Dr. Sharon Johnson, associate professor of piano and coordinator of collaborative piano, was recently chosen as one of only four professionals to participate in the Fall Island Repertoire Development for Teachers and Coaches program held at the State University of New York at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam) at the end of May.
The program focuses on the art song of living American composers and is for collegiate-level voice teachers and collaborative pianists and master or doctoral-level students of vocal pedagogy or collaborative piano. This week-long intensive focuses on personal growth as both teachers and artists.
Participants attend special events and observe masterclasses by several key figures in the field: Stephanie Blythe, professional opera singer and recitalist; Alan Smith, renowned collaborative pianist/vocal/coach/composer; and Dr. Gary Busch, music historian at Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. In addition, they will have an opportunity to perform in a special topics class/concert led by Busch, who holds degrees in music history and performance from the University of Washington and a doctorate in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music.
Johnson stated that “My participation in this seminar will benefit my students in my Vocal Literature class for Spring 2018. My hope and desire is to develop a component for that course which includes Skype interviews with American composers, as well as students in the class learning some of their music and performing for/be coached by these composers during the Skype interview.”