Jeff Showell

Being in Tune is Impossible. In essence, being in tune in music is a quite subjective judgment, and one man’s perfect can be another man’s awful. This is all because nature’s math (the natural overtone series) leads to painful sounding intervals, and all the historical pitch systems contain unresolvable contradictions. To some musicians, even a modern keyboard (itself a bundle of compromises) sounds bad. Since 2011, Jeffrey Showell has been professor and dean of the College of Musical Arts of Bowling Green State University. From 2004-2011, he was a professor and the director of the School of Music at James Madison University in Virginia, and from 1999-2004 he was a professor and the chair of the Music Department of the University of Central Arkansas. From 1980-1999, Showell was a member of the faculty and later the assistant director of the School of Music at the University of Arizona. Showell was the principal violist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra from 1982-90 and has been a soloist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the St. Cloud Symphony, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. He has given solo recitals in ten states and was the violist in the Rymour Quartet, which culminated its career in a well received 1978 recital in Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Hall) in New York City. He has edited viola works for Armitage Press, is the author of “A Technical Pedagogy for Viola” and has written articles for the Journal of the American Viola Society, the American String Teacher Journal, and Trains Magazine. Showell holds a D.M.A in Performance from Yale University, a M.M. in Performance and Literature and a B.M. in Performance from the Eastman School of Music, before which he attended Stanford University for two years as a German major. He is a native of Missoula, Montana.