Shenandoah Conservatory will introduce and pilot a class-free, student-led performance week for its students in fall 2018. Conservatory division chairs and leadership agreed in March to a pilot week, after hearing the findings of a five-member Shenandoah Conservatory Student Performance Week Task Force, which traveled in February to study the successful student-focused weeklong performance programs at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, Wales, and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London, England. Dean and Professor of Music Michael Stepniak, Ed.D., accompanied the task force on the trip. Members of the task force include Associate Professor of Theatre, Assistant Dean for Student Learning and Task Force Leader Carolyn Coulson, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Bassoon and Music Theory and Co-Chair of the Conservatory Curriculum Committee Ryan Romine, D.M.A.; dance representative Adrienne Elion ’20 (B.F.A. in Dance); theatre representative Christopher Goodwin ’19 (B.F.A. in Musical Theatre) and music representative Joshua Frey ’19 (B.M. in Music Production & Recording Technology).This project is supported by funding from the Dean’s Circle.
The class of 2018 musical theatre students made their New York City debut with a special showcase performance on April 27, at Feinstein’s/54 Below. The seniors performed for family, friends and Shenandoah alumni with special guest appearances by Garrett Elise Long ’91 (B.F.A. in Musical Theatre) and Jessie Hooker-Bailey ’10 (B.F.A. in Musical Theatre).
World-renowned conductor and former principal trumpet with the New York Philharmonic Gerard Schwarz conducted a brass masterclass for Shenandoah Conservatory students March 18. Schwarz is the father of Shenandoah Conservatory Assistant Professor of Cello Julian Schwarz, M.M. Participants included Anthony Barnwell ’18 (Master of Music in Performance, Trumpet), Josue Duran ’18 (Bachelor of Music in Performance, Trumpet), Cameron Farnsworth ’19 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Tuba), Danielle Franc ’18 (Bachelor of Music in Performance, Horn), David Humbertson ’19 (Master of Music in Performance, Trombone), Caeley Niess ’20 (Bachelor of Music in Performance, Trumpet) and Jonathan Wyatt ’19 (Bachelor of Music in Composition, Trumpet).
Six conservatory students traveled to New York City during spring break to explore the new music scene with Distinguished Guest Composer and Senior Lecturer of New Music David T. Little, Ph.D., and Director of Composition and Coordinator of New Music Jonathan Newman, M.M. Performance highlights included Strauss’ “Elektra” at the Metropolitan Opera; Sō Percussion and JACK Quartet in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall; Paul Taylor American Modern Dance at Koch Theater of Lincoln Center; and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and drummer Chad Taylor at Spectrum in Brooklyn, as well as three performances at National Sawdust in celebration of its Spring Revolution festival. Participants included Jeremy Chontow ’20 (Bachelor of Music in Composition), Andrew Herring ’18, ’19 (Bachelor of Music in Composition, Master of Science in Performing Arts Leadership and Management), Grayson Jarvis ’20 (Bachelor of Music in Composition), Katsuko Kameda ’19 (Bachelor of Music in Performance, Percussion), Paul Winch ’23 (Master of Music in Composition) and Jonathan Wyatt ’19 (Bachelor of Music in Composition).