director of choral music / assistant professor of music
Shepherd joined Catawba from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, where he served during the 2011-2012 academic year as assistant professor and director of choral and vocal music. He also served from 2006 until 2011 as associate professor and director of choral and vocal music at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.
Shepherd earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. He holds his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.
He is active in professional organizations including American Choral Directors Association, College Music Society, Music Educators National Conference (NafME), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Texas Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, West Virginia Choral Directors Association, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization, of which he is an inaugural member.
Shepherd's goal at Catawba is to "foster artistic, self-sufficient musicians." He values "the privilege of education" and plans "to continue inspiring music educators and performers through the choral art."
What is your particular interest in your field? Why?
Growing up in rural east Kentucky, my uncles "picked and sang" bluegrass music more than they drank, which is saying a lot. And while my loving mother is borderline tone def, she began buying me classical, country, and even rap music cassette tapes as soon as I began school. I joined the band in middle school and later the choir in high school and it changed my life. While attending a music festival at my local university in Kentucky, I fell in love with the idea of going to college to become a music teacher. After being the first to graduate high school in my family's history, I did just that. My biggest interest in music is fostering a love for high level music making through the same type of inspirational and meaningful rehearsals and performances that changed my life.
What is one thing that no one knows about you but you wish they did?
That I chose a music scholarship in college over an athletic scholarship (tennis).
If you could be someone else who would it be and why?
Stephen Sondheim. He's the greatest musical theatre genius ever, in my opinion.
Share a couple of items that are on your bucket list:
To see a baseball game in all 30 major league stadiums (5 to go). To visit the Baltic nations. To conduct all the choral works of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who text during movies. I am the text police.
If you could only have one thing to eat, what would it be?
Share a word or a phrase that best describes you: