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Director's Note: Autumn 2021

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on November 19, 2021 - 10:47am

As we enter the 2021-22 academic year, we have begun to shift back to the modes of learning and public performance that we took for granted until March 2020: meeting courses in classrooms, seeing students in person, and inviting audiences back into our concert halls. Parts of this have been very familiar and highly anticipated, and parts of this return have been very new, such as the care we now take to keep our performers and audiences as safe as possible. 

When we started our public series again in October, we did not know if our audiences would return, but we were delighted to see so many members of our community come back for concerts by the Wind Ensemble performers (directed by Professor Timothy Salzman) and the University Symphony (directed by David Alexander Rahbee). Thank you to everyone for understanding the reasons and public health requirement about being careful regarding the checking of vaccination or official exemption status. The full guidelines for the university venues, updated along with any public health changes, can be found here. December will be a busy month of student ensemble concerts, then our faculty return to the stage in Meany Center for a series of concerts across Winter and Spring Quarters, as long as public performances are permitted to continue in early 2022. Any updates will be provided on our online events calendar. 

Elsewhere in this edition of Quarter Notes, you can read about the new faculty who have joined us this year. We again had a robust entering class of both undergraduate and graduate students, including many second-year students who had never been inside the Music Building in their first year. We are looking forward to hiring an organist to start teaching in Autumn 2022, to continue our century-long tradition of organ teaching at the university. This endowed position is made possible with the generous gift of the renowned organ builder Paul Fritts, a gift that has now been supplemented by an anonymous donor who is providing several years of scholarships for organ study, so we will be building this area of study and performance as we move forward. Another change coming to our faculty is the announced retirement of Professor Jonathan Bernard in Music Theory, who is looking forward to many new activities as well as to continuing his research in his more flexible schedule after June of 2022. He has been a very productive member of the Music faculty for 35 years, and his former students populate music departments across the country.  Several of those past students are organizing a conference in his honor in June 2022 in Seattle. Learn more here.  

As we all find our way back to the activities and traditions we have enjoyed for many years and lifetimes, I wish our students, staff, faculty, and audiences the very best for the holiday season and hope for an even more active Winter and Spring.  

—JoAnn Taricani, Director
University of Washington School of Music

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