The first of its kind for the 85-year-old organization, the scholarship will offer Shea a unique opportunity to work directly with the CSO’s music director Kayoko Dan during the 2017-2018 season.
“I have had many mentors who guided me as a young conductor. It is not possible to pay them back, so I have decided to ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring a younger generation of conductors. I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect with the next generation of leaders of the symphonic world,” said Dan, who will celebrate her seventh year as the CSO’s music director and conductor in September.
Shea was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and grew up in Mt. Juliet, where she began her musical studies at 12 years old when she joined her school’s choir and began taking violin lessons. In high school, Shea played violin in the Mt. Juliet High School Orchestra, “Strings of Gold,” as well as the school’s smaller ensemble, Chamber Strings.
Upon graduation, she attended Lee University where she completed a bachelor of arts degree in music with a vocal emphasis. While at Lee, she studied voice with Lenena Brezna and Dale Thomas and conducted with Jonathan Rodgers. In addition, she was a member of Choral Union and the Ladies of Lee, as well as the Lambda Eta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.
Currently, Shea is a graduate student at Lee University, where she is pursuing a master’s of music degree in choral conducting.
For more information about the Kayoko Dan Conducting Scholarship, visit chattanoogasymphony.org/conducting-scholarship.