Musicians to honor their beloved teacher Jane Günter-McCoy in a memorial concert

I never met Jane H. Günter-McCoy, but the more I learn about her, the more I wish our paths had crossed.

The beloved teacher passed away in Pittsford on October 20, 2021 in the presence of longtime friends following a courageous battle with cancer.

One of those devoted friends handled her estate and recently invited me to come look at her collections. When I walked into her house, Jane’s love for the arts enveloped us in walls of books, scores, thousands of CDs, and even stencils proclaiming her passion for music.

Joie de vivre propelled her into a long and accomplished career, beginning in the Kingston, NY, public schools with her elementary school study of violin and piano followed by earning degrees from The Eastman School of Music (where she majored in both violin and voice performance) and doctoral studies in music history at Indiana University.

This week, colleagues and students of Mrs. Günter-McCoy’s are arriving from around the world to celebrate her life in works by some of her favorite composers.

In a program of Bach and Buxtehude, a Baroque orchestra and chorus will perform in Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music.

The event on Saturday, May 28th at 4:30 p.m. is free and open to the public.

The players herald from Rochester’s favorite early music ensembles; they include Deborah Fox, Christopher Haritatos, RPO players (Chris and Aika Ito), some Collegium (ESM) members and some Eastman grads now working in NYC. The chorus is mostly made of Jane’s former students with Laura Anderson, Andrea McGaugh, Jeffrey Thompson and Peter Schoelkopff . All the soloists in the Bach are Jane’s former students: Juli Elliot, Joe Finetti, and John Chiazza. Christopher Petit will conduct both pieces with John Bodinger playing continuo. Both got their DMAs from ESM.

If you are unable to join in person, you can access the live stream at this link:

“In addition to her music scholarship and performance, Mrs. Günter-McCoy leaves a monumental legacy of accomplished singers reflecting her great passion for pedagogy, one of her most cherished and lasting endeavors. Over many years scores of voice students benefited from her teaching skills and dedication, first at Eastman Community Music School and later in her private studio. As much as Mrs. Günter-McCoy disliked ‘show tunes,’ her students in musicals all over the Rochester area benefited greatly from seeing her pride-filled face in the audience.”

Read the full obituary here.




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