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Shepherd’s Beard earns Distinguished Leader honor

By Staff | Sep 21, 2012

Dr. Scott Beard, dean of graduate studies, associate vice president for academic affairs, and professor of music at Shepherd University, will be honored at the state conference of the West Virginia Music Teachers Association as WVMTA’s 2012 Distinguished Leader of the Year. The conference will be held at Shepherd University on Oct. 11-13.

The award is given in recognition of Beard’s contributions to WVMTA in his roles as second vice president for membership, first vice president for competitions and president and immediate past president of WVMTA.

Beard, in his position as director of the Eastern Division of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), is also a member of the national board of MTNA. He has been a member of MTNA since 1980, when he was a founding member of the Richmond (Va.) Student Chapter. Beard earned a bachelor of music from the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University and an M.M. and D.M.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park. During his time at Peabody, he taught piano lessons, first in group classes for adults at the Waxter Center for Senior Citizens and later establishing his own studio in the Reisterstown/Owings Mills, Md. area.

While in graduate school, he was a member of the Greater Laurel Music Teachers Association and served as MTNA competitions chair in Maryland in the early 1990s. As Beard neared completion of his doctorate degree, he spent several summers abroad studying at the French Piano Institute, first at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris and later at the Schola Cantorum. He performed for many noted European teachers and received prizes on several occasions, including the Roussel Foundation Prize, Best Performance of a Baroque Composition, and Best Performance of a work by a French composer.

Through work on his dissertation and recording project, he has become one of the leading experts on the music and teaching of 19th-century pedagogue, Theodore Leschetizky (1830-1915). His doctoral dissertation and CD recording “Leschetizky: Piano Treasures” represent one of the first major research projects concerning this composer’s music. He has performed Leschetizky’s music and given lectures about this important historical figure to audiences of teachers and students throughout the East Coast.

Beard was runner-up for West Virginia Professor of the Year (2009) and was named 2006 West Virginia Music Teacher of the Year. His piano students have won prizes at the state, regional, national and international level, including two national MTNA winners.

Concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist have taken him to Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, France, Italy and Spain. Recent recital and lecture appearances include Weill Recital Hall, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the Tenri Cultural Institute (NYC), the Polish Embassy, the Russian Cultural Institute, conference artist for the Virginia Music Teachers’ Association, as well as numerous universities and MTNA organizations throughout the East Coast. Orchestral appearances have included performances with the Georgetown, Capitol City, Southern Arizona, York, Richmond Philharmonic, Friday Morning Music Club and NOI Symphony orchestras. In addition to French music, Beard has performed premieres by contemporary composers Lee Hoiby, Amy Scurria, Terry Vosbein, Mark McCoy and, most recently, the world premiere of a one-act opera and song cycle on poems of Robert Louis Stevenson by composer Robert Convery. The premiere took place at Weill Recital Hall, sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Opera.

As an author, Beard has published articles in regional newspapers and for periodicals such “American Music Teacher,” “Piano Rendezvous,” “Leschetizky Annual Bulletin,” and the website pianolane.com. He is currently a member of the Alfred Publishing (one of the world’s largest music publishers) family of authors, having co-edited with Dr. Lucy Mauro four anthologies of ensemble music for piano duo, duet and six hands. A textbook on ensemble playing is forthcoming. He has also recorded music by Leschetizky, Chopin, a classical Christmas album, and incidental music for the play “Mr. Marmalade.”