In many ways, 2016 has been one of those years that many of us are happy to see end. But, while it was a year that trafficked in surprises and marked the deaths of some beloved entertainers (including one at Shenandoah), it was also a year in which Shenandoah made a long-hoped-for project a reality and established a new housing community. So, as 2016 winds down, we look back at the year at Shenandoah, with this Top 10 (actually two Top 5 lists, as is our habit.)
Top 5 Shenandoah Stories of 2016
1. Winchester native Kevin Covert returns to the area after a Broadway career as director of musical theatre and assistant professor of theatre at Shenandoah Conservatory. Outgoing Music Theatre Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Theatre Jonathan Flom, M.F.A., was excited about Covert’s arrival, stating, “He is an industry insider with years of experience in New York theatre, and he’s a terrific teacher and mentor to students.”
2. Actress, singer and stage director Phylicia Rashad speaks at Shenandoah. (Although the post couldn’t foresee it, she also ended up braving a massive winter storm to come speak!)
3. This story, announcing The Village, appeared in 2015, but remained popular all year, as the project came to fruition in Caruthers House and Roni’s Roost, both of which opened in 2016.
4. Sadly, Shenandoah lost one of its own in January – Distinguished Professor Emeritus Of Theatre And Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT) Founder And Artistic Director Emeritus Harold “Hal” Herman, B.A. Herman passed away after a career in which he affected, and entertained, generations.
5. The conservatory generated excitement with the announcement of its 2016 alumni awards, which were conferred in April at the annual Conservatory Alumni Reunion.
Top 5 Shenandoah Videos of 2016
1. Move-In Day is one of Shenandoah’s finest traditions, in which the entire university community helps its newest students settle in on campus. So, it makes sense that our video commemorating this year’s Move-In Day, “Welcome Home,” had the most views of any Shenandoah video produced this year.
2. Shenandoah’s long-wanted Athletics & Events Center finally became a reality this year, with groundbreaking occurring in the fall, in anticipation of an early 2018 opening. This piece, outlining all of its attributes, was the second-most-viewed video produced by Shenandoah this year.
3. Here, our most popular posts also connect to our top videos. Kevin Covert directed the fall musical, “Spring Awakening,” and the preview of the conservatory’s production landed in the third spot on our video list.
4. Well, you know, our list actually begins a little before 2016, taking in the last weeks of 2015. That’s when Shenandoah released its Christmas video, starring everyone’s favorite Hornet.
Now that we’ve reviewed 2016, we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year.