Shenandoah University appealed to Elizabeth Keller-Tripp ’05 because it is an institution that is proudly open to exploring the field of music in new ways. “The arts management degree felt flexible in its approach to business and arts, and yet I loved the insistence on maintaining my instrumental training so that I could stay close to a performer’s mindset, which has proven critical now that I work with musicians from a huge variety of backgrounds on a daily basis,” said Keller-Tripp.
During her time at the university, Keller-Tripp has fond memories of looking out the window at the pond during flute lessons with former Instrumental Division Professor Frances Lapp Averitt, and energetic band rehearsals with former Instrumental Division Professor Scott A. Nelson.
Keller-Tripp is a producer and artistic programs director for Silkroad. Her responsibilities are to produce 30 to 50 events per year (international concert tours, educational programs, workshops and other artistic projects), manage all project logistics and develop and implement creative content and activities. However, the majority of Keller-Tripp’s work is celebrating and managing personalities; balancing a wide variety of priorities, styles, traditions and needs; and juggling any number of projects and delivering them at top quality.
Some of the most rewarding experiences in Keller-Tripp’s career are visiting Jordan and Lebanon to work with refugees and displaced communities and dancing in the wings as the ensemble performs in the bright lights.
Shenandoah offered her the opportunity to explore how she could make a career in music without teaching or performing. “It seems obvious now, but at the time I couldn’t see a path I liked for being in and around music without delivering it myself,” said Keller-Tripp. “SU let me spread my wings beyond the practice room and classroom and see the many ways to use what I learned in each.”
Keller-Tripp’s advice to students is: “Go for the thing you don’t understand – I have learned so much from surrounding myself with different languages, cultures, musical traditions, and places; things that to this day can feel intimidating but that have been critical to my development as a human and musician.”