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Shepherd Community Orchestra

The Shepherd Community Orchestra is a student-based community ensemble in residence at Shepherd University, under the direction of Camilo Pérez-Mejía. It provides opportunities for over 70 local string students to play in an orchestra of outstanding caliber. Shepherd University Music faculty string coaches for the orchestra are Heather Austin-Stone for violin I, Renee Shaw Nutwell for violin II, Kathy Gleason for viola, Camilo Pérez-Mejía for cello. 

The Shepherd Community Orchestra, under the direction of Camilo Perez-Mejia, is planning to resume this coming spring semester primarily as a strings only (no winds) ensemble. Auditions for string players will be on WednesdayJanuary 11, 2023 between 7:00-7:30 p.m. Participants should prepare a solo piece of music, a 3-octave scale, and there will be sight-reading. Rehearsals will begin on January 11, 2023, and meet each week from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center. If you are an advanced string musician and would like to audition for the Shepherd Community Orchestra, please email

In alliance with the Shepherd University School of Music, area string students work with collegiate level string students, affording them performance experience with string orchestral repertoire.  The Shepherd Community Orchestra has continued to grow and has created a needed musical outlet for area students that did not exist for string players before the orchestra began in 1998. Heralded as one of the best orchestras for youth opportunities in the region, the Shepherd Community Orchestra looks to expand its strings section. 

Younger or inexperienced string students may audition for the Junior String Ensemble, under the direction of Renee Shaw Nutwell. Members are comprised of elementary, middle and high school, and adult string students from Jefferson and Berkeley Counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, MD. The ensemble meets Wednesday evenings between 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. for rehearsals and presents two concerts during the school year. Enrollment is open and based on an audition process. Auditions will be January 11, 2023 between 7:00-7:30 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center as well. 

Spring Semester: January 11 – April 19, 2023
End of semester concert performance on April 26, 2023 in the Frank Arts Center Theater.

Tuition: $150 Registration Form

Questions?  email