SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) begins Spring Semester with a new logo and brand that showcases the boldness, vibrancy, and relevance of the Conservatory's reimagined curricular initiatives in connected learning. The new brand was revealed in a new website, sfcm.edu, designed for prospective students and their families by capturing the passion of current students, alumni, and concertgoers attending the Conservatory.
"We need to think about brand because we need to model for our students how they should think as artists," says SFCM President David H. Stull. "What's interesting about this new brand is the transparency, clarity, and the aspects of whimsy, joy, and creativity that come forward in a beautiful, animated logo. This new direction serves as an example for our students as they develop marketing savvy through a curriculum that highlights the professional development necessary to succeed as a musician in the twenty-first century."
With heightened interest in attendance from prospective students, the Board of Trustees supported revamping the image of the school to reflect the emphasis on innovative programming, such as the Technology and Applied Composition program. (SFCM has seen an 8% increase in applications over last year and a 23% increase over the last five years.) The web initiative was developed in tandem with the launch of other new programs, including the Roots, Jazz, and American Music program, a department which welcomes its first class in August 2017.
In addition to hiring jazz faculty, SFCM made a number of prominent appointments in the past year, including soprano Deborah Voigt, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, conductor Eric Dudley, percussionist Jacob Nissly, oboist Eugene Izotov, and hornist Kevin Rivard, among others.
Replacing existing professional biographies, faculty profiles were created in a "question and answer" format revealing faculty members' personalities and diverse interests, in addition to highlighting their musical achievements. The new content was written to provide prospective students richer and more robust information to assist them in selecting their teachers. A video series that calls attention to the unique teaching approaches of Conservatory faculty will continue through 2017 and beyond. Recently released faculty video profiles have covered Corey Jamason, Harpsichord and Historical Performance, Jack Van Geem, Percussion, and Adam Luftman, Trumpet.
To highlight the lively and collaborative performance scene at SFCM, the new sfcm.edu delivers a media-rich environment that highlights the many departments and ensembles. The Conservatory's new Rehearsal Snapshot videos give a fly-on-the-wall peek into various ensemble settings, a series that is planned to continue regularly for highlighting events and other classes at SFCM. Rehearsal Snapshots include footage of String and Piano Chamber Music, Baroque Ensemble, and the Conservatory Orchestra.
SFCM engaged Mule Design to rebrand the institution with an animated logo as well as a color palette that illustrates the vitality of the institution. The launch of the new brand predates the Conservatory's centennial celebration next season.
2017 also sees a change in curricular focus from music, politics, and social justice to global folk influences. SFCM's new direction in thematically linked programming, which combines history, theory, performance, and the humanities, was introduced in Fall Semester 2016 with an overarching theme that called attention to political influence in music from the life and works of Beethoven to contemporary artists. This spring, students explore a global musical heritage by studying general subjects such as "Chinese History" and "East and South Asian Philosophy" as well as classes dedicated to musical periods and genres, including "American Modernists, 1910-1960," "German Lieder," and "Folk & Pop Meets 18th-century Opera." Students will also perform works that incorporate folk influence, such as Stravinsky's one-act opera, Mavra, in addition to the music of Smetana, Ravel, Bartók, and many others.