It goes without saying that Kathryn Salfelder, a third-year doctoral student, is a highly successful composer. In addition to being an award-winning composer, Kate is also an accomplished teacher, student senator, and organist.
As a D.M.A. Teaching Fellow in Theory and Composition, Kate has proved herself to be a distinguished pedagogue. Liz Tobias, a D.M.A. jazz student, recalls, “At a time when I needed a little extra classical theory lovin' Kate was highly recommended to me by a number of faculty and students. I asked around and she was the one everyone talked about! She certainly lived up to her reputation when, together, we tackled the common dilemma of a jazz musician’s deficiencies in classical theory.” Liz remembers Kate as “patient, knowledgeable, professional, generous, and very good at what she does!!!”
Few people realize that Kate has served as the student senator on the NEC Disciplinary Committee for five years, a position that requires discretion, fairness, thoughtfulness, and patience. Jill Gatlin, NEC Liberal Arts faculty and a fellow member of the Disciplinary Committee, was impressed by Kate’s “professionalism, integrity, sensitivity, and analytical acuity.” Recalling Kate’s contributions on one particular case, Gatlin praised her ability to “focus our discussions and interpret the disciplinary code while maintaining empathy for all parties involved.” Finally, she remarked that “Kate did all this—a significant time commitment and emotional investment—in the week preceding her doctoral exams!”
An accomplished organist, Kate has performed in NEC concerts and substituted as organist and choir director for Dean of Students Thomas Handel at Church of the Covenant in Boston. Julie Rogers, Pastoral Associate at Covenant, says: “I am consistently impressed by her thoughtful preparation and creative collaboration in choosing pieces relevant to the themes of a particular Sunday service. We have at times asked Kate to speak briefly about the pieces that she has chosen for the day, and our congregation is always captivated by her thoughtful, relevant, and creative comments.”
Hear Kathryn Salfelder perform a chorale prelude by J.S. Bach at an NEC program of lessons and carols, December 13, 2013, at Boston's Church of the Covenant.
photo by Susan Wilson