In its first year, the Dean’s Circle at Shenandoah is making an exceptional impact, with 24 members raising $47,376 for academic excellence in the arts. Coinciding with an extraordinary time of growth and development at the conservatory, the Dean’s Circle brings together an influential group of arts lovers and supporters, providing members with exclusive arts-themed social events, and further advancing excellence in arts training and performance.
Through the generosity of its members, the initiative provided substantial support in five areas:
- Student Development Grants
- Faculty Scholarship Release for Exceptional Projects
- Special Initiatives
- Conservatory Innovation and Entrepreneurship Grants
- Staff 200 Grants
Beyond making a marked impact on student training and artistic excellence at Shenandoah Conservatory, members of the Dean’s Circle enjoy access to exclusive social events and performances, including special excursions, receptions, meet-and-greets and other opportunities to engage with renowned and innovative guest artists, as well as our conservatory students, faculty and leadership. Highlights from the inaugural 2016-2017 year included
- Setting the Stage 2016/17 season preview event with Shenandoah Conservatory faculty in September 2016
- A pre-concert reception with John Corigliano, featured composer for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Composer Festival in November 2016
- A pre-concert reception with Gidon Kremer, artistic director and soloist with Kremerata Baltica in January 2017
- A post-concert reception with Doug Varone and Dancers in March 2017
- A year-end celebration event at Village Square Restaurant in May 2017
“It has been truly wonderful to feel and see the energy and care that this special community of arts lovers and supporters have for excellence in both the arts and arts training,” said Shenandoah Conservatory Dean and Professor of Music Michael Stepniak, Ed.D. “As a faculty member remarked just recently, ‘the success of the Dean’s Circle is having a disproportionate impact on the quality of our community!’”
Learn more about the students, faculty and staff supported by the Dean’s Circle by clicking on each of the toggles below.
Student Development Grants (SDG) were created to further support and promote exceptional and innovative student work, and strengthen the profile of Shenandoah Conservatory. These grants are awarded in two major categories: (1) Traditional, which supports students performing or presenting at a major competition or conference, and (2) Conservatory in the Community, which supports student projects that reach new audiences in new places. Given the success of the Dean’s Circle membership drive for this year, a third category was added late in the year: Conservatory Students at Major Summer Festivals, which provides support to needy and advanced performance students to attend and participate in premier music, dance or theatre festivals during the summer. (List of recipients still being finalized.)
Master of Music in Performance (Piano)
Won the Virginia Music Teachers Association Young Artist Competition in his instrument category and as a result represented Virginia in the Virginia in the Music Teachers National Association Southern Division Competition – Regional Finals in South Carolina in January 2017
Master of Music in Performance (Piano)
Selected as a semifinalist to participate in the 2016 Schubert International Piano Competition in Dortmund, Germany, in September and the 2017 International Piano Competition hosted by Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, Florida
Master of Music in Performance (Piano)
Selected to participate in the James Mottram International Piano Competition in Manchester, United Kingdom
Bachelor of Music in Performance (Violin)
Won the Virginia Music Teachers Association Young Artist Competition in his instrument category and as a result represented Virginia in the Music Teachers National Association Southern Division Competition – Regional Finals in South Carolina
Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Saxophone)
Selected to represent Virginia in the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Winds Competition – Regional Finals in South Carolina in January 2017
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre
Invited to present on the topic of diversity in theatre at the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance Conference in New York City
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
Directed “The Colored Museum,” a satire by George C. Wolfe at Shenandoah Arts (ShenArts) Council in February 2017 as part of Black History Month programming
Bachelor of Music in Performance (Piano)
Selected to participate in the National Association of Teachers of Singing – Mid-Atlantic Region Voice Competition at the University of North Carolina
The Faculty Scholarship Release for Exceptional Projects was created with an eye to pursuing four central goals: (1) to further strengthen equity among faculty scholars (performance and research); (2) to increase the conservatory’s quality and profile as a vibrant intellectual community and place of excellence in both performance and research scholarship; (3) to further strengthen support for the success of those students and faculty focusing on scholarship; and (4) to further pursue a world-class learning environment within a financially appropriate framework.
Coordinator of Music Theory and Associate Professor of Music Keith Salley, Ph.D., received a Faculty Scholarship Release Award to further support his role as the new co-editor of Gamut, the Online Journal of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic.
Associate Professor of Music Education Stephanie Standerfer, Ph.D., received a Faculty Scholarship Release Award to further support her work related to a book project for Oxford University Press in the area of music education.
DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS MASTERCLASS
Doug Varone and Dancers presented six illuminating masterclasses and workshops to Shenandoah Conservatory dance students as well as kids in the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Shenandoah Valley in March 2017.
Director of Acting and Associate Professor of Theatre JJ Ruscella, M.F.A., presented research on immersive learning at Lincoln Center in New York City in March 2017.
Assistant Professor of Dance Tiffanie Carson, M.F.A., presented nexUS, which features seven male dancers from Shenandoah Conservatory, at showcases in College Park, Maryland, and New York City in February 2017.
Conservatory Innovation and Entrepreneurship Grants support innovative and bold faculty projects that promise to make a significant impact on both the vitality and financial strength of the Shenandoah Conservatory learning community. These grants are awarded in one of three categories: (1) the development of workshops, institutes or summer programs, (2) the radical overhaul of a course to increase the innovativeness and quality of instruction and strengthen student success, and (3) a financial project that makes an innovative tweak to an academic program, overhaul of policies and processes within a program or area, or an otherwise innovative change that significantly strengthens net revenue within one or more program areas.
Assistant Professor of Music Therapy Hakeem Leonard, Ph.D., and Director of Graduate Music Therapy Studies and Associate Professor of Music Therapy Anthony Meadows, Ph.D., to develop Continuing Education Unit (CEU) workshops for music therapists, increasing program profile and revenues.
Associate Professor of Music History and Literature Laurie McManus, Ph.D., to oversee the development of online doctoral-level review modules for music history remediation.
Director of Musical Theatre and Assistant Professor of Theatre Kevin Covert, B.F.A., to investigate musical theatre summer camp models to begin shaping an exceptional one at Shenandoah Conservatory.
Director and Associate Professor of Performing Arts Leadership and Management David Edelman, M.F.A., to pursue the development of online models that might further elevate the profile and revenue of the Performing Arts Leadership and Management program.
Harrison Endowed Chair in Piano and Associate Professor of Jazz Piano Robert Larson ’08, D.M.A., to explore the viability and potential shape of a new track within the Music Production & Recording Technology program focusing on popular music.
Director and Associate Professor of Music Production and Recording Technology Golder O’Neill ’92, M.M.E., to investigate viability of creating an industry-leading Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Sound Production & Design degree.
Members of the Dean’s Circle celebrated the success of the first year with a special reception at Village Square Restaurant on May 21. Following a special performance of Schubert’s Trio for Strings in B-flat, D.471 featuring Victor Brown Chair in Violin and Associate Professor of Strings Akemi Takayama, M.M., Dean Stepniak and retiring Professor of Cello Clyde Thomas Shaw, M.M., attendees learned about the impact of their generosity, conversed with faculty and students who were directly supported by their giving, and provided feedback on how to further improve this powerful initiative.
MEET THE 2016/17 DEAN’S CIRCLE
CREATOR ($5,000 – $9,999)
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce E. Hunter
Ms. Susanne S. Jackson
Gigi R. & Barry J. Washington
ENTHUSIAST ($2,500 – $4,999)
Dr. & Mrs. Jordan B. Casteel
MEMBER ($1,000 – $2,499)
Mr. & Mrs. Scott R. Bergeron
Ms. Rebecca A. Bowman
Dr. Peter G. Bullough
Drs. Laura N. Dabinett & Russell B. McKelway
Ms. Amy Fielder
Dr. Hunter M. Gaunt, Jr.* & Mrs. Shirley H. Gaunt
Mr. & Mrs. Burgess L. Hoffman
Dr. & Mrs. James C. Laidlaw
Mr. & Mrs. John P. Lewis
Mrs. Jacqueline B. Mars
Mrs. Eleanor P. Monahan
Mr. & Mrs. Mitchell L. Moore
Mrs. Mary Potter Robinson
Dr. Michael J. Stepniak & Ms. Anne E. Schempp
Deanna & Tom Stouffer
Mr. & Ms. Randy R. Stoughton
Mrs. Gail Longo Tanguay
Want to learn more about the Dean’s Circle? Contact Kristol Bond at (540) 545-7252 or email@example.com.