On Wednesday, March 25, Shenandoah Conservatory announced a unique set of temporary policies and procedures regarding its student recital requirement for an array of conservatory majors enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs who are unable to complete their recital because of Shenandoah University’s current closure due the COVID-19 pandemic. This new framework gives students and their studio teachers exceptional flexibility regarding the student’s final project this semester. It also honors all aspects of a student’s current circumstance as well as the student-studio teacher relationship and work, and respects students’ potential within the context of their unique circumstance.
Students will complete a Personal Musicianship Project Declaration Form in close collaboration with their studio teachers and in consultation with division chairs. These projects are designed to be useful to all students, from those wishing and able to do a slightly modified recital program (performed and streamed online), to those who are facing exceptional barriers to delivering a traditional recital-type program, and who (supported by their studio teacher) wish to undertake a
differently shaped project.
This new temporary opportunity aligns with Shenandoah University’s new flexible grading policy which allows each student to have the option of keeping a Pass or No Credit notation (rather than a letter grade, unless requested by the student) for each course at the end of this semester.
A core group of faculty and students developed the initiative, including Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Music Education Jeff Marlatt, Ph.D.; Chair of Vocal/Choral Division, Director of Graduate Vocal Pedagogy Programs and Professor of Voice (Contralto) Kathryn Green, D.M.A.; Associate Professor of Voice (Tenor) Byron Jones ’04, D.M.A.; Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, Chair of Keyboard Division and Professor of Piano John O’Conor Mus.D.; Chair of Instrumental Division and Professor of Saxophone Timothy Roberts, D.M.A.; Professor of Flute Jonathan Snowden, A.G.S.M.; Associate Professor of Piano Karen Walker, D.M.A., and Professor of Clarinet Garrick Zoeter, M.M; as well as pianists Mathilde Handelsman ’20 (Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance, Piano) and Eoín Fleming ’20 (Bachelor of Music in Performance); saxophonist Sean McGinley ’21 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education) and flutist Sarah Saul ’18, 20 (Bachelor of Music in Performance, Master of Music in Performance), and voice students Franchesca Henry ’20 (Bachelor of Music in Performance) and Elizabeth Holmes ’26 (Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance).