The Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble toured the Pacific Northwest from May 17 through May 26. Nineteen students and four faculty (Harrison Endowed Chair in Piano and Associate Professor of Jazz Piano Robert Larson, D.M.A., who led the tour; Auxiliary Adjunct Associate Professor of Jazz and Trumpet Craig Fraedrich, M.M., ensemble director; Adjunct Associate Professor of Classical and Jazz Trombone Matt Niess, D.M.A., guest trombone artist; and Associate Professor of Piano Karen Walker, D.M.A.) traveled with the ensemble. Highlights included performances at Reynolds High School and the University of Portland, as well as a trip to Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River in Oregon; performances at the Central Washington University Jazz Festival as a featured college ensemble and Bellevue College, as well as visits to the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Bainbridge Island and the Future of Flight Boeing Museum in Seattle, Washington; a performance at Pat’s Pub, Vancouver’s most popular jazz venue, and tours of the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada.
Abbie Allison ’18 was invited to participate in the Nuevo Mundo Festival in Oranjestad, Aruba, for ten days this summer under the leadership of artistic director Simon Gollo. This unique opportunity for Allison began after a busy summer schedule including 22 performances playing in the pit orchestra with Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Allison is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Horn) under the tutelage of Adjunct Associate Professor of Horn Joe Lovinsky, Artist Diploma.
The graduating acting class of 2017 worked with Greg Allen, the founder of neo-futurism, to develop an original piece. That work was taken to Signature Theatre; it is the first original work the acting program has taken to a professional Washington, D.C. theatre. Students in the acting program participated in a city-wide active shooter training in Winchester for medical and law enforcement; one of the first of its kind in the country. In the 2016-17 academic year, theatre students also worked with students in the Music Production and Recording Technology and Mass Communications programs to create a collaborative film. Also, the Musical Theatre program was featured in Backstage. https://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/countrys-only-musical-theater-program-dedicated-poprock-musical/
The music therapy program is involved in several innovative efforts. The conservatory has integrated graduate music therapy students into the Interprofessional Education program (IPE). Students will complete the four-unit IPE certificate, alongside students from various health professions programs. The music therapy program, in collaboration with the voice pedagogy program, hosted the first graduate research symposium in the spring 2017 semester, “A Celebration of Scholarship,” in which students presented their thesis research. Additionally, the Judith Ruebush Townsend Scholarship in Music Therapy is a new annual scholarship being established this year for a student in the music therapy program. One or two scholarships will be awarded each year to a rising senior preparing for an internship and who exhibits excellence in leadership, scholarship and service.
The Musical Theatre program’s pop-rock focus was featured in a Backstage interview with Director of Musical Theatre and Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Kevin Covert, B.F.A. The entire interview can be read at https://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/countrys-only-musical-theater-program-dedicated-poprock-musical.
Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy’s (SCAA) Top of Virginia Youth Chorale (known as the Tops) sang, in June, with multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated group Celtic Woman at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia. The Tops performed two songs with the group, “Amazing Grace” in the first half of the concert and “You Raise Me Up” towards the end of the show. You can watch video of “You Raise Me Up” on Facebook.
Rising junior Jonathan Wyatt ’19 is attending the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, Maine, for a month this summer to study with distinguished faculty, including composers George Tsontakis, Ken Ueno, Hannah Lash, Robert Paterson, David Ludwig and Pierre Jalbert.
Drake Stoughton ’18 received the Presser Award at Shenandoah, a prestigious award given to an outstanding member of the junior conservatory class. He also placed second in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Southern Region instrumental solo competition at the University of South Carolina in February and was placed in the top college saxophone quartet (out of 45 national college-aged saxophonists) at the American Saxophone Academy at the Eastman School of Music last summer. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and studies with Professor of Saxophone Timothy Roberts, D.M.A.
Viola performance major Anna Dye ’18 was invited and is attending the Brevard Summer Music Festival with a sizable scholarship, while fellow viola performance major Ucee Nwachukwu ’20 was accepted to and is attending the NYU Steinhardt Summer Strings Program with a scholarship.
Maya Lončar ’18 was awarded first prize in the Collegiate Division in the Appalachian State University International Guitar Competition in April. Second- and third-prize winners were from the Cleveland Institute for Music, among the strongest guitar programs in the United States. Lončar won third prize her freshman year and this year won the grand prize for this competition. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Guitar) and studies with Director of Guitar Studies and Professor of Guitar Julian Gray.
The Bass Ensemble performed at the International Society of Bassists convention on June 8 in Ithaca, New York. The conservatory also hosted its annual Bass Coalition summer workshop from June 12 to June 16 and welcomed 30 bassists from ages 13 to 50. Professor of Bass Donovan Stokes, D.M., Inez Wyrick, Mark Rubinstein, Kevin Johnson ’11, Eric O. Hansen served as faculty and Argentine bassist and composer Andrés Martín was the featured guest artist.
Check out “I Remember Clifford” from a live performance at the International Society of Bassists convention: