Jared Shepard has been a church musician since 2002, working in churches in Albany and Syracuse as organist, accompanist and choir director. His positions, in a diverse range of faith communities, have given him experience and interest in church music ranging from plainchant and early polyphony to the great English choral traditions and contemporary expressions of musical worship and prayer. Though formal study of classical music is his primary background, Jared follows the credo of Duke Ellington: “If it sounds good, then it is good.”
Jared’s study of piano took place at the pre-collegiate and undergraduate level with pupils of noted Juilliard teacher Irwin Freundlich; Herbert Chatzky of the Hartt School of Music, and Findlay Cockrell at the University at Albany. Jared has also participated recently in Colloquia of Sacred Music in Salt Lake City, Utah and Indianapolis, Indiana, where he studied performance practice in plainchant, polyphonic choral conducting and organ improvisation. Currently he is studying organ performance with Dr. Anne Laver at Syracuse University Setnor School of Music, where he plans to matriculate and pursue graduate study in organ and conducting. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Church Musicians Association of America. Jared grew up in the foothills of the Adirondacks, in Hudson Falls, New York. He and his wife, Elizabeth, a teacher at Lake Street Elementary, currently reside in Chittenango. They share a home with their parrot, Monty. When not at work in front of a keyboard or choir, Jared enjoys sailboat racing in the Finger Lakes, golfing, sport shooting and travel with Elizabeth to Lake George and Vermont to visit with their many delightful nieces and nephews.
Jared’s first day at UCF will be Monday, Nov. 24, just in time for the start of Advent on Nov. 30!