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 as a teacher/choral director for the past 44 years. He has been employed with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools system since 1975 and has taught at the Elementary, Junior High School, and Senior High School levels. He has taken several of his choral groups to prestigious locations such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the White House, Westminster Cathedral, National Cathedral, and Walt Disney World. From 2004-2018 he served as 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 is now director of choral activities at Regent University in Virginia Beach and the point person for Regent’s emerging music program.
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.”
Additionally, Krudop went on to not only receive his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Shenandoah, but also his Master of Music degree in conducting and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in music education. He also holds a Master of Education degree in administration from Regent University.
In addition to his work with Regent and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Krudop is also artistic director of the Virginia Beach Chorale, an 85-voice community choir, and is music director at Heritage United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach.
He is a past president of the Virginia Choral Directors Association, was Virginia’s “Music Educator of the Year,” Salem High School’s “Teacher of the Year,” was a national quarter-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s “Music Educator” award, was named Virginia’s “Director of Note” by Choral Director magazine, and was featured as one of Coastal Virginia magazine’s “Ten Top Teachers in Hampton Roads.”
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.
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 Jim 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. Susan is an administrative assistant with Sentara Medical Group. She is a member of the the Administrative Council and teaches Sunday School at Lynnhaven United Methodist Church and is a great golfer. Susan and Don have two sons, James & Marc. James is a 2012 graduate of Salem High School and the Visual and Performing Arts Academy. He currently lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, works in the health records department for Ciox, Inc., and is currently completing requirements toward an associates 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 also graduated from Salem High School (Class of 2015), and is a senior majoring in business at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He runs his own business, “Clean Cut Lawn Care.” Marc is also an Eagle Scout.