Frank Shaffer, associate professor of percussion, and Marian Shaffer, adjunct instructor
of harp, performed with the Paris Festival Chorus and Orchestra in the European premiere of Jennifer Higdon's The Singing Rooms on July 3, 2014. They also performed in the Faure Requiem and various patriotic selections
commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The performance site was the historic
Church of the Madeleine, where Gabriel Faure's Requiem was originally presented. They
also traveled with the Paris Festival Chorus to the cemetery at Omaha Beach and participated
in the wreath laying ceremony there on July 4, 2014.
Lecolion Washington participated in the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, CA. He performed with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra in performances with Pinchas Zukerman.
He was also under the baton of Carlo Pinto, son of Sophia Loren. Ms. Loren made a
guest appearance with the orchestra prior to the concert in her honor. He also received
a Community Engagement Fellowship through ArtsMemphis that led to workshops learning
about the history of Orange Mound and Soulsville areas. The project culminated in
a letter of intent submitted to ArtsMemphis to revitalize school music programs in
the Orange Mound Area.
Dr. Ryan Fisher presented a research poster, The Effect of Conducting Plane on Band and Choral Musicians’ Perceptions of Conductor and Ensemble Expressivity, with co-author Dr. Brian Silvey, Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University
of Missouri-Columbia, at the National Association for Music Education Biennial Music
Educators National Conference in St. Louis, MO. In July, he was invited to present
two sessions on the TN Fine Arts Portfolio Model at the State Education Agency Directors
of Arts Education (SEADAE) Arts Assessment Institute in Chevy Chase, MD. Fisher's research article, The Impacts of the Voice Change, Grade Level, and Experience on the Singing Self-Efficacy
of Emerging Adolescent Males, will appear in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Research in Music Education. He also co-authored a research article with Dr. Julie Scott, Assistant Professor
of Music Education at Southern Methodist University, entitled The Effects of Vocal Register Use and Age on the Perceived Vocal Health of Male Elementary
Music Teachers, which will appear in the November 2014 issue of Update: Applications of Research in Music Education. He has also recently been appointed to serve a three-year term on the National Association
for Music Education Council for Choral Education as the representative of the Southern
Dr. John Mueller, euphonium, performed with the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" as they presented what has become an annual tradition of welcoming alumni members
back for a summer blow-out concert on the Capitol Steps.
Dr. Lily Afshar's latest recording, Bach on Fire, continues her tradition of introducing new and innovative guitar arrangements with J.S. Bach's Cello Suites, Prelude, Fugue & Allegro, Lute Suites and Ave Maria.
Bach on Fire draws its title from Afshar's unique arrangements, which allow for more interpretive
phrasing and dynamic nuance and, ultimately, a more exciting performance.
Lecolion Washington, professor of bassoon, has been named recipient of an MPower Artist
Grant. The grants are given to empower alumni of Sphinx organizations to achieve their career
objectives in classical music. Washington is a member of the Sphinx Symphony, a unique
all Black and Latino orchestra comprised of top professionals from around the country.
The grant will fund an international concert tour including South Africa, Portugal,
Austria, and Sweden.
Mists: Charles Ives Music for Jazz Orchestra CD, orchestrated for a 17-piece jazz ensemble by Dr. Jack Cooper, will be released in August. The CD will raise funds on behalf of Planet Arts Inc. a Grammy winning, non-profit
record label, totally dedicated to jazz and the preservation of American art music.