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Music department announces preparatory auditions Aug. 24 and 31, introduces new preparatory director

ISSUED: 22 August 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Music Preparatory Orchestra and Chorus have scheduled auditions for the fall semester. The orchestra auditions will take place Wednesday, August 24, from 6-9 p.m. in the Frank Center McCoy Rehearsal Hall. The chorus auditions are scheduled for Wednesday, August 31, from 6-8 p.m. in the Frank Center Pantle Education Room.

All those auditioning for the orchestra will be heard on a first-come, first-served basis. Violin and viola auditions will take place from 6-8 p.m. Cello and bass auditions will be from 8-9 p.m. It is recommended that musicians arrive no earlier than one-half hour before auditions begin.

Students auditioning for both the senior orchestra and junior strings ensemble are asked to play a three-octave scale of their choosing and a solo piece representing their most current playing abilities. A short sight-reading example will be provided at the audition. Those auditioning for the chorus will be heard on a first-come, first-served basis and are not required to bring prepared audition materials.

The preparatory program, including the orchestra and chorus, will be managed by a new coordinator, Sherry Sykes, who began working at Shepherd on August 22. Sykes will assist students and parents in the community with music education on campus, early childhood music classes, and private lessons. Her office is located in Frank Center 118 and her email address is

Sykes has a B.A. from Hamilton College and an M.A. in arts administration from Indiana University. She has worked for various arts organizations and nonprofit educational institutions, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Chautauqua Institution, Heinz Hall, and Yale School of Music Opera program. Her experience includes serving as registrar and admissions director for six years at Levine School of Music, Washington, D.C., one of the largest community music schools in the country. Sykes has served on the board of the Jefferson County Arts and Humanities Alliance, chairing the Teaching Arts Creatively grant program from 2010-2012. She is also active in her church, Shepherdstown Presbyterian, and plays clarinet with the Rohrersville Band.

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