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When I retired from my position as a high school chemistry teacher, I wanted to get back to violin playing. I had always played, but the pressures of work and home kept me from doing any serious study. So once I had time, I came to the Washington Conservatory of Music, and Kathy Judd agreed to take me on as a student. That was over ten years ago. Since then I have studied with Kathy almost continuously. She has been a very inspiring and effective teacher. She never tells me just what to do, but also why I should try to make a change; why a new hand position on my bow might help get a better tone or why a different left hand position might help get a smoother vibrato. I am short and have small hands, so Kathy has always taken that into consideration when making adjustments. At my age, changes such as these can be difficult and it's easy to relapse into old habits. Kathy has shown infinite patience, always correcting as if it is something new and always with a slightly different explanation. But just the physical part of violin playing has never been enough. Kathy has always dwelt on musicianship, phrasing, color and other aspects of interpretation. We have spent a lot of time on how to use the bow to get different tone qualities and effects. We have talked about how different notes add to a phrase or are bridges to something that needs better emphasis. I like twentieth century music, and have chosen pieces by Prokofief, Dohnanyi, and Bloch to work on as well as other seldom heard works. Even if she has never played or heard some of these pieces, Kathy has always come up with suggestions for interpretation and getting the most out of the music. Lessons with Kathy have always been musically rewarding and stimulating. She is a first rate teacher.

Adult Student

Ms. Judd has many exceptional qualities. She is an artist violinist, a talented and sought after chamber musician, a dynamic and proven leader (Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, Gretna Music Festival and now Washington Conservatory), inspirational teacher, and an exceptional fund raiser. She has increased the visibility of the Washington Conservatory exponentially by driving up enrollment, presenting well-attended and acclaimed concerts and masterclasses, increasing the artistic level of the faculty, and attracting large and generous gifts to her operation.

Kathy Judd knows the value of collaboration--with individual artists, arts organizations and community entities. Because of her creativity and imagination--she enriches lives through skillful leveraging of talent and then a flair for evocative communication.

She has positioned herself and her institution in the upper echelon of educational and artistic circles in Washington, DC and beyond. Kathy Judd has my respect, admiration and full endorsement.

University Administrator and collaborator

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