BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Susan Muscarella, Founding President of the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), has announced she will be stepping aside from the presidency, relinquishing the title and duties of President of CJC, to focus mainly on her continuing role as a teacher. The transition will take place in May of 2023, with Muscarella continuing to lead the school in her role as President until then.
“After 25 years, I have decided to make the transition from my current role as Founding President, back to teaching,” commented Muscarella. “My love for teaching was, in big part, what inspired me to found the first iteration of the school, the Jazzschool, in 1997, so it is like coming full circle – I look forward to returning to that role.”
Muscarella founded the school in 1997 on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California.
Celebrating its silver anniversary in 2022, the CJC now includes two campus buildings on Addison Street (2087 and 2040), both located in the heart of the Berkeley Downtown Arts District, just minutes from the Jazzschool’s original Shattuck Avenue location.
The CJC Board has appointed a Search Committee to help find a new leader for the iconic, Berkeley-based jazz institution. The committee, led by former CJC Board Chair Tyler Johnston, is comprised of a diverse group of CJC board members, faculty, students and non-CJC professionals.
Current CJC Board Chair Gordy Brooks, noted, “As a Board, our goal is not to replace Susan, which is certainly not possible, but to search for the next leader who will build upon our many successes and embrace our unique mission and vision to drive the institution forward. We look forward to having the constituents of our community – represented on the Search Committee – provide a rich diversity of viewpoints and insights.”
Brooks added, “Susan, like any dedicated entrepreneur, has put her heart and soul into the CJC over the last 25 years. She has overcome all odds to create a unique place for jazz music, education, community, and collaboration, that has endured. All of us thank her for her tireless dedication to this institution that she founded and inspired.”
In remarks on her upcoming transition back to teaching, Muscarella acknowledged those who have supported her efforts over the years, commenting, “I have loved every minute of every year here and could not be more grateful to have had such a personally and professionally fulfilling opportunity. I want to acknowledge and thank the CJC Board of Directors for their steadfast support, the hardworking administrative staff, and our brilliant faculty of artist-educators for such a successful quarter of a century.”
With a nod to the many obstacles the school has overcome, some of biblical proportions, Muscarella concluded, “Together, through thick and thin, we have seen the school transform itself from a ‘little red school house’ to the only independent accredited music conservatory in the country devoted to the study and performance of jazz and related styles of music. I am looking forward to seeing what comes next!”
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SOURCE California Jazz Conservatory