Dr. A. Steve Jennings
Dr. Jennings earned his Bachelors of Music Education 1980, his Master of Music Education in 1987, and his DMA in Music Education in 2004. He did post-graduate work in Special Education at George Mason University and taught special education in the Winchester/Frederick County area, in both private and public schools for ten years. In 1993, Dr. Jennings became choral director and special education teacher for students with learning disabilities and emotional handicaps at the newly opened Sherando High School, in Frederick County, Virginia where he continues to teach today. Steve was the director of the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the Sweet Adeline International Inc., in Winchester, and Choral Director at Woodstock Christian Church in Woodstock, Virginia, was adjunct professor of music at Lord Fairfax Community College from 1997 through 2000 and was a member of the chamber choir Musica Viva of Winchester, Virginia from 2001 through 2003. He is currently Director of music at Market Street United Methodist Church in Winchester, Virginia and also the lead singer in the 50’s Jazz Band “Jump Alley.”
Steve has been sought after as a choral adjudicator, coach, and guest conductor throughout the east cost. In 2007 the Sherando High School Choral Department under the direction of Dr. Jennings toured Italy singing in Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. In 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2008 and 2011 Sherando’s Concert was selected to perform at the White House in Washington D.C. during the Christmas Holiday Season. In 1997 his concert choir performed with U.S. Navy Band on national television for the “Lighting of the National Christmas Tree” with President Clinton and the first family. In 1997 and again in 2000 the Sherando High School Concert Choir was selected from a national audition to be the feature choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and in 2009 they were asked by the National Park Service to perform at the 150 Celebration of John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry.
Also in 2007 Dr. Jennings was awarded the “Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award” at Yale University. Dr. Jennings is a member of the Virginia Music Educators Association and for the last four years has been one of the registrars for the VMEA conference in November. He is also a member of the Music Educators National Conference and the American Choral Director’s Association. Dr. Jennings is married to his college sweetheart and has two daughters, ages 22 and 13.
Young singers today are greatly influenced by the music they hear on the radio. They are influenced not just by the style of today’s music and the ever-increasing demands on professional singers to produce the current required sound, but also by how that vocal production is modified through technology so that what the listener hears on a professional recording is not easily achievable or sustainable by the average singer, particularly young singers. Therefore, my job as a voice teacher first and foremost is to help my students develop a healthy singing and speaking technique. Building mutual trust over time, I get to know my students’ voices and help them get to know theirs, helping them establish a healthy vocal technique foundation through proper posture, breathing, and phonation.
Jennifer attended Shenandoah University on a University Talent Scholarship where she completed her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in 2004. She received the Cecilia Award for vocal excellence and the Orpheus Award for excellence and promise in opera, and was elected to Who’s Who Among College Students in 2003 and 2005. While at Shenandoah, Jennifer appeared in several opera productions. Her roles include Nancy in Albert Herring, Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Mrs. Splinters in The Tenderland, and Mrs. Noah in Noye’s Fludde, as well as chorus appearances in The Apothecary and The Elixir of Love.Jennifer completed a Master of Music in vocal pedagogy, also from Shenandoah, and presented her graduate work at the 2013 Care of the Voice Symposium, sponsored annually by The Voice Foundation. Jennifer also has a bachelor of electrical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and worked as a business and team building consultant before returning to school to pursue music.
Prior to a family relocation to the Philadelphia area, Jennifer maintained an active private teaching studio at her home in Boyce, Virginia and served as adjunct music faculty at Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia for several years. She also taught briefly at Trinity University in Washington, DC and since 2006 has been on the faculty of the Virginia Summer Regional Governor’s School for the Arts. Having recently re-established her private studio in Pennsylvania, Jennifer is continuing to make performance connections in the Philadelphia area, most recently serving as a soloist and cantor at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church and doing some recital work at local senior living communities and various music appreciation organizations. Jennifer also recently resumed working with voice therapy clients.
Amy Bowman, accompanist
Amy Bowman graduated from Shenandoah University with a degree in Piano Performance.She has accompanied several choirs including District Chorus, the Arts Academy Angel Chorale, Voices of Youth, PAVAN and various local school choirs. Amy currently maintains a private piano studio in her home, as well as at the Arts Academy in Winchester. She currently serves the music director and pianist for the New Stone Gathering service at First Presbyterian Church in Winchester. Amy received her Musikgarten certification in 2010 and currently teaches preschool music at First Presbyterian Weekday School. She and her husband, Todd, and their son, Kyle, live in Winchester, Virginia.