As we begin the 2012-2013 school year, we look forward to another year where the halls of the school will resonate with music. This year we welcome five new teachers to our community and two familiar faces stepping into new roles, for a total of seven new music teachers!
Sylvie Desouches, a long-time member of the Chicago Waldorf School community (as a parent, a former CWS class teacher and trustee), steps into the role of Music Program Coordinator. Ms. Desouches is teaching 3rd-8th grade music and overseeing the music program for the entire school. She has degrees in vocal performance and has enjoyed an active two-decade career as a soloist and chorister in many choruses, symphonic & acappella, large & small, sacred & secular.
Ms. Desouches is thrilled to be working with a team of musical professionals who bring to our students a passion for music and teaching and a wide range of experience and talent.
The newly structured CWS music program
includes these faculty members:
Cellist Brendan Finucane steps up as lead strings and orchestra teacher in both the grade school and high school. Mr. Finucane had been Mr. Spade’s orchestra assistant for the past three years, is an active freelance cellist and teacher in the Chicago area and is himself a Waldorf alum.
Violist Amanda Bailey joins Mr. Finucane as 3rd grade violin and viola teacher and grade school strings and orchestra assistant. Miss Bailey brings years of teaching experience and recently won a seat in the prestigious Civic Orchestra of Chicago where she will be working with Ricardo Muti, Yo Yo Ma and many other world-class musicians who work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Horn player Katherine Swaydis joins the faculty as the 6th grade band teacher and middle school band assistant to long-time CWS band teacher Jacob Wilson. Miss Swaydis is a freelance musician and teacher in the Chicago area, currently conducting and teaching for the YOURS Project of the People’s Music School.
Conductor, composer and pianist Seth Houston has taken the position of high school choral conductor, directing both the chorus and vocal ensemble, and will also teach the 10th grade History Through Music morning lesson block. Mr. Houston recently completed coursework for his DMA degree in choral music and has directed a great many youth and adult choirs and previously taught music and choirs at three other Waldorf schools.
Percussionist Michael Taylor steps in as African drumming instructor. Mr. Taylor has had a long career teaching, performing and recording West African percussion and is widely known for his work on the djembe and dunun.
Guitarist Jeremy Sheehan joins CWS to teach intermediate guitar. Mr. Sheehan has degrees in both jazz and classical guitar performance and brings many years of experience and passion for teaching guitar.
Although not new to our faculty, we’d be remiss in not mentioning our wonderful continuing music faculty: Beth Kelly for 1st and 2nd grade lyre; Jacob Wilson for middle school band and high school jazz band; and Justin Barron for high school beginning guitar.
In all, the Chicago Waldorf School music faculty is a team of 10 talented musicians who will bring a love of music to our students and to our community throughout the year. We hope you will welcome them to our school as they settle in; they have already begun guiding the many classes, assembly performances, recitals and plays that make the music program a lively part of the CWS curriculum.