WMU News

Recent music grad places in international competition

June 25, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS -- Roger C. Shew, who earned a Master of Music degree in jazz performance from WMU in April, was the third-prize winner in an international music competition earlier this month.

Shew took third place among 20 bassists invited to participate in the World Bass Competition at the International Society of Bassists World Conference. The conference is held every two years in various cities throughout the world. This year's conference was held the first week of June at Butler University in Indianapolis. Nearly all of those in the competition were professional musicians.

According to Thomas Knific, professor of music and chair of jazz studies at WMU, the World Bass Competition is one of the two most-prestigious competitions for bassists in the world, and the only one devoted exclusively to bassists. Knific was a featured artist at the conference.

Shew is the second recent graduate of WMU to place in the World Bass Competition. In 1995, Shawn B. Sommer, who was at that time an undergraduate student of music, became the youngest person ever to take first place in the international competition. Sommer graduated in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in music performance and is now a professional musician in the Chicago area.

Shew came to WMU from Washington State University with his wife, Jamie, a vocal jazz major who also earned a Master of Music in jazz performance at WMU in April.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 616 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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