Shenandoah gave Don Krudop ’75 ’92 ’03 the chance to further his education when other colleges denied his entrance.
Shenandoah University gave me the chance to succeed. Shenandoah was willing to take a chance on me and for that I will always be grateful.”
The chance was well-taken. Since graduating, Krudop has continued to instill a love of music into children as a teacher/choral director for 38 years. He has taken several of his choral groups to prestigious locations such as Carnegie Hall, the White House, Westminster Cathedral, National Cathedral and Walt Disney World. Krudop is now chair of the Vocal Music Strand at the Visual & Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School, a by-audition-only program offered by the Virginia Beach City Public Schools system. The Vocal Strand consists of four choral ensembles, ranging in size from 25-50. The Vocal Music Strand presents two major concerts each year, as well as other prestigious performances.
Krudop states that the most rewarding part of his job is “simply having had the opportunity to share my love of choral music with my students over the years and to hear of their successes and subsequent experiences in music throughout their lives.”
In addition to the rewards, Krudop reveals some of the most challenging parts of being a teacher/choral director. His most challenging situation in his recent school position was in starting brand new programs. However, Krudop has continued to turn these challenges into successes.
Additionally, Krudop went on to not only receive his bachelor of music education from Shenandoah, but also his master of music in conducting and a doctorate of musical arts in music education.
Krudop attributes his decision to become a choral director to Michael Brewster, his choir director at West Morris High School in Flanders, N.J. “Although I knew by 8th grade that I wanted to be a teacher, up until my time with Mr. Brewster, I was strongly considering pursuing English as my area of focus. By the end of our time together, his passion for music and excellence in choral singing (and for challenging his choirs) had changed the course of my life. From that point on, choral music was where I knew I was supposed to be.” Working with David Stutzenberger, James Laster and Bob Shafer at Shenandoah only further intensified that drive. Jim Kriewald also inspired Krudop with his commitment to loving both music and people.
Krudop feels a strong connection to Shenandoah by encouraging his students to consider it as a college option and through his field trips and visits to campus. He is excited to give back to his alma mater and be involved in the future of Shenandoah on the Alumni Board of Directors. Krudop hosted a summer send-off in July at his home. Incoming freshmen and their families from the Virginia Beach area gathered to meet one another before arriving on campus.
My fondest memories are of friends and faculty and being a part of the Shenandoah family. Those of us who shared time with Stutz and Dr. Laster in concert choir, who survived 16th century counterpoint with Jim Kriewald, who saw the end of the “apartments” in Wilkins and the construction of Parker Hall (then simply called “the new dorm”), those who remember ‘The Pit’ and playing spades in the student center for hours on end, midnight runs to Enrico’s (as long as you got out before the campus gates closed), and the bond of the first group of doctoral students as we navigated our way through the initial summer residency just to name a few.”
Krudop resides in Virginia Beach with his wife, Susan, and two sons, James Anthony Krudop and Marc Wilson Krudop. The Krudop family is highly involved in the community. As well as working as an administrative assistant with Sentara Medical Group, Susan is a troop committee member for Boy Scout Troop 481, teaches Sunday School at Lynnhaven United Methodist Church and is a great golfer. James is a 2012 graduate of Salem High School and the Visual and Performing Arts Academy. He currently is completing requirements toward an associate degree in computer science at Tidewater Community College. James is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Scouting Society “Order of the Arrow.” Marc is a junior at Salem High School, where he plays on the varsity baseball team. Marc is also an Eagle Scout.