On Wednesday, March 26, many students, faculty, staff, alumnae and friends — and numerous faculty emeritae as well — gathered in O’Connor Auditorium to celebrate with and offer congratulations to Dr. Sharon Shafer on the occasion of her “Farewell Concert” — a phrase that none of us likes or can quite believe, and rest assured we’ll try to convince Dr. Shafer to do many encores! But Dr. Shafer is retiring after 35 years of bringing the incomparable joy of music into the lives of generations of students and alumnae, as well as the large Trinity community. In her inimitable creative style, she offered this concert including her new song cycle IN PARADISUM as her way of saying farewell to her years on the faculty.
Joining Sharon on the stage for her very first performance was her husband Robert Shafer, a well known musician in his own right, one of the great choral conductors of the Washington area. (See photo of the Shafer duo on the left) Later in the program, Dr. Shafer invited former students and colleagues to the stage for performances, gifts and many good words. As a special contribution to the evening, Art Professor Dr. Gene Markowski (right) drew and painted large interpretations of Dr. Shafer’s new music, and these works of art were on display during the concert.
Dr. Shafer’s many contributions to Trinity go well beyond her frequent sharing of her musical talent. Dr. Shafer has been a faculty leader throughout her Trinity career, chairing and serving on numerous committees, co-chairing a Middle States self-study, serving as a faculty representative to the Board, and mentoring generations of new faculty. She has done all of this while pursuing a robust professional career including composing and performing music in numerous venues, and paying special tribute to the legacy of women composers. She has been a force for the best of liberal learning and women’s education and advancement.
We will have other occasions to salute Dr. Shafer later this spring, but for now, join me in offering a thunderous “BRAVO!” to Dr. Shafer for her many achievements, as well as great thanks for her lasting gifts of music and joy in our lives.
Photos: Alumnae and faculty congratulate Dr. Shafer (bottom left and right) and longtime Trinity friends Bill Stief provides accompaniment (above left)