The board of directors of Children's Festival Chorus (www.cfc-pgh.org) is pleased to announce that Shawn Funk has been appointed as the organization's new Artistic Director. Funk has been serving as the interim artistic director since the retirement of Christine Jordanoff at the end of last season.
Affiliated with CFC since 2006 as an accompanist, associate conductor, parent and a volunteer, Funk's thorough knowledge of CFC as an organization, coupled with his considerable musicianship, pedagogical and conducting skills made him the obvious choice.
Funk is committed to CFC and to helping it reach its vision of becoming a national leader in children's choral education. During the past year, Funk created a Teacher Advisory Committee comprised of music educators throughout the Pittsburgh community. With the help of this committee, there was a three-fold increase of student auditions that resulted in 22 new choristers after its first meeting. He continues to build partnerships with music educators in the private and public schools throughout the tri-state area.
During the past year, Funk has demonstrated his leadership skills in many ways, including a collaboration with the Summit Children's Choir of Akron, Ohio in a combined weekend workshop and performance, a featured performance by CFC at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference in Hershey, PA and by preparing a "petite but mighty" (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) group of CFC students for the Pittsburgh Opera Company's production of Carmen. In addition, a CFC Boy Choir Ensemble premiered at a recent concert, and soloists from the CFC were coached for performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, as well as the Faure Requiem.
Further integrating CFC's outreach and expansion goals, Funk is working with CFC's executive director Edwina French to plan and implement a neighborhood training choir program in the north and south hill communities of Pittsburgh for the coming season.
As a music educator, he holds postgraduate credits from the University of Memphis, Northwestern University, Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Colorado. He holds level III Orff Certification from the University of Memphis and has pursued advanced choral conducting at Duquesne University and Northwestern University. In addition, he has been a featured presenter at numerous national conferences of the American Orff Schulwerk Association, state, division, and national NAfME conferences and ACDA conferences. He as published articles in the “Orff Echo” and currently serves as the Elementary Music Column Coordinator for the PMEA News, a position he has held since 2001. He has served as the repertoire and standards chair for Children's Choirs for the American Choral Director's Association (ACDA), and he continues to serve as guest conductor for numerous Choral Festivals throughout the eastern seaboard.
Funk will continue his position as an elementary music specialist/choral director in the Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh.