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UpClose

  • Hometown Hero: Center Grove’s Chris Pratt

    SBO Staff | August 2, 2011This summer, between working 9-to-5 at his graduate program and serving as president of his district’s Teachers’ Association, Chris Pratt has been busy planning the seasons of Center Grove High School’s nine different choral ensembles. His students have bolted for family vacations, summer jobs, and camps while Pratt begins studying new choreography, plowing through hours of new music, and mapping out a packed calendar of performances and competitions. Time off has been tough to come by, but he wouldn’t want it any other way. Read More...
  • Travel Dreams Come True

    SBO Staff | April 19, 2011Jeff Nesseth, director of choirs at Central High School in Burlington, Illinois, loves to travel. Since taking over the CHS choral music program in 1996, he's brought his vocal groups across Europe, with stops in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, and Eastern Europe, among other locations. Read More...
  • Travel Dreams Come True

    SBO Staff | March 22, 2011Jeff Nesseth, director of choirs at Central High School in Burlington, Illinois, loves to travel. Since taking over the CHS choral music program in 1996, he’s brought his vocal groups across Europe, with stops in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, and Eastern Europe, among other locations. Jeff was introduced to the excitement of traveling with a […] Read More...
  • Good Fight

    SBO Staff | December 2, 2010As music educators know, teaching music and conducting a choir involves a great deal more than just showing up with an arm full of sheet music. It goes beyond long working hours, effective pedagogy, and classroom management. In the bigger picture, music educators must also maintain the frontlines of another unceasing battle: advocacy. Even though […] Read More...
  • Ryan Beeken Finds His Muse Inspiration in Music

    SBO Staff | September 28, 2010For some, finding one’s niche in life can be a life-long quest. For others, finding a passion that inspires one to be ambitious, determined, and humble all at the same time can be almost instantaneous, as if predetermined. The latter applies to Ryan Beeken, choral director at Waukee High School, in Waukee, Iowa. When Beeken […] Read More...
  • Brendan Jennings John Burroughs High School: Lights, Camera, Show Choir!

    SBO Staff | August 17, 2010As a result of the latest economic downturn, schools all over the country have felt the pinch. Budgets have been slashed, teachers laid off, and some have had to eliminate programs all together, particularly music programs and the arts. However, some music programs continue to thrive, despite the difficult environment nationwide. One of those is […] Read More...
  • Bill Liberatore: A Ferver for Music Travel

    SBO Staff | May 19, 2010As we all know, being a music educator requires a great amount of patience, logistical wizardry, a sense of humor, and an infectious passion for music that can be relayed to students. There are those teachers who fearlessly face these demands every day, and then there are those who embrace these challenges with a sense […] Read More...
  • Gregg Breinberg and the PS22 Chorus: Anything is Possible

    SBO Staff | December 8, 2009Photos by Claudio Papapietro One of the amazing aspects of music education is the range of effective ways with which music, and the important life lessons that its study holds, can be imparted upon young people. Perhaps no one embodies this diversity of methodology and repertoire so unexpectedly and with such astounding success as Gregg […] Read More...
  • The Unrelenting Ambition of Amanda Roeder

    SBO Staff | September 30, 2009In 2002, fresh out of college, Amanda Roeder joined Marblehead High School as the director of choral music. Over the past eight years, she has doubled the number of students involved in the high school music program, augmenting the music department’s curriculum to the extent that the high school now offers eight different music classes, […] Read More...
  • Mark Myers: Unity Through Music

    SBO Staff | July 28, 2009“We see these festivals we go to as a way to celebrate the many different kinds of music that are out there.” Having had the good fortune to step into a well-established program at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois, Mark Myers has been taking his program to new heights. In just his sixth […] Read More...
  • Lin Warren: More than Just Music

    SBO Staff | March 24, 2009When Choral Director contacted Lin Warren about being the subject of this month’s UpClose feature, his immediate response was, “I don’t like talking about myself or touting my accomplishments. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m not sure how I feel about an interview.” This, as one can imagine, was not the typical response to an […] Read More...
  • Altruism and the Successful Choirs of Central Islip High School

    SBO Staff | November 18, 2008In September of 2000, John Anthony began his first job as a choral director at Central Islip (N.Y.) Senior High School. It was John’s own experience in his high school choir that inspired him to continue with his musical aspirations and become a choral director. As a student at Calhoun High School in Merrick N.Y., […] Read More...
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