Music Alumni Notes

Scott Wheeler, B.M., Music Education, ‘95

Scott Wheeler is choir director at Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has worked as a music teacher in the Poudre School District for 25 years. 

How have you experienced innovation in your job (including overcoming challenges to find success with your students)? I think my best accomplishment when overcoming a challenge doesn't lie with the COVID-19 pandemic, but instead using a variety of experiences to excite and engage a variety of students. Kinard is a Core Knowledge school, meaning every student is required to take music for two years. Most kids who aren't necessarily interested in music tend to join choir. I've really enjoyed the experience of [seeing] many kids...discover the wonders of choral music who never would have considered it before."

List recognition(s) you or your students have received in your current position. I became a National Board Certified Music Teacher (NBTS) in 2018, and a winner of the NoBully.org National Singing Competition. My choir was invited to perform in 2019 at Carnegie Hall for Alexander L'Estrange's 'Zimbe – the only children’s choir in the U.S. with this invitation. My choir has also had six invitations to perform at CMEA between 2001 and 2022. [We have a] YouTube & Facebook presence with more than 250,000 views.

List leadership roles you have assumed in your school, district, or state. Grade Level Team Leader (Kinard); Choral Music Facilitator (Poudre School District); Honor Choir Coordinator (PSD); Association Representative (Poudre Education Association); Cooperating Mentor Teacher/Student Teacher (13 Student Teachers).

kinardchoir.com; YouTube Channel

Debbie Glaze

Debbie Glaze is currently the music education teacher at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.

How have you experienced innovation in your job (including overcoming challenges to find success with your students)? During COVID, we were completely remote. We had to find new uses for technology to help our music education students learn how to teach effectively.

List recognition(s) you or your students have received in your current position. I was the recipient of the John McManus Award for Lifelong Excellence in Music Education in the state of Oregon; given by OMEA. Also a Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence from Oregon ACDA. Many of my students have received "Teacher of the Year" awards in various districts throughout the United States.

List leadership roles you have assumed in your school, district, or state. I was president of Oregon OMEA from 2000-2002; President of the NW Division of NAfME from 2008-2010; many other leadership roles in my university and Music Department.

Bernhard Yutesler, B.M., Music Education ‘97

Bernhard Yutesler has worked at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

List leadership roles you have assumed in your school, district, or state. Retired in 2021 from The U.S. Army Field Band as a Sergeant Major after 22 years of service. LinkedIn profile.

Junior Molina-Nogal, B.M., Music Education ‘17

Junior Molina
Junior Molina, B.M.E. ‘17

Junior Molina-Nogal currently works in the Fowler School District in Fowler, Colorado.

How have you experienced innovation in your job (including overcoming challenges to find success with your students)? I love trying new things and my curiosity leads me to present ideas! The best part is the community, administration, and students not only want to try those ideas but come up with their own!

List recognition(s) you or your students have received in your current position. Arkansas Valley Honor Band participants; CSU-Pueblo Festival of Winds participants

List leadership roles you have assumed in your school, district, or state. President, Arkansas Valley Music League – Data Reporter – CDL Bus Driver

Aleaha Harkins, B.M., Music Education ‘13; M.M., Music Education Specialization, Kodály Option, ‘16

Aleaha Harkins headshot
Aleaha Harkins, B.M.E. ‘13, M.M.E. Kodály ‘16

Aleaha Harkins is currently the music teacher at Denver Green School in Denver, CO.

How have you experienced innovation in your job (including overcoming challenges to find success with your students)? Teaching in a COVID world, we as teachers innovate everyday. In order to ensure my students were successful, I have written two grants. The first grant was awarded to us last year, which provided more than 30 band instruments to our program so our students no longer had to share instruments due to budget limitations. The second grant was awarded this year, which allowed for our school to finally receive new method books for band, as well as incorporating more cultural practices into our music room. This included revamping our song book library to include a wider variety of genres, stories, and languages, re-imaging our classroom to show famous musicians who match our diverse student population, as well as resources for students to pursue music outside of the performance realm by incorporating software licensure for music production.

List recognition(s) you or your students have received in your current position. I am expecting National Board Certification for early-middle childhood in music education this December.

List leadership roles you have assumed in your school, district, or state. I have been leading other elementary music teachers as the regional team specialist at the district level and recently have taken a leadership position within my school that allows for me to continue teaching my classroom while being involved in important decision-making discussions that happen at the administrative level.

Robert Custer, B.M., Music Education, ‘68; M.M. in Music Education

Robert Custer is retired from Polk State College.

How have you experienced innovation in your job (including overcoming challenges to find success with your students)? Music notational software has become very complex, especially FINALE. It has, however, offered new and more effective means of expression. As an instructor of music composition, I had my students score a Haydn symphony, each student assigned an instrumental section. This technique familiarized them with both notation (ease and difficulties) and with the the concepts surrounding MIDI. On the creative side, they learned how to apply the myriad instruments to create new and interesting colors and effects. Also, with the advent of instrumental accompaniments which can be time synchronized, students could learn complex solos at various tempos.

List recognition(s) you or your students have received in your current position. Several of my students won awards at various state vocal and instrumental competitions. I received the state nomination in Florida.

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