Jacqueline Renée Schafer Zuill

1963 -

Jacquie Zuill, a gifted performer on piano and violin, has taught at two Seventh-day Adventist universities. She has performed frequently as a soloist on both instruments and is an avid chamber music participant. A versatile musician, she is also an organist and played several other instruments in her earlier years.

Jacquie is one of three children, the second child and only daughter of Donald and Glenda Gimbel Schafer. She grew up in a home in which music was an important activity for everyone. Although she started formal lessons on piano at age six, her mother, who had a degree in music and maintained a piano studio, had introduced her to the instrument before then. At age seven, she started lessons on violin.

Although she was born in Glendale, California, Jacquie spent most of her childhood living in the Portland, Oregon, area continuing study on both piano and violin. She attended Portland Adventist Academy, and particularly enjoyed her study in piano with Shirley Sonk, a teacher in Portland. During her academy years, Schafer also played flute and timpani in the band, directed by Richard Herrington, and trombone in a family brass ensemble.

Following graduation from PAA in 1980, Schafer enrolled at Atlantic Union College, studying both piano and violin with Virginia-Gene Shankel Rittenhouse and playing in the New England Youth Ensemble for two years as principal second violin. She also soloed on piano with NEYE and, as a member of the ensemble, traveled in Western Europe, Israel, and Romania.

In 1982, Schafer transferred to Walla Walla College, now University, where she studied piano with Leonard Richter, organ with Lanny Collins, and violin with Glenn Spring, Susan Pickett at nearby Whitman College, and Denes Zsigmondy in Seattle. She also played timpani in the college band and viola in the orchestra.

Following completion of a B.Mus. performance degree at WWC in 1986 in both piano and violin, Schafer enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, where she was awarded a full scholarship. She completed an M.Mus. in violin performance in 1988, studying with Makato Kaneshiro and Naoko Tanaka, two teachers who were associated with noted pedagogue Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School of Music. That autumn, she went to Andrews University, where she held a half-time position teaching violin for one year.

Beginning in the summer of 1986, Schafer had attended her first Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. She enjoyed that experience and returned in the summers of 1987 and 1988 to participate in this nationally famous event.

In fall of 1989, she entered Northern Illinois University with a full scholarship and a teaching and accompanying assistantship in piano. After two years of study with Donald Walker and completion of an M.Mus. in piano performance and pedagogy in 1991, she returned to the Portland area, where she taught both piano and violin lessons over the next five years and played organ for churches.

She accepted a position at Canadian University College in 1996. In the next eleven years she taught piano, violin, and viola lessons and theory classes. She directed the string ensemble and led or coached a variety of chamber ensembles.  For most of her time at CUC she was also in charge of the University's professional concert series, entitled "Sunday at Seven", and accompanied for some of the artists that came to perform

In 2005 while still teaching at CUC, she married Richard Zuill, a longtime acquaintance. They had met and become friends in Puerto Rico in 1984 when she was serving as a student missionary in that U.S. Territory. In 2007, she decided to take a leave from her position on the music faculty, but continued to teach some private lessons at CUC, did some accompanying, and participated in the CUC orchestra when possible. 

In 2008 the Zuills began spending much of their time in Arkansas, Oregon, and Washington, visiting and helping care for both of their fathers, who were battling cancer. Following their fathers' deaths in 2009, they remained in Walla Walla, Washington, with her mother until 2010, when they started working at Ouachita Hills College, a small SDA self-supporting school in Arkansas, where Jacquie taught music lessons, conducted a fledgling orchestra, and taught a health class that incorporated an optional gardening component.

In February 2013, they moved to middle Tennessee, a little over an hour southwest of Nashville, to begin a homesteading adventure on 28 acres that had lots of room for gardening and animals. She teaches piano, violin, cello and guitar lessons to young people at the Bountiful Blessings Farm across the road from her, to homeschoolers in a suburb near Nashville, and also in a small SDA church school, Martin Memorial, K-8, in Centerville, where she also teaches a music class once a week.  At times she also leads ensembles composed of her students and other community members. 

She especially enjoys teaching students how to play hymns with confidence and creativity, and finds joy in taking her students to share their music at Assisted Living Care Centers.  She also enjoys improvising and creating arrangements for various combinations of instruments and/or voices.  She provides music at their church in Columbia, as well as in other area churches and community gatherings.


Sources: Interviews with Jacquie Schafer Zuill, 2008 and November 2013; Walla Walla College music department newsletter, Opus, summers, 1988, 1989, and 1997; personal knowledge.