Shenandoah Conservatory is thrilled to introduce a new cohort of exceptional artists and educators to its students and community. (Two of the conservatory’s seven searches have yet to be completed.)
“I’m grateful to the search committees for these exhaustive and national searches,” said Shenandoah Conservatory Dean and Professor of Music Michael Stepniak, Ed.D. “Each one of these incoming faculty brings an unbridled passion for excellence, a truly inclusive and mentoring spirit, and deep industry knowledge. We look forward to them joining our faculty and community this coming August!”
Assistant Professor of Sound Design and Reinforcement
Anna Warda Alex, M.F.A., is an award-winning sound designer and composer whose work has been heard all over the country. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Sound Design from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. Alex’s theatrical sound designs have been produced at New Stage Collective, Gulfshore Playhouse, PSST!, Utah Opera and Musical Theatre Festival, PlayMaker’s Rep and Summer Rep Theatre. As well as designing, Alex is an educator and has taught at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Nebraska Kearney and Millikin University. Visit www.annawardaalex.com to learn more.
“I am thrilled to be joining such a dynamic and passionate faculty, staff, and student body here at Shenandoah Conservatory.”
– Anna Ward Alex
“Anna Alex is dynamic and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as our new assistant professor of sound reinforcement and design,” said search committee chair and Theatre Design & Production Program Coordinator, Costume Designer and Associate Professor of Costume Design Jennifer Flitton Adams, M.F.A. “We are thrilled she is joining us!”
Assistant Professor of Piano
Alexander Bernstein ’16, D.M., has performed in 16 countries across North America, Europe and Asia. He has earned top prizes from international competitions in the U.S., Ireland, Austria, Germany and Italy. He also attended numerous summer festivals and was the pianist for the resident new music ensembles at the Aspen Musical Festival and Tanglewood Music Center. As a devotee of new music he also recorded a CD of solo piano works by the Irish composer Ryan Molloy. Dr. Bernstein holds a doctorate from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Ireland, a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and an Artist Diploma from Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. Visit alexanderbernsteinpiano.com to learn more.
“I am honored to join Shenandoah Conservatory in its journey toward nurturing the next generation of emerging artists, and so excited to be part of a collaborative community that fervently promotes creative excellence.”
– Alexander Bernstein
“We are particularly excited to welcome Alex Bernstein as a full member of the piano faculty,” said search committee chair and Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, Chair of Keyboard Division and Professor of Piano John O’Conor, Mus.D. “As an alumnus of Shenandoah and a multiple prizewinner at international piano competitions in many countries, he will inject his tremendous youthful energy into the faculty and become an integral part of many exciting chamber music performances with members of the other faculties.”
Director of Opera
Universally acclaimed as one of Europe’s most original and progressive directors, and widely celebrated as the founder of the global #OperaHarmony movement, auteur-director Ella Marchment has also taken on leadership roles for international arts organizations and spoken and lectured at world-renowned companies and conservatoires, including Opera Europa in the Netherlands, the Royal Opera House in London, the Juilliard School in New York, and the Royal College of Music in London. She was previously director of the opera programme at Northern Illinois University and is the current artistic director of Manor Opera in the UK, and Opera Festival of Chicago. Visit www.ellamarchment.org to learn more.
“When I first arrived in Winchester, it felt as though I was coming home for the first time. The energy and environment were electric, and I cannot wait to become part of the community and to see what heights we can take the opera programme to.”
– Ella Marchment
“Ella is an accomplished professional,” said search committee chair and Associate Professor, Voice (Tenor) Byron Jones ’04, D.M.A. “We were blown away by her energy and passion, as well as her warm and winning personality!”
Inaugural Director of Contemporary Music, Assistant Professor
Rod Vester, Ph.D., is an educator, researcher, entrepreneur, pianist, organist, composer, conductor and producer who excels in gospel, jazz, classical and contemporary music. He has performed with numerous artists, across genres, including Grammy Award winners CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin and the late Aretha Franklin. As an arts consultant, Dr. Vester has helped expand the educational and artistic programming for many organizations and remains an active performer, clinician and speaker who has presented at Chamber Music America, Sphinx and at state and national music education conferences. Vester is committed to creating spaces where all students feel valued, voiced and visible. Visit www.rodvester.com to learn more.
“Joining an environment full of brilliant scholars and performers who place students at the center of learning is a dream come true.”
– Rod Vester
“Dr. Vester is a visionary leader with experience in a wide range of commercial and classical genres,” said search committee co-chair and Associate Professor of Voice, Coordinator of Musical Theatre Voice and Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute Matthew Edwards ’15, D.M.A. “He is passionate about educating entrepreneur-musicians for today’s marketplace.”
Assistant Professor of Percussion
Praised by the South Florida Classical Review for her “dazzling” and “incisive” performance, Karlyn Viña, D.M.A., is a dynamic and creative musician with an active career as an orchestral, chamber and solo percussionist. Dr. Viña is thrilled to be joining the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory, and previously taught at Florida International University and New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. She can be heard as a co-host on the @Percussion Podcast and serves on the Percussive Arts Society’s Education Committee. Viña is proud to be a Marimba One Educational Artist and Grover Pro Percussion Artist Endorser. Visit www.karlynvina.com to learn more.
“I am delighted to be joining the creative community at Shenandoah Conservatory and look forward to meeting and working with the wonderful students, faculty and staff!”
– Karlyn Viña
“We are thrilled to welcome Karlyn Viña to our instrumental faculty,” said search committee chair, Chair of Instrumental Division and Professor of Saxophone Timothy Roberts, D.M.A. “She has extensive teaching experience from Florida International University and Summer Arts Camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Viña is internationally recognized as one of the most dynamic 21st-century percussionists and pedagogues in the United States today.”