Dr. Christopher Azzara Presenting Initial Program For Concord University’s Carl S. Azzara Music Colloquium

For Immediate Release: 
Mar 23 2018

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement 

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312, news@concord.edu



After 4 p.m.


Office: 304-384-5211

Cell: 304-320-6405






ATHENS, W.Va. – Dr. Christopher Azzara will offer the first program for the Carl S. Azzara Music Colloquium Endowment at Concord University on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. His presentation entitled “Improvisation: Music Literacy that Goes Beyond the Page” will take place at 6 p.m. in the Wilkes Family Chapel in University Point.


The general public is invited to join the Concord community in attending the event at no charge.


An innovator in the area of music teaching and learning, Dr. Azzara is Professor and Chair of Music Education and Affiliate Faculty of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. As pianist, arranger, author, and educator, he has made important contributions to advancing the understanding of creativity and improvisation in the music learning process.


His research and publications are concerned with meaningful relationships among listening, creating, improvising, reading, composing, and analyzing music in vocal and instrumental settings. He performs as a soloist and in various ensembles, including the Chris Azzara Trio, and has played on and produced many studio and educational recordings. An active teacher and clinician, he has presented and performed extensively throughout the United States, and in Canada, the Caribbean, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Japan, and Australia.


After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from George Mason University, he taught instrumental music in the Fairfax County Public Schools and performed as a pianist in the Washington D.C. area. He later received a Master of Music and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to joining the Eastman faculty, Dr. Azzara was a professor at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre of the University of Hartford, CT.


The Carl S. Azzara Music Colloquium Endowment is dedicated to the memory of Carl Azzara, a 1954 graduate of Concord, for his lifelong passion and dedication to being pianist, musician and teacher. The intention of the fund is to provide educational opportunities in music for Concord students, faculty, staff and the community through professional presentations.


Dr. Christopher Azzara and his brother, Dr. Daniel Azzara, along with other family members and friends, established the fund in honor of their father, Carl Azzara, and to acknowledge his devotion to his alma mater and the role it played in his life. As a Concord student, Carl discovered that he wanted to focus his professional life on teaching, his sons said.


Carl Azzara was born in 1928 in Yonkers, N.Y. After graduating from Yonkers High School, he enlisted in the United States Army where he had the opportunity to play piano in the special services. After serving his country, Carl was awarded a music scholarship at Concord where he performed with the legendary Concord Commanders. In 2005 he and other members of the 1950s era Concord Commanders were honored with the Golden Alumnus Award by the Concord University Alumni Association.


Following graduation from Concord, Carl accepted the position of band director at Marion Senior High School in Marion, Va. While in Marion, he spent summers at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. completing his master’s degree. In 1960 he was awarded the “Young Man of the Year Award” by the Marion Chamber of Commerce to recognize his positive impact on students and the community.


After 10 years directing the band, Carl left Marion for new opportunities in Fairfax County, Virginia. While there, Carl spent several years as the band director at Robert Frost Intermediate School. His career continued as high school counselor, guidance director and assistant principal. Carl was chosen by the superintendent to be a human relations specialist to serve schools in troubled areas of the county. He retired as the assistant principal/guidance director of Thoreau Intermediate School in 1983.


A lifelong pianist, musician and teacher, Carl played in the same trio for more than 20 years and inspired others with his love of music. He passed away in March 2017.


For additional information on the Carl S. Azzara Music Colloquium Endowment and/or the upcoming presentation contact the Concord University Office of Advancement at advancement@concord.edu or 304-384-6211.




Dr. Christopher Azzara


Carl Azzara





Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086

if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.