Skip to body

Central Washington University

CWU Music Professor Named National Phi Kappa Phi Artist

Jeffrey SnedekerJeffrey Snedeker, professor of music at Central Washington University, has been selected as the 2014-2016 Phi Kappa Phi Artist by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. The award is in recognition of his accomplishments as a musician, professor, and campus leader.

“Dr. Snedeker has had a sustained career as one of the foremost proponents of the historical importance of the natural horn. His extensive range of performances, compact discs, journal articles and presentations at international conferences have garnered widespread accolades throughout his impressive career,” said Dr. David Northington, chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Artist selection committee.

Snedeker has been a performing artist and scholar for more than 25 years. He’s played concertos, recitals, and natural horn and jazz performances throughout the world. He has released two critically acclaimed solo recordings featuring the horn in a jazz setting and two solo recordings of the natural horn.

Snedeker has received numerous performance and teaching awards; most notably, first place in the Natural Horn Division of the 1991 American Horn Competition. He also holds the 2012 Washington Music Educators Association Higher Education Educator of the Year and the 2014 Washington State Ormsby Award for Faculty Citizenship.

Since 1991 Snedeker has been at CWU where he teaches horn, music history, and brass literature and pedagogy. He was the 2012 CWU Distinguished University Professor for Service, and the 2008 CWU Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year.

“What the artist award represents to me is a wonderful acknowledgement of day-to-day work and taking risks. It’s really nice to get a pat on the back,” said Snedeker, whose decision to pursue a career in music came later than many musicians.

“I wanted to be a baseball player,” Snedeker said. “Basically, when the obvious shortcomings on my part finally ran their course, I was looking for something that would sort of resemble that. And the act of practicing music, making music, has an athletic approach to it.”

Playing an instrument and performing took the place of his athletic ambitions. Sports have an artistic aspect, says Snedeker, who sees music as a worthy alternative to baseball.

“I don’t have rotator cuff problems and knee problems and I still play every day,” he said with a laugh.

First presented in 1983, the Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award recognizes the achievements of those who, in addition to their outstanding scholarship, have displayed talents in the broad realm of the arts—creative, graphic, performing, visual, and fine arts, according to a Phi Kappa Phi news release. The award is given once every two years. Recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium, a life membership, and a trip to the society’s biennial convention on August 9 in St. Louis, MO, where the award officially will be presented.

Snedeker is the first person from CWU to be awarded the national Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award.

“I still have much to learn, and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead,” Snedeker said. “I pride myself on my versatility, but as much as I want people to appreciate the wide range of possibilities of the horn, I also know that any musical instrument is limited first by the performer, and I embrace my responsibility in pursuit of my goals.”

For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, call 800-804-9880 or visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841, barnott@cwu.edu

April 28, 2014