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.