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New year, new teacher

posted Sep 19, 2016, 10:58 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 11:08 AM ]

The start of the new school year usually brings new schedules and new students, but this year also brings a new teacher. Stephanie Downey is the new K-12 choir and Cardinalaires director, taking the position of Ellen Kerr.

Mrs. Downey is the sister to English teacher Tamara Salisbury. She graduated from Kansas State University, where her major was music education with a vocal emphasis. This is her first teaching job. She also likes reading and spending time with her husband, and she is ready to spend time with her little one to come.

“I’m very excited about teaching from kindergarten all the way to seniors because there is a broad range of abilities,” Mrs. Downey said.

Not only is having a broad range of students and abilities difficult for teaching, but with music, there are even more difficulties.

“The hardest thing about teaching music is that every day is different,” Mrs. Downey said.“Something that worked one day might not work the next.”

There are many things that are needed to improve your singing capabilities, including breathing correctly, having a good warm up, and having good posture.

“I’m expecting the choir and Cardinalaires to improve singing as an ensemble through vocal technique,” Mrs. Downey said.

Cardinalaires first performance was at the Homecoming game, singing the “Star Spangled Banner”, also making it the first performance showing Mrs. Downey’s work.

“I think they did alright at Homecoming,” Mrs. Downey said. “There are some things that we will be changing, but overall, it went well.”

Cardinalaires’ next performance will be at Fall Fest. Cardinalaires will be singing two songs as a group.

“I think Fall Fest will go really well,” Mrs. Downey said. “Everyone is showing up and being eager, which brings a level of performance you won’t usually see.”