Steinway & Sons, one of the world’s most prestigious piano manufacturers, named Shorter University music faculty member Dr. Jerico Vasquez its Top Teacher.
The Steinway Top Teacher Award recognizes Vasquez’s “hard work and dedication to music education throughout 2021,” according to a letter from Gavin English, President of Steinway & Sons. The letter continues, “You were nominated for this award by Steinway Piano Galleries Atlanta, who have observed first-hand the care and commitment with which you approach your piano students. The young people who develop their craft under your guiding hand will be the artists who fill our future with music, and for this, we are most grateful.”
Dr. Vasquez serves as Professor of Music, Artist-in-Residence, and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies in Shorter’s Edith Lester Harbin Department of Music.
“Shorter University is blessed to have talented professors like Dr. Jerico Vasquez, who use their talents to serve the Lord and to inspire our students to move forward with Christ-honoring excellence,” said Shorter University President Dr. Don Dowless. “Dr. Vasquez is a talented musician with a heart for teaching. He cares deeply about students, and we are delighted to see him recognized for his commitment to investing in their success.”
Performance with a Purpose
Hailed for his “formidable and effortless playing” and “intelligent ardor and exceptionally clear and bright technique,” pianist Jerico Vasquez has performed as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and collaborative musician in Canada, Europe, the Philippines, and across the United States. He is an official Shigeru Kawai Artist.
“I love performing,” Dr. Vasquez said. “For me, it’s the challenge of learning a program and figuring out how to play a magnificent work. It’s also a way of honoring the Lord. The more I perform and the more I challenge myself, I become a better teacher because I’m able to share with my students the learning process, the interpretive process, how to prepare for a recital, the stress and the anxiety of all of that, but at the same time, the joy of accomplishing something that’s very exciting to do.”
Teaching Students to Excel
His students have won prizes in many competitions, including the Georgia Music Teacher Association Competitions, the Rome Symphony Concerto Competition, the Chopin International Youth Competition, and scholarships competitions sponsored by the Atlanta Steinway Society, the Atlanta Music Club, the Rome Music Lovers Club, and the Dublin-Laurens Arts Council. Vasquez’s students also have won Shorter University’s William and Mary Ann Knight Scholarship Competition and competitions hosted by both the Georgia and National Federations of Music Clubs.
Many of his students have gone on to prestigious graduate music programs including the Eastman School of Music, the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, Rutgers University, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
“Jerico is a strong leader in our department,” said Dr. Tara Warfield, Dean of Shorter’s School of Fine and Performing Arts. “He is continuously working to improve as a pianist and as a teacher. His students grow tremendously under his instruction. We are blessed by his dedication and are thrilled he is being recognized for his efforts.”
Rapidly approaching its 150th anniversary, Shorter University is a Christ-centered university committed to excellence in education. U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review annually include Shorter on their lists of best Southeastern Colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, associate’s and master’s programs. Learn more at www.shorter.edu.