Director, University Chamber Orchestra
Known for his passionate enthusiasm for music and education, Matthew Sheppard is a conductor and teacher based in the Chicago area. His Music Director appointments include the University Chamber Orchestra at the University of Chicago, the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago, as well as the Hyde Park Youth Symphony. He also serves as Associate Conductor of the Elgin Youth Symphony.
In the past year, Sheppard has guest conducted orchestras in North and South America, including the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Paraguay, the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra, and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Symphony Orchestra. As a pedagogue, he is highly regarded for his musicianship, technical ability, and scholarship as demonstrated in masterclasses in orchestral playing and conducting, as well his in-demand lectures and classes.
Sheppard studied with Donald Schleicher as a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois, and before that with Gerardo Edelstein at Penn State University. During that time, he held appointments as Orchestra Director at Juniata College, Music Director of the State College Summer Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra (CPYO). In 2010, he founded the State College Summer Orchestra, a community orchestra that has since offered three years of benefit concerts. In 2013, they presented four world premieres, including a commission by Efraín Amaya for the orchestra and cello soloist Kim Cook.
Sheppard holds bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts, Music Education, and Violin Performance from Penn State where he studied with Max Zorin.