Shenandoah Conservatory announces the recipients of the 2018 Shenandoah Conservatory Alumni Awards. This year, three alumni from an array of performing arts disciplines have been chosen by conservatory faculty and leadership to receive one of two awards—the Alumnus of Excellence Award and the Rising Star Alumni Award.
We’re delighted to honor these alumni who have proven to be leaders in their respective fields. They have had an extraordinary impact on the arts and they serve as an inspiration for our faculty and students.
– Dean of Shenandoah Conservatory Michael Stepniak, Ed.D.
Shenandoah Conservatory Alumnus of Excellence Award
The Shenandoah Conservatory Alumnus of Excellence Award is presented to alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their profession, attained a national level of prominence within their field, and demonstrated exceptional integrity. The 2018 recipient of the Shenandoah Conservatory Alumnus of Excellence Award is Joe Kucharski ’09 (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Production, Costume Design).
Joseph J. Kucharski grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where he was active in theatre during middle and high school. Kucharski followed a passion for Disney to Anaheim, California, working his way up from a dresser to a costumer for Entertainment Costuming at Disneyland. He left Disney to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design & Production (Costume Design) from Shenandoah University and Master of Fine Arts in costume design from University of California, Irvine. Over the next four years, Kucharski served as an assistant professor of theatre at both Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His passion to educate others and connect those within the design community led to the creation of tyrannyofstyle.com. Tyranny Of Style is a website and network of social media accounts focused on the language of clothing, and covers the latest in costume design, digital fashion technology and the history of dress. Kucharski also writes regularly for Stage Directions magazine, and has been an invited speaker at Comic-Con International, MAGIC Market Week, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and the Costume Society of America. Kucharski has diverse design experience in theatre, film and themed entertainment. In 2016, he became Senior Costume Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he designs and provides creative oversight for entertainment, character and operational costumes for international parks, resorts and special events.
Shenandoah Conservatory Rising Star Alumni Award
The Shenandoah Conservatory Rising Star Alumni Award is presented to alumni who have already made significant contributions to their profession and show promise of becoming national-level stars within their field. The 2018 recipients of the Shenandoah Conservatory Rising Star Alumni Award are Charles Brice ’09 (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting) and Joshua Jeremiah ’02 (Bachelor of Music in Performance).
Charles J. Brice, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, has shown himself to be a versatile actor dedicated to his craft. Having completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in performance, Brice successfully segued from student to working professional. Brice first broke into television with a co-starring role in the hit CBS cop drama, “Blue Bloods.” Soon after, he went on to book roles in two critically acclaimed HBO miniseries, “Show Me a Hero” and “The Night Of.” Brice also had roles on two NBC drama series, “Shades of Blue” and “Blindspot.” Shortly thereafter, he booked roles on NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” “The Blacklist” and the CBS court drama, “Bull.” In feature films, Brice most notably portrayed controversial relationship blogger, Ray Livingston, in Tahir Jetter’s debut feature film, “How To Tell You’re a Douchebag.” The film received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and aired on BET network. In addition to his work on screen, Brice also performed on the New York stage in Layon Gray’s critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production, “Black Angels Over Tuskegee.” Brice earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Shenandoah University in 2009 and a master’s degree from The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in 2012, and is represented by MKS&D talent management and Paradigm Talent agency.
Joshua Jeremiah currently lives in New York City with his wife and artistic partner, Dana Domenick. Jeremiah was born and raised in Lebanon County in central Pennsylvania, and attended Shenandoah Conservatory from 1998 to 2002. Despite starting as a musical theatre major, he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Voice). In addition to his many operatic and ensemble performances during his time at Shenandoah, Jeremiah was a brother in Phi Mu Alpha, worked in the Smith Library media center and was a member of the Residence Life staff. He continued his education at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he earned a Master of Music in voice and an Artist Diploma in operatic studies.
Jeremiah has been described by the New York Times as “rich-voiced” and hailed by Opera Today for his “warmly appealing, burnished baritone.” In 2010, he was nominated for a Best Opera Recording Grammy as the titular character of John Musto’s “Voplone,” which was recorded live with Wolf Trap Opera Company. He has sung with numerous regional opera companies including New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Arizona Opera and New Orleans Opera, and has performed internationally throughout Europe, Asia and Australia. Thanks to classical public radio, his singing has been broadcast around the globe, most recently for his portrayal of Lassiter in Arizona Opera’s world premiere of “Riders of the Purple Sage.” He will also be heard on an upcoming broadcast of Bernstein’s “Arias and Barcarolles,” recorded with New York Festival of Song in conjunction with Wolf Trap Opera Company.
A formal presentation to honor all 2018 Shenandoah Conservatory Alumni Award recipients will be made during the Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, April 14, beginning at noon in the Brandt Student Center, Ferrari Room. The Celebration Luncheon is presented as part of the 2018 Conservatory Alumni Reunion. Learn more about the 2018 Conservatory Alumni Reunion that will take place Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, on the main campus of Shenandoah University at su.edu/conservatoryalumni18.