Concertmaster, accomplished violinist to join CCPA faculty
By Kevinisha Walker
The Chicago College of Performing Arts will welcome violinist and Juilliard alumnus Frank Almond to its faculty in the fall of 2014.
“His extensive background as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster will no doubt bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our entire student body,” CCPA’s Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Student Services Patrick Zylka said in an email.
Almond, who currently travels from Milwaukee to Evanston to teach violin at Northwestern, hopes to help students sharpen their talents.
In a recent interview, Almond said, “I hope that students become better musicians after I teach them. I hope they develop skills that will transfer to a lot of different subjects.”
In addition to his musician and instructor duties, Almond holds the Charles and Marie Caestecker Concertmaster Chair at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
It was his position with the orchestra that helped him get recruited at Roosevelt for the artist teacher of violin position.
Associate Director of the Music Conservatory Linda Berna said other CCPA faculty members helped boost Almond’s recruitment, too.
“We have other faculty members who play in the Milwaukee Symphony, as well as faculty in our string instruments program who have worked with him in other capacities, who recommended him very highly,” Berna said.
With Almond already working in the Midwest and being part of the “small music world,” as Berna refers to it, it wasn’t too difficult to convince him to teach at Roosevelt.
“We were able to approach him, and over the course of a few weeks, have enough detailed and specific conversations about our shared musical and educational goals and philosophies to come to agreement that he would join us,” Berna said.
While Almond’s experience with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra certainly garnered Roosevelt’s attention, his role and path as a professional musician helped him get the job, too.
“He is a unique artist who does everything that a professional musician might do in this modern era, and therefore, he is a great role model and resource for students who are trying to envision their own careers after graduation,” Berna said.
In addition to his background in music, he also writes for his blog Non Divisi and organizes music festivals.
“Full-time jobs in the profession — except in music education — are few and far between,” Berna said. “So everyone has to be versatile, and if not prepared, at least aware of the many possibilities for the career.”
Two of the most important advantages of adding new faculty members, Berna said, are benefiting the students and bringing a special dimension to the program.
And because Almond understands the mechanics and art of playing violin, Berna said he is uniquely prepared to participate in a wide variety of teaching activities.
Roosevelt will be the fourth university to add Almond as a faculty member.
He taught at San Diego State University, Texas Christian University and currently teaches at Northwestern University.
Once the academic year ends, Almond said he will leave Northwestern and begin teaching at Roosevelt.