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Robert McCashin
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Dr. Robert McCashin, Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting, joined the faculty in the JMU School of Music in the fall of 1992. He was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he began playing the violin at the age of 11, following a short period of piano study. Under the tutelage of Jerrie Cadek Lucktenberg, Dr. McCashin progressed at a rapid pace, becoming the Co-Concertmaster of the Chattanooga Youth Symphony at age 14, and Concertmaster by age 15. A year later, at age 16, he successfully auditioned for and won a position as a professional member of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. McCashin completed both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance at Louisiana State University. The following year, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Violin at Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, TX. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Arizona in 1986.

During his time in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, he successfully auditioned for posts with both the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Opera Orchestra. As a member of the Ft. Worth Opera Orchestra, he was Principal violinist for four to five major opera works per year, having the opportunity to work with internationally renowned opera singers, such as Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo, as well as a wide range of nationally known guest artists and conductors. He was also a member two professional string quartets. One, the Kimball Quartet, performed multiple annual concerts at the Kimball Art Gallery in conjunction with each of their major art exhibits.

In addition, he played performances with numerous other regional professional orchestras throughout north and central Texas, including the Wichita Falls and Waco Symphony orchestras. He also performed in a variety of settings, including , as an orchestral musician for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions, for recording studio work in Dallas, and performed in backup ensembles throughout the DFW metroplex, with a broad range of nationally known performers like Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne.

Dr. McCashin has studied violin with a variety of outstanding teachers, including Jerrie Cadek Lucktenberg, Dinos Constantinides and John Farrell, who was a student of Galamian. Dr. McCashin performed in numerous master class settings with several internationally renowned violinists, one of whom was the late Henryk Szerying. Dr. McCashin’s performance experiences include nearly 30 years of solo recitals, extensive chamber music performance and nearly 30 years as a professional orchestral musician. Along with his extensive performance background, Dr. McCashin has taught violin at the college/university level for more than 35 years. His students have gone on to well established graduate programs, are highly successful teachers in the public schools and perform professionally as members of chamber ensembles and orchestras across the U.S.

Dr. McCashin regularly guest conducts in a variety of settings, including Regional and All-State Orchestras across the US as well as Regional professional orchestras. He has been invited to present more than 30 conducting workshops and seminars for national level and state level teacher conferences throughout the U.S.

In addition, he is a successful writer and arranger of educational publications, having now published more than 70 works for the educational music Grades I through V levels. His original works and arrangements are published through FJH Music Company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Wingert-Jones/JW Pepper in Pennsylvania and Tempo Press of Ann Arbor, MI. He is a past member of the Board of the Virginia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and Founder, Past President and former National Board member for the College Orchestra Directors Association.