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Alumni Achievements

Keith Bisaillon, '09

Majors: Music and Arts Administration

Current Position: Band director and assistant wrestling coach at Harrison High School, in Colorado Springs. He also is the fine arts department chair and plans to soon begin working on his master's degree in educational leadership and principal licensure.

Why Whitworth? "The mission of educating both mind and heart is not just talk for Whitworth, but an actual commitment from everyone who lives, learns and works within the university. Whitworth's scholarship opportunities allowed me to afford the amazing education I received there."

Whitworth Activities: Performed with six performance ensembles, worked as a resident assistant, and played various intramural sports.

Quote: "Because of Whitworth's commitment to educating the entire student, I experienced what it means to develop the whole person, and I have been able to replicate that with the students I teach. Working in a low-income school district has its challenges, but I know I have been much more successful than I would have been otherwise because of my focus on developing the whole person. The relationships I have been able to foster with my students have allowed me to develop them academically at a much faster pace than I otherwise would have been able to do."

Influential Whitworth Professors: "Professor of Music Dan Keberle is an amazing educator who helped shape me as a musician. Through his individual instruction in trumpet lessons and also through the way he leads the jazz ensemble, I learned both how to perform better and how to teach more effectively. As an educator, Professor of Education Randall Michaelis helped me to see all sides of what it means to be an effective teacher. He helped me look at everything from in-class dynamics to national issues in education."

Career Goals: "My goal is to become an assistant principal and eventually a principal. My hope is that despite budget shortfalls and changes in the field of education, I can help keep fine arts an important and integral part of K-12 education."

Here's what some other recent Whitworth graduates are doing with their music degrees:

  • Sarah (Mowry) Butler, '11, teaches choral and instrumental music at Umatilla High School and Clara Browne Middle School, in Oregon.

  • Ben Bonnema, '10, is pursuing a master's degree in musical theatre writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

  • Greg Hoff, '06, is performing and touring with the U.S. Navy Band after completing a master of music degree in trombone performance at Indiana University.

  • Mary Trotter, '07, is working on a master's in music in collaborative piano, with a graduate assistantship, at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Md.

  • Christopher Teal, '05, completed his master of music degree in jazz percussion at New York's Eastman School of Music. He resides in Rochester, N.Y., where he leads the progressive jazz group Quintopus, featuring group originals as well as interpretations of music by popular artists.

  • Angela Leonardi, '09, spent the summer studying at the Meadowmount School, in New York, and is now pursuing a master of music in violin performance and serving as concertmaster of the orchestra at the University of Akron.  

  • Kathryn McIvor, '09, is director of music and worship at Opportunity Presbyterian Church, in Spokane Valley.

  • Hayley (Baudrau) Gaarde, '04, completed her master of music degree in vocal performance at the University of Washington, and is now singing and teaching voice in Seattle.

  • Nathanael Ankeny, '08, completed his master of music degree at Eastern Washington University, and is now on the jazz faculty at George Fox University, directing the jazz ensemble and teaching saxophone.


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