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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Kate Sheeran ’04MM named dean at Eastman

Kate Sheeran

Kate Sheeran

Kate Sheeran, a performer, educator, and administrator who earned her master-of-music degree from the Yale School of Music in 2004, has been named the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and will begin her tenure there on July 15. Sheeran, who earned her bachelor-of-music degree, a performer's certificate, and a certificate in arts leadership from Eastman, is currently executive director of the Kaufman Music Center in New York City and previously served as provost and dean at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has also served as assistant dean at the Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York. A horn player, Sheeran has held faculty positions at several universities, has performed with such ensembles as Alarm Will Sound and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and has contributed to numerous recordings.

“I am deeply honored to take on the role of dean of the Eastman School of Music,” Sheeran was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the University of Rochester. “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.”

University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf said, “Sheeran brings to Eastman extensive and impressive leadership experience in music education, including uniquely in both higher education and in community music education.”

Sheeran, who is a member of the Yale School of Music’s recently established Alumni Advisory Board, said, “At Yale, I was fortunate to have learned from faculty that inspired and challenged me, played in a wide range of settings that made me even more curious about all kinds of music, and built relationships that have remained important throughout my professional life.”

The Yale School of Music’s Professor in the Practice of Horn, William Purvis, with whom Sheeran studied in the early aughts, described Sheeran’s leadership at the Kaufman Center as extraordinary and said “she’s intensified and expanded” the organization’s work. Sheeran’s capacity to articulate her ideas, Purvis said, is “compelling.” 

Sheeran will be the eighth dean at Eastman and the first woman to serve in that capacity. The Eastman School of Music opened its doors in 1921.