Spring/Summer 2021 Faculty Notes

  • Professor Craig Sheppard with the winner of the Arthur Rubinstein piano competition in Israel.
    Professor Craig Sheppard with Juan Perez Floristan, winner of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Israel. Photo: Courtesy Craig Sheppard.

Honors, accolades, commissions, research highlights and other recent news from the School of Music faculty.

Michael Brockman, Saxophone

Faculty saxophonist Michael Brockman led his Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in a number of livestreamed concerts during the past several months, including a "Tribute to Louis Armstrong" on April 2 (live from Taper Auditorium at Benaroya); "SRJO Plays SRJO" on May 9 (live from Kirkland Performance Center, a concert of all original works, and featuring his new multi-movement composition, "Passage Suite"); "Christian McBride with SRJO" on June 19 (live from Taper Auditorium at Benaroya--with an in-person audience for the first time in 15 months). Future concerts include a live show in mid-August with special guest saxophonist Joshua Redman. Brockman reports that the SRJO is now finishing its 26th year of operations. 

Patricia Sheehan Campbell, Music Education and Ethnomusicology

Patricia Shehan Campbell gave a series of four keynote presentations on World Music Pedagogy in February for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). She was invited to deliver the keynote address for the 12th annual conference of the Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education. Hosted by Zambia but presented virtually, the conference’s core theme was “Equity, Diversity, and Access in Musical Arts Education.” Conference participants encompassed artist musicians, composers, music scholars and educators from across the African continent. Professor Campbell was honored by KTCS television with a Golden Apple award in recognition to her contributions to education in Washington state, at the UW, and in the larger world community (Read story here).

David Alexander Rahbee, Orchestral Activities

The senior artist-in-residence was recently presented with a "Gold Star” certificate for Best Video Conductor by the Music & Stars Awards online international classical music competition for his work on a 2021 collaboration with the UW Chamber Singers. Dr. Rahbee conducted the UW Symphony Orchestra and UW Chamber Singers in a video recording of Beethoven's Elegischer Gesang (Elegiac Song), Op. 118 to acknowledge the lost lives of the pandemic and the resilience and determination of UW students and the community at large in the face of unprecedented challenges. View the video.

Mark Rodgers, Music History

Music History lecturer Mark Rodgers has been organizing an oral history project called Musical Work in the Time of COVID-19, in collaboration with the Labor Archives of Washington (LAW) and the intrepid students in his Music and Labor class. Rodgers and his students have been conducting interviews with musicians and music teachers in Seattle and around the country about how the pandemic has affected them in their work. LAW has already published ten of these interviews online, which are now publicly accessible at https://www.musicalwork.org, with more to follow soon. Rodgers also redesigned the School’s Concert Season course for the 2020-21 academic year, highlighting the extraordinary work of School of Music faculty and student groups, as well as prominent local arts groups, in continuing to stage new performances safely throughout the pandemic. The course’s required concerts featured many School of Music faculty, current students, and alumni. He also taught a new course of his own design, “Music, Birdsong, and the Limits of the Human,” in the UW Honors Program. 

Timothy Salzman, Wind Conducting

Professor Salzman and the UW Wind Ensemble were featured in a recent UW News article highlighting the ensemble’s extended online composition project, a course initially implemented in Spring 2020. The course content/syllabus has now been adapted by 25 universities and numerous public schools throughout the United States. Professor Salzman contributed a chapter to the upcoming book, Arnold Jacobs: His Artistic and Pedagogical Legacies in the 21st Century. Scholar Publications, Chicago. The book is a compilation of chapter contributions by former students of Arnold Jacobs, who was the Chicago Symphony Orchestra tubist for 44 years. The vast majority of the other contributing authors are professional players from major symphony orchestras from throughout the world, all former students of Arnold Jacobs. At the request of Tshinghua University (Beijing, China), Salzman contributed a chapter to an upcoming book regarding the musical life of the Tsinghua University Symphonic Band, which he has guest conducted numerous times. Tsinghua University is a global innovation partner of the University of Washington.

Anne Searcy, Music History

Assistant Professor of Music History Anne Searcy contributed a chapter on choreographer Alexei Ratmansky to the Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet, which appeared in print in April 2021.

Carrie Shaw, Voice

The voice department's newest faculty member, artist-in-residence Carrie Henneman Shaw, was very active this spring, recording major new works by a number of composers, including Alec Hall (NYC), Andile Khumalo (Johannesburg, South Africa), and Osnat Netzer (Chicago) with Ensemble Dal Niente. In addition, Carrie recorded a concert, featuring women's quartet Quince Ensemble singing premieres of works by Courtney Bryan and David Reminick, with Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) to be livestreamed June 24 as part of CSO Sessions. Quince Ensemble also held a virtual education residency for composers at the University of Chicago, which will continue in-person in 2022. Shaw also wrapped up a fruitful year of research and commissioning as a Mellon Fellowship recipient, looking into creative alternatives for self-accompanying the voice in an era where singers had limited ability to make live music with others, and anticipates sharing her work in the coming year.

Craig Sheppard, piano

Professor Sheppard sat recently on the jury of the prestigious Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master competition in Israel. The first two rounds were held online from April 1-10, with the 32 selected contestants (from over a hundred entries) having pre-recorded their two recitals in five venues around the world – New York, London, Berlin, Beijing and Tel Aviv. First prize was awarded to Spanish pianist Juan Perez Floristan (pictured with Sheppard above).  In November, Sheppard and colleagues Rachel Lee Priday and Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir performed in Meany Theater the last of their three recitals spanning Beethoven’s complete Piano Trios. With colleague Dr. Robin McCabe, Sheppard will host the twelfth Seattle Piano Institute from July 6-13, this year completely online for both sessions.

Giselle Wyers, Choral Conducting and Voice

Giselle Wyers’ choral composition “A Roof and a Bed,” exploring the plight of houseless women, received its virtual premiere with the Portland Lesbian Choir on June 5. The video is available for viewing here.

Professor Wyers conducted the virtual Nevada All-State mixed choir on April 10 and is is set to conduct the Kansas All-State Women’s Chorus in Topeka, Kansas, on July 10. She has been commissioned by the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium to write a choral work that all 35 choirs who belong to the consortium will sing together at the consortium’s live singing conference, scheduled for March 2022.  The text comes from Loren Eiseley and the work is entitled “Join in Gathering.”

Staff Notes

Katie Hollenbach, Admissions and Outreach

Her article, "Frank Sinatra and Constructions of Female Power and Fantasy in RKO’s Higher and Higher (1943)" was recently accepted for publication in Music and the Moving Image. It explores how American teenage girls used Frank Sinatra's vulnerable celebrity persona on and off-screen during World War II to cultivate feelings of agency in their personal lives and navigate the complex set of challenges facing wartime American youth in terms of gender, sexuality, and behavioral expectations.

News Category: