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Faculty Update: Fall 2017

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on October 13, 2017 - 1:53pm
  • Patricia Campbell
    Professor Patricia Campbell was recently named WMEA’s Educator of the Year at the college/university level.

World travels, new recordings, performances, world premieres, and keynote presentations kept School of Music faculty on the go throughout the summer break. 

Patricia Campbell, Music Education and Ethnomusicology

Patricia Campbell, Music Education and Ethnomusicology professor at the University of Washington, used a sabbatical year to further interests and initiatives internationally throughout 2016-17. Recognition of her work in world music pedagogy led to multiple invitations to speak, share, and teach, as well as the awarding of a prestigious prize--the Fumio Koizumi Prize for Ethnomusicology, an international award presented annually in Tokyo--recognizing her research achievements in world music pedagogy and children’s musical cultures. In addition to the cash award associated with the prize, Professor Campbell delivered lectures last summer at the Koizumi Foundation, Tokyo College of Music, and the University of Kyoto.

In other recent activities, Professor Campbell delivered the keynote presentation at the First International Music Education Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel last spring. In assessing the experience she notes she found "especially enlightening the genuine interest in and involvement by Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  musicians in collaboration with professional music educators, in the musical education of children and youth." 

David Rahbee, Orchestral Activities

Director of Orchestral Activities David A. Rahbee appeared as a guest conductor at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, where he lead performances of works by Rossini, Stravinsky and Beethoven. He also returned to the Pierre Monteux Music Festival where he conducted a chamber orchestra of alumni of the school (Ensemble Tremblay) in works by Boyce, Boccherini, Haydn, Glanville-Hicks and Mozart, and accompanied Mark Schuman, cellist with the New York City Opera Orchestra and faculty at Columbia University. 

Craig Sheppard, piano

His new CD "The Essence of an Iron Will," a new release on the Romeo Records label, features music by Frederic Chopin recorded live in Seattle's Meany Theater in February of 2017. The disc includes the Fantasy in F minor, Opus 49; the Sonata in B flat minor ('Funeral March'), Opus 35; Three Mazurkas, Opus 59; and the Sonata in B minor, Opus 58.

Summer activities for Professor Sheppard included a two-week residency at Chetham's International Piano Summer School in Manchester U.K., where more than 500 participants took lessons and attended masterclasses and performances over two one-week sessions. While in Manchester Sheppard gave six lessons every day and attended one or more concerts every evening, including his own performance of the complete Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues.

In other summer activities, Sheppard worked with young musicians enrolled in a Piano Quintet course at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR and--with colleague Robin McCabe--led the eighth season of the duo's Seattle Piano Institute, welcoming 16 young pianists from around the world to an intense ten-day immersion course held at the UW last July. Participants received private lessons and masterclasses with the professors and with keynote artist Douglas Humphreys, head of the piano department at Eastman University. 

Kari Ragan, Voice

Her article "Understanding Voice Doctors: Whom to Call and When to Call Them" appears in the October 2017 Journal of Singing, published by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. 

Among her summer research activities, Dr. Ragan presented at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden. Her topic: "A Systematic Approach to Rehabilitating Injured Singers, and Impact of Cool-down Exercises."

Geoffrey Boers, Choral Conducting

Enumclaw High School choirs enjoyed retreats and clinics with faculty from the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University last summer, including Professor Geoffrey Boers of the UW Choral conducting program.

Boers also joined conductors from around the country in leading, with choral conductor Richard Nace, a three-day summer choral conductig workshop investigation of the power of empathy to change the mindset of conductors. The faculty, Boers, Nace, Dinah Helgeson, and Amy Boers, led  workshop participants in exploring conducting gestures, vocal health concepts, accompanist skills and more in the annual workshop held each summer in Tacoma.

Giselle Wyers, Voice and Choral Conducting

The chair of the UW's vocal performance program conducted the Brahms Requiem in a performance last summer by the Portland Symphonic Choir during the group's Summer Sings series. Dr. Wyers returns to the work in  June 2018 when she directs the UW Symphony and Combined Chamber Singers and University Chorale in a performance of the piece June 1 at Meany Theater.

Earlier in the summer, Dr. Wyers served as faculty for the Kantorei Summer Choral Institute in Kansas City, leading rehearsals, performances, and conducting lessons in cathedrals around the city. 

Melia Watras, Strings

Her composition Vetur, a new work for solo cello, was premiered this month at Spectrum new music venue in New York City by colleague Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, who performs the work a second time on Oct. 19 at the UW's Jones Playhouse. 

Summer work for Watras included performances and talks at the Weekend of Chamber Music Festival 2017 Festival held in venues in Pennsylvania and New York.