Main Menu

Community Music announces ensemble auditions beginning August 29

ISSUED: 15 August 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University announces auditions for three ensembles in its Community Music program—the Shepherd Community Orchestra, Junior String Ensemble, and Shepherd Youth Chorus.

Community Orchestra and Junior String Ensemble auditions

The Shepherd Community Orchestra and Junior String Ensemble auditions will take place on Wednesday, August 29, from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Frank Center. Students should prepare a piece of music to perform, as well as scales 2-3 octaves, and be able to demonstrate sight-reading. Area students and community members who play violin, viola, cello, and bass are welcome to audition. The Junior String Ensemble will rehearse on Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m., and the Community Orchestra will rehearse on Wednesdays from 7:30-9 p.m. beginning September 5.

For the 2018-2019 season, Shepherd’s Department of Music has appointed Camilo Pérez-Mejía as Community Orchestra conductor. Shepherd alumna Renee Shaw returns as director of the Junior String Ensemble. The groups include advanced elementary, middle, and high school string students from Jefferson and Berkeley counties and Washington County, Maryland, and string, wind, and percussion students from Shepherd. Shepherd music faculty string coaches are Heather Austin-Stone, violin; Renee Shaw, violin; Kathy Shrader, viola; Camilo Pérez-Mejía, cello; and Dr. Scott Hippensteel, winds.

Youth Chorus auditions

Auditions for the Shepherd Youth Chorus, under the direction of Dr. David Gonzol, director of music education, will take place Wednesday, September 5, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Frank Center. Students in grades 3-8 are encouraged to audition on a first-come, first-served basis, but parents are asked to call to add their child’s name to the audition list. The Shepherd Youth Chorus rehearses every Wednesday from 6:10-7:30 p.m., beginning September 12.

Tuition for each ensemble is $125 per semester, and the three groups will perform a final concert on December 12. Scholarships are available thanks to a donation from Younis Orthodontics.

For more information or to enroll in Shepherd Youth Chorus auditions, contact Sherry Sykes, coordinator for Community Music at Shepherd, at 304-876-5248 or, or visit

— 30 —