This week’s featured staff member is Donna Hartleroad, accompanist for the Lyric and Treble Choirs. Donna graduated from Cedarville University with a degree in Piano Performance and a minor in Music Theory. She did a year of graduate studies at The Ohio State University. She grew up on a farm in Northwest Ohio, about 30 miles northeast of Fort Wayne. At present, outside of FWCC, she is working in local schools, helping middle and high school students in their musical endeavors. she and her husband are very active in their church in many different capacities. They also have 2 adorable grandchildren, one here in Fort Wayne, one in Missouri, and another on the way, here in Fort Wayne, that keep them unbelievably busy and on their toes at all times.
1- What do you like best about working with FWCC? There are so many good things to say about FWCC. One of the things I like about working with FWCC is their passion for education, growth, and development of the children in our choirs. It’s not all about performance, though that is emphasized. We speak to musical literacy, musical expression, and personal development of each child. It’s a joy to watch our young singers as they mature and develop and make their way through each of our choirs.
Another thing I like about working at FWCC is the camaraderie and like mindedness between all the conductors, accompanist, and staff that I have worked with. Always professional, always caring, always the same expectations no matter which choir I attend, yet like one big family.
2- What is your favorite FWCC memory? I have many wonderful memories from FWCC. Some of the early ones when Mr. Meads was directing the choir I accompanied to more recent. I guess the latest was when we were on tour last summer and Youth Chorale did an impromptu song at the 9/11 museum, outside at the infinity pool. It was a somber moment, but I was very proud of how our young adults sang and also understood the significance of that particular place.
3- How would you describe the culture of FWCC? I consider the culture of FWCC as that of a nurturing environment. I’ve seen shy young students blossom and come out of their shell. No one is forced to speak or sing, yet every opportunity is given, and supported. I think that is probably why I sing the praises of FWCC wherever I go and suggest it to families with children who are of the age to be in FWCC. The Nurturing environment. Also the variety of repertoire the children sing along with the many languages they learn. Also, children will get to know and make many friends with children their own age from other schools, and home schooled. With that common bond of music, it is amazing to watch friendships start that will last maybe a lifetime. I can even say for myself I have met new people at FWCC whose friendship I now treasure.
As our Harvest Concert on Sunday, November 5, approaches, we thought we’d post this friendly reminder about concert etiquette. Our singers have worked hard to prepare. We want them to be successful and we want all of you to enjoy the performance.
– The cardinal rule is to not do anything that distracts from the music itself.
– Arrive at least fifteen minutes early for the concert. Even if the lights haven’t gone down, it can be disruptive to make your way to your seat when most people are already seated in your aisle.
– Please turn off your cell phones. Checking email or reading news, etc., on a smartphone during a concert makes no sound, but the bright light may be distracting to others in a darkened room.
-Be respectful of your fellow patrons. If you are wearing a hat, remove it; if you have glasses on your forehead, remove them. If you have a large purse, place it on the floor under your seat.
-Please refrain from talking during the performance. The slightest whisper can be disrupting.
– Plan to eat before you arrive, as no food is allowed in the venue.
– Remain seated during the performance unless it is an emergency.
– Remain in the concert hall until the applause ends and the lights come up.
This week’s featured staff member is Laura Dallman. Laura is our Boychoir accompanist. She has worked with the FWCC in some capacity for the past three years. First she was a guest artist, and then she joined permanently as the Boychoir accompanist.
Laura grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana, and has lived all of her life in Indiana, save a short summer stint at a music festival in Vail, Colorado. She currently teaches music appreciation, class piano, and music history at IPFW and Ball State University. Laura earned a Bachelor’s of Music (Piano Performance) at Ball State University, a Master of Arts (Musicology) Indiana University, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Musicology) Indiana University.
1- What do you like best about working with FWCC? I like the positive atmosphere that the FWCC creates and encourages, both for the students and the staff.
2- What is your favorite FWCC memory? I was just tickled when the Boychoir sang “Johnny Schmoker” at a dress rehearsal and the rest of the FWCC gave them thunderous applause. The boys looked so excited!
3- How would you describe the culture of FWCC? I would describe the culture of FWCC as inviting and caring.
4- In your own words, why should a child consider joining FWCC? I think children should consider joining FWCC because they will meet other children of all ages that love music and singing. From a more educational standpoint, I know they will receive quality music education, too.
This week’s featured board member is Tony Strickler. Tony has served on the board for 4 years, 3 as our Treasurer. By day he is the Vice President of Credit at Sweetwater and he has been there for 23 years. He also serves as treasurer on the Board of Director as his church where he has attended for 16 years. He grew up in Decatur and went to Ball State University. He and his wife, Jill, have been married for 27 years. They have two daughters: Allison, a 2016 Purdue Graduate who is now working at Lutheran Hospital, and Cassidy, a freshman at Purdue studying chemical engineering.
This week’s featured staff member is Susie Peirce, Communication & Grants Manager. Susie has been with FWCC for 6 years. She was originally hired to fill a nine-month interim position and was invited to stay. We are glad she did!
Susie grew up in Goshen, Indiana, and moved to Fort Wayne to attend Parkview-Methodist School of Nursing. Upon graduation, she worked a year as evening charge nurse in the Parkview surgery and for 11 years with Orthopaedics Northeast as a hospital rounding nurse. Once she and her husband started a family, she chose to stay home with their children until they were in middle and high school. Upon returning to employment, she has worked as a church administrator, elementary school media clerk and TV producer, educational outreach coordinator, literacy initiative assistant, and consultant.
When she is not working, she enjoys traveling to visit with friends and family, spending time with their grandgirls, reading, needlework, bicycling, and walking. This October, she and her husband will take their second long bicycle trip. Last year they biked 150 miles from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD, and this year they will bike the Katy Trail (260 miles) across the state of Missouri.
Here’s a little bit more about Susie:
1- What do you like best about working with FWCC? I appreciate working with an incredibly talented and committed staff. They are extremely knowledgeable and possess an incredible work ethic. Although I really have limited contact with the singers, I do have the opportunity to interact with their families. I really admire the commitment from the parents/guardians to their children and our organization.
2- What is your favorite FWCC memory? I will never forget the Concert Choir’s performance at the ACDA conference in Chicago. Compared to the size of the other performing groups on their program, the Concert ensemble was small. And then they sang…incredible! Their level of intensity and passion was heard in their voices. The audience’s response was confirmation that everyone there had witnessed an extraordinary performance.
3- How would you describe the culture of FWCC? The culture of the FWCC is supportive, encouraging, and caring. This is present in the administrative and artistic staff and their interactions with the children and their families, as well as the singers and their contact with other FWCC members.
4- In your own words, why should a child consider joining FWCC? I believe it is important for children to participate in activities that interest them. But I also realize that there are some extra-curricular choices that can impact a child’s life. Singing in the FWCC is one of those choices. Children have the opportunity to have extraordinary directors, meet children from communities throughout northeast Indiana, perform for thousands of people in unusual venues, and at the same time, receive a music education that is second to none. This combination of intellectual and physical experiences is extraordinary.
Just like all non-profits, we have a board of directors who lead us in developing vision and ensuring we have the finances in place to continue offering valuable programs. We could not do what we do without their guidance and dedication.
Meet Kathryn Lemish, Vice Chair of FWCC’s Board of Directors. Kathryn grew up in Kendallville and how resides in Huntertown with her husband Dave and their two daughters, Nora and Amelia. She is an Assistant Vice President at Lincoln Financial Group in Fort Wayne, where she has worked for 17 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1998. Even though she doesn’t have a full-time job in music, she has continued to work with area marching bands and winter drumlines, both teaching and arranging the percussion music for fall marching band shows with her husband.
We had an opportunity to ask her a few questions to get to know her better:
Meet Phyllis, FWCC’s Lyric Choir Director. Phyllis grew up in Fort Wayne and attended North Side High School where she majored in music with a theater minor. She attended Ball State for a year to major in Music Education, but due to a family illness, she returned to Fort Wayne and completed her degree at IPFW as a voice major. She taught at several Fort Wayne schools before obtaining the Music Teacher/Choir Director position at Weisser Park Arts Magnet. She also has 2 levels of Orff from IPFW, 2 levels of Creating Artistry for Choral Conductors from the Indianapolis Children’s Choir at Butler University, and received her Kodaly from Capital University. Phyllis is married and has 2 sons that are FWCC alumni – each spending about 10 years of their lives in the choir. She has 2 grandchildren that she’s hoping will be able to audition soon. She is also the Children’s Music Director at First Wayne Street United Methodist Church and a member of Heartland Sings! She is also the IMEA Area 2 Elementary Coordinator for the Circle The State With Song choir festival that is held at IPFW each February. I guess you could say that she loves choir!
1 – How long have I been with the FWCC? That’s a tricky question. I started observing and assisting the directors in the late 90’s when my sons, Gabe and Conrad, were part of the choir. I was fascinated by what the directors were able to accomplish with the singers. I asked then Artistic Director Fred Meads if I could observe him to learn more. Eventually, he introduced me to Janet Ormiston, the director of the Chorister Choir. I asked her if I could be her assistant, and she agreed. I assisted Mrs. Ormiston, typically on a volunteer basis, until she was ready to retire in 2006. I just happened to be completing my Music Education degree at IPFW in 2006, so Mr. Meads offered me the Chorister Choir Director position. I directed Chorister Choir until the Lyric Choir position became available. I have been directing Lyric Choir since.
2 – What do I like best about working with the FWCC? My favorite thing is meeting and working with the children. I LOVE teaching them how to understand the music literacy part of the songs they are singing. Of course, there are many other wonderful experiences that FWCC provides… excellent staff to work with, tours, etc.
Each fall, the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir hosts the Choral Music Educator’s Workshop for teachers from Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio. This program brings dozens of educators together to learn a variety of music education methods from well-known clinicians. The workshop is held in the Rhinehart Music Center on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and music students are invited to participate, as well.
This year’s guest clinician is Pamela Pierson. Mrs. Pierson is the Associate Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir. Currently, she serves as a Limited Term Lecturer at IPFW, teaching courses in music education. She previously worked at Lakewood Park Christian School, where she held positions as Elementary Principal and Assistant Superintendent. Prior to her work as a school administrator, she taught elementary music in the Fort Wayne Community School district where she was also appointed to a position as the Elementary Music Liaison. She is a past board member of the Indiana Music Educators Association and Area 2 coordinator for the Circle of the State with Song. She frequently presents at educational conferences and workshops. Mrs. Pierson received her Bachelor’s degree from Taylor University- Fort Wayne and completed both her Master’s degree and the Principal Licensure Program at Indiana Wesleyan University. She is also certified in Levels 1 and 2 of Orff-Schulwerk.
I ALREADY DO THAT! Discovering the Ways Music Teaches Comprehension
This workshop will identify the ways in which music instruction contributes to the development of comprehension. Mrs. Pierson will define specific comprehension strategies and provide instructional activities straight from the music classroom that address each of the specific strategies. Activities will include singing games, theory and music listening activities, rhythm games, and ideas for incorporating children’s literature. The evening will also include a “Make It, Take It” element, so educators will leave with items ready for student use the next day. The next time your school administrator asks you to incorporate literacy into your music classroom, you can say, “Let me show you how I already do that!”
Registration: 4:00-4:30 pm
Workshop: 4:30-7:30 pm
Fee: $30 (includes meal & materials), or $10 currently enrolled college student
Location: IPFW Rhinehart Music Center, Room 120
Deadline: Friday, September 29
Reserve your spot now! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (260) 481-0481 with any questions.
Or, register ONLINE.