“The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts – meaning heart in its ancient sense, as the place where intellect and emotion and will converge
in the human self.” – Parker J. Palmer
Scott Bonasso–Choir Director, Singer & Music Educator
I studied conducting with four different teachers over the course of my bachelor's and master's degree programs but none had a more lasting effect on my gestural technique, style, or musical philosophy than Peter Jermihov. He taught me how to manipulate tone through physical gesture and I cite this understanding as one of the most important keys to my success as a choral conductor. Dr. Jermihov also incorporates stylistic differences between orchestral and choral conducting into his pedagogy, the practice of which has allowed me to effectively control any ensemble I step in front of, choral, orchestral, or the combination thereof.
Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Jermihov inspired me with his passion for music, instilling in me an appreciation for the nobility of pursuing music-making as a career. He taught me the precepts of musical integrity, which still guide my work as a conductor to this day.
Kelly Jenkins Brickner–Writer, Political Activist & Singer
I studied and sang under the tutelage of Dr. Jermihov at Oregon State University. I have always considered myself very lucky, indeed, to have chosen that particular year to audition for the choir.
Doctor J is the type of passionate artist and educator that makes one understand that the only acceptable goal is perfection, while at the same time helping one come to terms with the fact that one’s goal will always, always be just out of reach. The reward comes from unselfconsciously celebrating fleeting glimpses of grace, and from unflinchingly examining moments of failure. The fulfillment is in the struggle. It was one of the greatest joys of my life to work so hard with such a committed group of people under the leadership of such a talented and dedicated person to create such wonderful sounds. And I will always be grateful to whatever stars aligned to bring us–all of us–together that year.
It was truly a privilege to sing under Dr. Jermihov’s baton. He is a fascinating person, a gifted musician and a wonderful teacher.
Dominic Frigo–Composer, Pianist, Bass Player & Singer
Before being an understudy of Dr. Jermihov, I struggled to find a direction in my music career. After two years of studying theory, musicianship, and singing under him, he has done more than just assist me in finding the right direction. He has renewed my passion for music altogether, taught me things I never thought I was capable of learning, and above all, I now consider him a close friend and confidant.
Allan Haggar–Recording Producer & Singer
I came to this masterclass expecting to improve on a number of fronts: preparation, technique, and expression. I did all three, but in a different fashion than expected. As the term "masterclass" implies, I expected something of a polishing up. What I got was an overhaul, and quickly. In the process, the biggest discovery was that I actually needed it. Dr. Jermihov met each student where they were, placing consistent yet tailored demands on each. As well, Dr. Reeves provided needed and useful insight into the roots and composition of our music, making preparation for music-making easier, yet more thorough. Dr. Jermihov broke my technique down to the most basic elements and rapidly built it back up. While this was a humbling experience, it also built confidence. I feel better prepared to lead and make music. I also made some great new friends. Thank you!!
Alice Hughes–Choir Director, Singer & Music Educator
I went into the workshop week prepared to submit to the process and to courageously take in new ideas and techniques, as I have done many times before at other workshops. You know, get a conducting "tune-up" and a few new ideas. (I do the same every year or so with a voice teacher in NYC.) But you, my friend, helped me to do much more than than a "tune-up". I feel there was a transformation. Time, and the weeks ahead, will show whether or not, or what will stick long term, but I believe it has dramatically shifted my approach.
You are a terrific pedagogue and have a wonderful way of meeting each student where they are. That is a gift. Each and every student made progress forward. From my "huge heart", THANK YOU. The days in Chicago will be remembered with fondness, daily change, and forward progress.
I moved out of my comfort zone, you guided .... magic happened.
Constantine Stade–Choir Director, Singer & Bell-ringing Specialist
The strong sense of collaboration and collegiality, however, was balanced and put into context by the watchful presence and masterful leadership of Dr. Peter Jermihov. During every moment of the 3 hours of podium time each conducting student received, he provided thoughtful analysis of the student's strengths and flaws, and created a learning environment where we felt safe to explore new options and paths not always open in the amateur setting. I personally experienced this in two ways. First, I was encouraged to relax and experience the choir's innate musical energy, providing only the pulse of the music and shaping the direction of the sound with small, easy gestures. At the same time, however, I was encouraged to experience the generosity of sound that is provoked by using the entire reach of my arm, breaking out the constricted style I had confined myself to.
All in all, my experience during the masterclass was that of intense preparation and a very rich and rewarding music-making experience. A far cry from being focused on delivering a performance "good enough" for a church service, we had launched out into the deep—truly living out the experience of uniting our Orthodox worship with the highest musical aspiration.
Ryan Janus–Saxaphonist, Woodwind Doubler, Composer & Teacher
My experience with Dr. Peter Jermihov was extremely influential in my musical life. "Dr. J" simply overflows with music, both as a choir director and a conducting teacher. He was tough but fair, which is my favorite kind of teacher. I went from zero to being a fairly qualified conductor in a very brief amount of time, and Hope College's Chapel Choir made some of its most passionate music during his tenure. The man is a world-class musician and an amazing teacher.