2020 participant

Summer Classical Studies was recently named as a pick for Best Summer Arts Programs in 2021 by Artsbridge!

Take a look at this helpful article about virtual music programs, featuring Eastman’s Summer Classical Studies 2020 program!

Strings: Wilfredo Deglans, violin; Janet Milnes, violin; Renée Jolles, violin; Roberta Zalkind, viola; Rosemary Elliott, cello; Christopher Haritatos, cello; Gaelen McCormick, bass; Elizabeth Ojeda, harp; Lynn McGrath, guitar
Winds: Sophia Gibbs Kim, flute; Chisato Eda Marling, saxophone; Andrew Brown, clarinet; Emily Hart, oboe; Blaire Koerner, bassoon
Piano: Irina Lupines, Alla Kuznetsov, Tamari Gurevich Hill, Matthew Robey
Brass: Jeffrey Gray, trombone; Wesley Nance, trumpet; Maura McCune Corvington, horn, Craig Sutherland, tuba
Voice: Teresa Ringholz, Andrea Folan, Pablo Bustos
Percussion: Kyle Peters
Music Studies: Rachel Lauber, conducting; Paul Coleman, composition; Katie Fittipaldi, Alexander Technique; Stephen Armstrong, music analysis; Alice Carli, music history; Glenn West, world music; Stephanie Venturino and Daniel Sawler, music theory.

This internationally acclaimed Classical Studies program is for academically inquisitive performers, conductors and composers currently in grades 9–12 who are seriously considering a career in music. Our highly individualized program emphasizes solo performance (strings, winds, brass, piano, voice, classical guitar, harp, conducting, and composition) and chamber music. This program is for mature students of advanced performance levels who can work well in a focused collegiate-type environment. In reaction to the COVID-19 restrictions, in Summer 2020 we transitioned our program to online-only instruction and successfully accommodated all components of the program to the remote mode of learning. In Summer 2021 we will continue to offer this program remotely.

The program’s main features:

  • Two individual lessons per week per student
  • Performance and masterclass opportunities
  • Career seminar with guest speakers who are leaders in their field of the music industry
  • Theory, Aural Skills, History classes
  • Relevant specialized classes for Instrumentalists, Composers, and Vocalists
  • Elective classes: choice of either composition for non-majors, conducting for non-majors, or Alexander Technique.

Photo credit: David Taylor


Daily schedule

  • Please note that the schedule does not reflect individual differences.
  • Theory and aural skills schedules will be decided based on placement exams (online tests will be sent to students in advance). Each student will take one Theory and one Aural Skills class each.
  • Elective classes  based on student preferences are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students will know their placement several weeks prior to the program.
  • After their academic schedule is solidified, the students will schedule private lessons with their instructors (faculty contact information will be provided to the students). Each student will receive two private lessons per week. Lessons may be scheduled during free times during the week or on weekends.
  • Due to the nature of the new online forum, many workshops, masterclasses, and special performances or activities are to be determined.


2021 Zoom Recital Programs, 7/30/21
3:00pm Recital
6:00pm Recital

Maximum Acceptance Limits:
We usually accept up to these numbers in each category/major, but we can accept more in each category in the online format.
Piano: 10
Classical Guitar: 4
Other Solo Instruments (Strings, Winds (including saxophone), Brass, Percussion): Acceptance will mimic the instrumentation of a symphonic orchestra
Voice: 12
Composers: 6
Conductors: 4


Application Fee and Deadlines: Applications closed for 2021

  • Application fee waived for current ECMS students
  • $50 nonrefundable if application is completed by March 15
  • $100 nonrefundable if application is completed after March 15, up until April 30 June 15.
  • Incomplete applications and those submitted after April 30 June 15 will not be reviewed.
  • Upon acceptance, students will be invoiced for a nonrefundable $300 deposit to secure their place. This is due by May 15.
  • Tuition due in full by May 15  June 15.
  • Cancellations less than two weeks prior to the beginning of the program will not receive a refund except for a documented emergency.


Partial merit and need-based scholarships available (see application)

10% tuition discount for ECMS students enrolled both semesters, 25% discount for children of qualifying University of Rochester employees. Partial scholarships may be requested on the application form. Employee discount must be applied for through employee’s HRMS page.

Audition video requirements (approximately 10 minutes of music):
Instrumentalists: Several contrasting pieces, such as etudes, sonata/concerto movement, or solo compositions representing different eras.
At least 3 selections demonstrating student’s artistic and technical skill and versatility.  Pieces should represent different musical eras (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary).  Repertoire can include etudes, sonata/concerto movement, concert solo pieces, no orchestral excerpts or chamber compositions.

  • Percussionists: At least one of each from the following three categories:
    Snare Drum: 1-2 minute excerpt of a Rudimental Solo (Pratt, Wilcoxin, etc.) and an Orchestral Solo (Peters, Cirone, etc.).
    Timpani: Solo or Etude (Hochrainer, Firth, etc.).
    Mallets: 3-4 minute excerpt from a solo mallet work using four mallets; 1-2 minute excerpt from a solo mallet work using two mallets.

Vocalists: At least 3 songs contrasting in era, style, tempo, and language. Examples include: selections from 24 Italian Songs or equivalent; American, British, German, or French art songs; Folk songs and Spirituals; level-appropriate arias or oratorio solos.

Composers: Two works with scores and recordings, if available. Live recordings are preferred;  midi files acceptable.

Conductors: A recent video recording of the student conducting (vocal or instrumental).


  • Participants should have regular access to a good laptop or desktop (either Mac or PC) with working speakers, a camera, a microphone, and steady internet access.
  • Each year Classical Studies includes many international students. International students need to be completely conversant in English to take full advantage of the program. Please note that all classes are conducted in Eastern Daylight Time and all classes and workshops are synchronous.
  • Applications and audition recordings will be reviewed very shortly after their receipt, and most students will know their status within two weeks. Current ECMS students may apply without submitting a recording but do need to have their ECMS teacher send a recommendation.

Photo credits: David Taylor

Start/End Dates:
Orientation: Sunday, July 11 at 1 p.m. EDT
Last Day: Friday  July 30
Zoom links will be provided prior to all classes/events.

Click HERE to apply now

Applications closed for 2021

Please be sure to add the following e-mail addresses to your address book so they are not filtered out as spam and so you don’t miss any important communications: pkodzas@esm.rochester.edu and sgreathouse@esm.rochester.edu .


In the News!

Read our blog: A View into the Eastman Experience

Read our blog: From Summer Study to a Dream Realized: Reflections on Music Horizons 2015

Read an interview with Music Horizons Director and ECMS Associate Dean Petar Kodzas on our blog.

Read a helpful article by Music Horizons saxophone instructor Chisato Eda Marling on a musician’s wellness, and another on performance anxiety.