The Janette E. Ogg Research Center, which was dedicated in April, marks an important achievement for Shenandoah Conservatory and the entire university community. The center is the fifth university voice research facility in the United States and the first on the East Coast.
Professor Emeritus of Voice Janette Ogg, D.M., served as a transformative leader in the field of vocal pedagogy and at Shenandoah University for 35 years. Long before “interdisciplinary” became an educational buzz-word, she designed a voice pedagogy program that combined the disciplines of physical therapy, respiratory therapy, anatomy and physiology, vocal acoustics and otolaryngology.
She intuitively realized the interdisciplinary voice pedagogy program would be enhanced by experts in the individual fields serving as instructors for the course; however, she lacked the necessary funding to support her endeavor. Dr. Ogg approached her colleagues at Shenandoah, who all agreed not only to teach a unit for the initial class, but also to teach subsequent classes for a loaf of her famous friendship bread.
Ogg established the first multidisciplinary voice pedagogy course in 1987, for which she was recognized in 1994 with the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship awarded jointly by the International Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is the recipient of the UMC Exemplary Teacher Award, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for outstanding leadership and contribution to students, the Board of Trustees Resolution of Appreciation for leadership of international students, and numerous grants for study in Germany, England, Austria, France and the United States.
“I trust the center will be a challenging place where students will have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the world of voice science,” said Ogg. “And I trust that in the search for new scientific ground, we will never lose sight of free, natural singing, and the fact that we, as voice teachers and researchers, must transcend technique. The elevation of the human spirit through music—this is the greatest and highest challenge of all.”