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Community Music offers virtual programs for fall semester

ISSUED: 14 August 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVShepherd University’s Community Music division is offering all its programs for children and adults virtually for the fall semester. This includes the Community Orchestra, Youth Chorus, Early Childhood Music Program, and all private instruction. Participants must have a reliable internet connection to register for classes. 

Shepherd Community Orchestra 

The Shepherd Community Orchestra is for advanced string players in elementary, middle, and high school through adult performers. Instructors Camilo Perez-Mejia, director and cello professor; Heather Austin-Stone, violin; Renee Shaw Nutwell, violin; and Kathy Shrader, viola, will use Zoom for sectional and small group rehearsals. The Community Orchestra will meet Wednesdays from 7:30-9 p.m., September 2 through November 11. An audition video of five minutes or less that includes a performance of a three-octave scale and a solo piece of music must be sent by August 26 to Sherry Sykes, coordinator, at Adults who would like to participate do not need to submit an audition video. Tuition is $150; make checks payable to Shepherd University. 

Shepherd Youth Chorus  

The Shepherd Youth Chorus is for male and female vocalists who are currently in grades 3-8 who love to sing and would like to learn proper techniques in a fun and challenging atmosphere. Directed by Dr. Austin Showen, the chorus will offer fun songwriting opportunities and will meet on Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m., September 9 through November 18, via the Zoom and Soundtrap platforms. No audition is necessary. Tuition is $125. 

Early Childhood Music  

Frauke Higgins will teach two Friday sessions of Early Childhood Music via Zoom in the fall. The first five-week session will take place from September 11 through October 9 and the second session will run October 23 through November 20. Classes will include Musical Discoveries for children 18 months-3 years from 1010:30 a.m. and Music for Preschoolers 3-5 years old from 10:45-11:15 a.m.  

Musical Discoveries will explore songs, echo songs, rhymes, finger play, listening exercises, and creative movement. Parents will learn activities and songs that they can engage their child in throughout the week.  

Music for Preschoolers is designed to prepare the child for later instrumental studies or voice lessons. The children will learn about rhythm, tempo, melodic movement, and major-minor, and will play listening games. The students and their parents will learn songs from around the world, sing echo songs, and work with movement in their own home.  Parents will learn music activities that they can review with their child throughout the week.   

Tuition for each five-week session is $62. Payment should be made directly to Higgins either by check or PayPal. To register, email Sykes at 

New virtual Community Music classes  

The Community Music program will also offer several new classes. All classes will meet virtually over Zoom or another virtual modality.  

Beginning Classical Guitar class taught by Dr. Candice Mowbray is for teens and adults interested in classical and fingerstyle guitar performance. Focus will be on music reading and classical technique. Some guitar history, listening, and ensemble performance will be incorporated. Students must have a nylon string guitar and footstool. The 10-week class will take place Thursdays from 7-8 p.m., September 10 through November 12. Tuition is $140, plus the cost of the book. Payment should be made directly to Mowbray. To register, email Sykes at or Mowbray at 

Introduction to Music Theory, taught by Anthony Stoika and designed for high school students and adults, will cover the fundamentals of pitch and rhythm up to voice leading tonic and dominant chords. The course will run September 14 through November 16 and will consist of pre-recorded lectures for students to follow. Tuition is $140 for 10 weeks, plus materials. Payment should be made directly to Stoika. To register, email Sykes at 

Music and Wellness taught by Jenny Forbes is for elementaryage students and will include fun games, listening exercises, deep breathing exercises to music, recognizing music in nature, and using guided imagery and music, incorporating art and emotions through music. The class will meet Thursdays from 4:30-5:15 p.m., September 10 through November 12. Tuition is $140. Payment should be made directly to Forbes. To register, email Sykes at 

Private music instruction 

Private lessons will be offered in a virtual format with available instructors, either alumni, current students, or School of Music faculty. For more information about private lessons, visit 

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