100 YEARS AGO IN MUSICAL AMERICA (300)

August 16, 1919
Page 6
EASTMAN’S BOUNTY GIVES ROCHESTER $3,700,000 SCHOOL

Further Details of Camera Magnate's Gift Are Announced—Donor Wants to Demonstrate Affinity of Motion Pictures and Music—Sees Development of New Form of Composition as Result of Union of Films and Art

ROCHESTER, N. Y., Aug. 6. —George Eastman's $3,700,000 gift to found the Eastman School of Music at Rochester University, announced yesterday during the convention of the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry, directed the attention of the country today toward this city as a new center of music in future.
The announcement of the Eastman gift was made by MUSICAL AMERICA on Aug. 17, 1918, but at the time not all the details relating to motion pictures were available.
The buildings, which will probably be completed next season, will have a frontage of 226 feet. The architects will be Messrs. McKim, Mead & White, of New York. The problem of correct acoustics will be in the hands of Professor Floyd R. Watson, of the University of Illinois. The principal feature of the building will be a music hall seating more than 3000. The site for the school has been purchased for $381,000; $1,000,000 has been set aside for construction, and Mr. Eastman has given it an endowment of $2,139,000.
Mr. Eastman for a long time past has been interested in music and particularly in some way of bringing music to this community. He has also been a great patron of the motion pictures and he has reached the conclusion that there is a natural affinity between the two arts.
Dr. Rush Rhees, president of the University of Rochester, which will be in charge of the school, said to-day that in the big music hall the best motion pictures will be shown, accompanied by a symphony orchestra of 100 pieces. Arthur Alexander is the conductor. All the proceeds from the motion pictures will be applied to the maintenance and improvement of the orchestra.
“Mr. Eastman proposes to call in the aid of motion pictures in connection with his great -enterprise for musical .education,'' said he. “The alliance between music and· pictures is not new, having been worked out on an extensive scale in a number of metropolitan picture theaters.
“The success of these theaters has demonstrated not only that the enjoyment of the best motion pictures is greatly enhanced when they are interpreted by carefully selected music, but also the people who are attracted to motion picture entertainments find interest and pleasure in music notably increased.
“This fact indicates the possibility of greatly enlarging the number of persons in the community who will know and value the satisfaction which good music has to offer by arranging to use the music hall in the new school for motion pictures of the best quality accompanied by music, which will be furnished by a large orchestra. Multitudes of people who are attracted by pictures will learn what music has to give them, and other multitudes attracted by music will learn new possibilities of pleasure and entertainment from motion pictures.
“Inasmuch as the music hall will be a part of the school equipment, these exhibitions will not be conducted as a commercial enterprise for profit. Any proceeds accruing from the exhibitions will be turned back into the enterprise itself with the purpose of making the orchestra one of outstanding superiority and of developing as far as possible the adaptation of music to the interpretation of pictures.
“Just as music wedded to drama has made opera, which is undoubtedly the drama's highest form, so the time may come when the alliance of music with pictures will carry in its train compositions to accompany certain significant pictures and pictures that are adapted to certain musical composition. Thus there may come in the development of the motion picture something comparable to the development of the drama into opera.”
 

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