Fall 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orchestra and Jr. String Ensemble are taking a break. However, we look forward to resuming in-person rehearsals once it is safe to do so for all participants.
The Shepherd Community Orchestra is a student orchestra in residence at Shepherd University, under the direction of Camilo Pérez-Mejía. It provides opportunities for over 70 local string and wind students to play in a youth 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 Shrader for viola, Camilo Perez-Mejía for cello. Wind, percussion, and string students from Shepherd University also participate in the orchestra.
Young or inexperienced string students may audition for the Junior String Ensemble, under the direction of Renee Shaw Nutwell. Advanced string students may audition for the Senior Orchestra. Members are comprised of elementary, middle and high school string students from Jefferson and Berkeley Counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, MD. The orchestra meets Wednesday evenings for rehearsals and presents two concerts during the school year. Enrollment is open and based on an audition process.
In alliance with the Shepherd University School of Music, area string students work with collegiate level string, wind and percussion students, affording them performance experience with string and full 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 youth orchestras in the region, the Shepherd Community Orchestra is looking to expand our strings section.