The Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester has announced a $2 million gift from alumni Jeff ('85) and Joan ('84) Beal to launch an institute focused on music for film and contemporary media.
The Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media will provide students with instruction and experiences that prepare them to write, produce, and perform music for film and contemporary media, including opportunities to work with professionals who are engaged in writing for film and other contemporary media and to collaborate on cross-disciplinary and multimedia projects with students and faculty in the humanities, composition, and other Eastman School departments. The institute also will enhance the school's new graduate degree program in Jazz and Contemporary Media. Jeff Beal, an Emmy Award-winning composer, will serve as artistic director of the institute.
"Not only is there a need for education in composition across contemporary media platforms, there is a growing trend for orchestras and ensembles to perform this music in the concert hall," said Beal, whose grandmother Irene Beal performed for many years as a piano accompanist for silent films. "Film music provides narrative connection, engages listeners, and can introduce new audiences to the power of the symphony orchestra."
"Eastman has always been dedicated to developing artists with the strong musical fundamentals needed across the professional music world," said vocalist Joan Beal, whose career has spanned opera, new music ensembles, and film and television scores. "Jeff and I are honored to invest in the school's initiatives to get students ready for new and expanding career opportunities."