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Eastman School of Music Names New Dean

Kate Sheeran, a previous executive director of New York's Kaufman Music Center, becomes the first woman to hold the position


Executive, administrator, pedagogue, and horn player Kate Sheeran has been named the new Dean of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. She will step into the position on July 15, becoming the eighth dean in the school's 100-year history. She will become its first female dean.

Originally a horn player, Sheeran received her undergraduate degree, certificate in arts leadership, and performer’s certificate from Eastman and followed this with a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music.

Sheeran later became executive director of the Kaufman Music Center, and during her tenure, the Center nearly doubled its endowment. She also established a number of innovative programs that offer music education to 3,000 students and 50,000 audience members of all ages and backgrounds each year.

She has also been provost and dean of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a member of the leadership team at Mannes School of Music in New York City. She has also been a faculty member at Dickinson College, Susquehanna University, Bucknell University, and Mannes Prep, part of Mannes School of Music.

Sheeran has served on the boards of Kinhaven Music School and Alarm Will Sound and is currently on the board of the JACK Quartet.

As a horn player, she has appeared with Ensemble Signal, The Wordless Music Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble LPR, and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. In addition, she has recorded for the Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Western Vinyl, New Amsterdam, XL, Tzadik, and Warp labels, and for commercial television and film.

"Kate Sheeran brings to Eastman extensive and impressive leadership experience in music education, including uniquely in both higher education and in community music education," said Sarah Mangelsdorf, University President. "At Kaufman Music Center, she has established and grown a wide range of initiatives to nurture the talents of the next generation of musicians, providing access, encouragement, and programming to aspiring young performers, while also presenting some of today’s most notable artists on stage."

"As an Eastman alumna and very gifted musician, I know she will immediately embrace the school’s world-class intellectual and creative environment and contribute in extraordinary ways to its place in the community and in the world."

"I am deeply honored to take on the role of dean of the Eastman School of Music," Sheeran said. "It is a place I truly love, and that has helped to shape me as a musician, leader, and person. I look forward to working with the Eastman and University communities and with the city of Rochester to lead Eastman into the future."

"We are going to do great things together!"

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