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Alumni Achievements

Keith Bisaillon, '09

Majors: Music and Music Education

Current Position: Bisaillon is 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 at the university. Whitworth's scholarship opportunities allowed me to afford the amazing education I received there."

Whitworth Activities: Performed with six music 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."

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:

  • Ben Bonnema completed an MFA in the graduate musical theatre writing program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he recently presented a workshop production of his full-length musical, The Lost Girl (co-written with Arianna Rose).

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

  • Christopher Teal completed an M.M. 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.

  • Rachel Morris serves as the associate director of worship, music, and the creative arts at Maple Valley Presbyterian Church, in Maple Valley, Wash.

  • Angela Leonardi completed an M.M. in violin performance at the University of Akron, in Ohio, where she served as concertmaster. She now runs a private studio in Akron.

  • Nathanael Ankeny completed an M.M. at Eastern Washington University and is now on the jazz faculty at George Fox University (Ore.), directing the jazz ensemble and teaching saxophone.

  • Rose (Halcomb) Freeman has a large private piano studio in Spokane and recently received National Teacher of Music Certification from the Music Teachers National Association.

  • Anna Willson is beginning her studies in the master of music program in vocal performance at Boston Conservatory.

  • Heather Botts completed a master's degree in musical theatre at Oklahoma City University, and has been touring and performing throughout the United States in shows such as South Pacific, Into the Woods, and Les Misérables.

  • Nicholas Kmet is doing graduate work in New York University's Scoring for Film and Multimedia program. He recently presented his research paper, "Examining the Evolution of John Williams' Orchestrations through the Lens of Star Wars" at NYU's Music and the Moving Image Conference.