Eastman School of Music Appoints James C. Doser as Director of its Institute for Music Leadership

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Eastman School of Music Appoints James C. Doser as Director of its Institute for Music Leadership


ROCHESTER, N.Y.–James C. Doser, an award-winning educator and administrator, musician, and businessman, has been named Director of the Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership.  He will be responsible for overseeing all Institute activities and programs, including the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program, the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research, the Center for Music Innovation and Engagement, and the Orchestra Musician Forum.


Doser has forged a wide-ranging career creating national and local arts and education projects, teaching at Eastman and in the Penfield, N.Y., school district, performing with regional and national jazz artists and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and directing Tritone Music, Inc., which organizes and manages jazz camps for adults in New York and Wisconsin.


“Jim Doser exemplifies the ideals of an Eastman education,” said Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.  “He is an outstanding musician, an accomplished educator, an entrepreneurial thinker, and a person who is constantly striving to grow and improve.  Jim has the knowledge and experience to lead new innovative programs to help students face challenges and succeed in the evolving music marketplace.”


In recognizing the groundbreaking work of Ramon Ricker, the Institute’s first director, Rossi said, “Ray’s stellar and visionary leadership over the last 14 years made the Institute an international model for developing entrepreneurial music school curricula.”


Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership provides courses, internships, mentoring, programs, and activities that focus on developing and maximizing musicians’ leadership potential by providing professional development opportunities, supporting innovative ideas, and bridging the gap between the academic and professional worlds.  One of the first centers of its kind in the country, the Institute has been cited in Kaplan/Newsweek, The Fiske Guide to College, and Hollywood Reporter rankings that place Eastman among top music schools nationally and internationally.


Doser’s innovative projects include “PRISM: American History through New Music,” which received National Endowment for the Arts funding to integrate the study of American history with contemporary music through a series of composer residencies.  Doser also developed “The Jazz Age in Paris” curriculum guide for the Smithsonian Institution, which recognized his work with its Award for Education. He created an educational program for his students for the traveling exhibit “The Genius of Duke Ellington” when it was at The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester; the project featured a performance by trumpeter and Eastman alumnus Byron Stripling and received the Harvard-Radcliffe Award for Teaching Innovation.


In Penfield, where he has taught instrumental music since 1979, Doser designed the online course “The Business of Music” and directs various ensembles and The Futures Project, an online education program. In addition, he was artistic and operational director of the Penfield Music Commission Project for 16 years. He currently serves as advisory board member of the project and as the district’s music department chair.


Doser produces the Penfield Jazz Fund Raiser Concerts, which feature world-class jazz musicians in-residence and in-concert with student groups, and the Penfield/Wegmans Wind Ensemble Composition Contest. The 2013 contest drew 170 entries from 35 states and 28 countries.


Since 2010, Doser has taught courses in career skills and entrepreneurial thinking at the Institute for Music Leadership and developed its online music theory course.  Earlier, he directed the Eastman School of Music Lab Band and New Jazz Ensemble from 1986 to 2001 and led several seasons of summer jazz and band camps for high school and middle school students.  He has been a guest presenter at college and high school clinics and professional conventions on such topics as interdisciplinary projects and entrepreneurial thinking in K-12 music programs, improvisation for elementary jazz ensembles, and college readiness.


As a performer, Doser has appeared with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester and on their recordings Gershwin and Façade, respectively.  He is tapped throughout the region for concerts requiring a “doubler,” a multi-instrument woodwind specialist.


Doser is a co-owner of Tritone Music, Inc. Launched in 1998, the business offers a Jazz Fantasy Camp for adults of all skill levels. The week-long program, conducted by professional musicians and educators and held at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., and Bjorklunden in Bailey’s Harbor, Wis., includes vocal and instrumental classes, jazz theory, ear training and improvisation, jam sessions, and concerts.


“The exceptional programs and initiatives developed through the Institute for Music Leadership make a significant and positive impact on Eastman students, alumni, and the evolving music world,” said Doser. “I look forward with great excitement to being a part of the IML team and Eastman community to continue this vital and vibrant work.”


Doser succeeds Ramon Ricker, who has directed the Institute for Music Leadership since its creation in 2001. Ricker was instrumental in shaping the innovative Arts Leadership curriculum that offers courses in entrepreneurship, careers, leadership performance, and contemporary orchestral issues; its Center for Music Innovation and Engagement that helps students’ initiatives  and ideas become realities; the Office of Careers and Professional Development; the Orchestra Musician Forum with its website Polyphonic.org; and the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research.


An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, Doser received a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and saxophone in 1979, earning the coveted Performer’s Certificate.  He received a master’s in jazz and contemporary media/performance at Eastman in 1984.




About the Eastman School of Music


The Eastman School of Music ranks among the nation’s premier music schools, boasting Guggenheim Fellows and Grammy and ASCAP Award winners on its distinguished faculty. The school has been commended and recognized nationwide for giving its students an intensive professional education, entrepreneurial opportunities in their music disciplines, and the experience of a broader liberal arts education with the University of Rochester. Its prominent alumni include opera singers Renée Fleming and Anthony Dean Griffey, jazz musicians Ron Carter and Chuck Mangione, composer-conductor Maria Schneider, and composers Dominick Argento, Charles Strouse, Kevin Puts, and Jeff Beal.


About the Institute for Music Leadership


The Institute offers programs and courses that provide students with the specialized skills and diversified experiences they need to succeed in the changing musical landscape. These include the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program and certificate; the Center for Music Innovation and Engagement; the office of Careers and Professional Development; the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research; and the Orchestra Musician Forum with its website Polyphonic.org .


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