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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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James Jenkins, Eastern Music Festival faculty member, teaches tuba to student musician
James Jenkins, long-time Eastern Music Festival faculty member, works one-on-one with a student musician. Photo courtesy Eastern Music Festival

The Eastern Music Festival

This six-week teaching and performing summer festival for talented musicians represents a high point in Greensboro's cultural calendar, attracting more than 50,000 audience members each summer. Equally important, the festival has helped to keep the tradition of classical orchestral and piano music alive in the United States and around the world by preparing musicians, age 14 to 20, for professional-level standards of musicianship.

The festival was founded in 1962 by music director Sheldon Morgenstern, who sought to create a festival that would bring together students and professional musicians in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The emphasis would be on learning, not performing. The festival found its home at Guilford College, which has an excellent 1,012-seat performance hall.

The first festival opened with 75 students and a program in band, orchestra, and piano. In 1999, renown pianist Andre-Michel Schub became Eastern Music Festival's second permanent artistic director. The faculty consists of outstanding musicians selected from leading orchestras and music schools. Beside weekly concerts, orchestra members provide masterful teaching to 200 international students, who receive individual attention achieved from a 2.5-student-to-1-faculty ratio. Guest artists in residence teach two master classes each week. Students have many performance opportunities in orchestra and chamber concerts, alongside faculty, and in piano recitals.

Documentation includes text about the festival and its founder, 15 slides, and a 1999 program.

Originally submitted by: Howard Coble, Representative (6th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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