2019 CIVIC MUSIC TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Director of Bands, Muskego High School
James "Jamie" Beckman is in his 22nd year in high school music education and 16th year as director of bands at Muskego High School. James began his teaching career at Waukesha South High School where he taught orchestra and then band for 6 years. When he arrived at Muskego High School in 2003, the band program consisted of 2 concert bands, pep band and a marching band serving around 90 students. Through hard work and dedication, the MHS Band program has tripled in size. It is comprised of 10 instrumental ensembles, which include 4 concert bands, 3 jazz ensembles, pep band, pit orchestra and the 300 member Warrior Marching Band. James is a 2015 Muskego-Norway School District Compass Award recipient, recognizing excellence in teaching. Under his direction, the Muskego High School Wind Ensemble has performed at the 2009 and 2014 Wisconsin Music Educators Association State Convention. The Warrior Marching Band has performed in a number of nationally recognized parades including the 2014 Endymion Parade in New Orleans and the 2018 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.
James is a proud graduate of Oconomowoc High School, where he first learned what it takes to have a quality band program. As a four year member of the Wind Symphony, James performed at national festivals and conventions, including the 1990 Midwest Clinic. James earned a Bachelor Degree in Music Education from Lawrence University in 1996. He would not be here today without the teachings of professors Nick Keelan, Robert Levy, Ken Schaphorst and Steven Jordheim. In 2007 James completed his master degree in education from Cardinal Stritch University.
James has served as saxophone coach for the Wisconsin All State Jazz Ensemble on three separate occasions. He is on the Board of Directors for the Youth Wind Orchestra of Wisconsin and the UW-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble. In addition to teaching, James performs as a professional saxophonist and bassist in numerous bands and ensembles in the Milwaukee area. He lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin with his wife Amy and sons Sam and Will.
2019 MSO ACE TEACHER OF THE YEAR
DIANE VAN SLYKE
Fourth Grade Teacher, Milwaukee Parkside School of the Arts, Milwaukee Public Schools
Diane Van Slyke began her career at Milwaukee’s Tamarack Waldorf School where a passion for teaching through the arts emerged. The arts have always been an integral part of her teaching. While teaching in the Milwaukee Public Schools, she became involved with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s ACE program (Arts in Community Education) and SHARP Literacy, both providing the integration of arts in the classroom. Now at the Milwaukee Parkside School of the Arts, she and her students enjoy an environment that nurtures the integration of the arts, project based learning and the ACE program. She is also involved with artHUBmke, a partnership between MPS, Cardinal Stritch University and Arts @ Large to train teachers to integrate the arts into learning. Diane has received intensive training in Learning on display; creating museum exhibits with student and integrating arts in the display. Diane believes that the arts bring curriculum to life and the children are more successful when they can learn concepts through the arts and create with their minds and hands.
Diane earned a Bachelor of Science from UW-Milwaukee in Elementary Education, received training and earned a Waldorf certificate from the North America Waldorf Association and UWM, and earned a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. She has a son, Taylor, and she lives in Bay View with her husband David and their beloved dog Roscoe.
Certificates of Excellence
Band Instructor, Holy Apostles, St. Anthony, St. Charles and
St. Jerome Schools
Connie Fellows has been bringing the joy and excitement of music education and performance to students in grades 4-8 for over 28 years. Teaching at area Catholic Schools that otherwise may not have a consistent band program has been her goal. She has created band programs at several schools in the Lake Country area as well Greendale’s Intermediate School and College Park School. Connie has a gift for making each student feel like a special part of a wonderful musical group, and creating quality music at each school.
Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from UW – Madison, Connie earned a Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Akron where she was also an active free-lance trumpeter. Connie also serves as Director of Music at Heritage Presbyterian Church in Muskego and continues to perform as a member of various Wisconsin orchestras and ensembles.
Connie and her husband, Oconomowoc High School Director of Bands, Michael Krofta, are empty nesters, living in Delafield with Denali, “the best dog in the whole world.” Their children are Erin, a student at UW-Madison and Ryan, a trombonist pursuing a graduate degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The family loves to attend orchestra concerts around the country, travel, bike and hike together.
Choral Instructor, Burlington High School,
Burlington School District
Penny Yanke has been a Choral Conductor for over 30 years. Currently she works for the Burlington Area School District. Prior to Burlington, she worked in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Penny believes in making the world a much smaller place through giving her students unique performing experiences and leads many opportunities through the choral program at Burlington High School. Penny is part of the directing team for the annual musical, one act competition show and is the director for B*JAZZled, the competitive show choir at BHS. Penny was also selected to be one of the trial directors for a Disney Musical that is now in full rental and production in the high school circuit.
Penny also holds a Master’s Degree in counseling that she uses often in helping all of her students become successful and positive members of our society. Penny has a unique perspective in working with many students who have significant emotional needs; many of whom return repeatedly after graduation, attributing their life successes to her efforts and influences. Penny enjoys performing when time permits. Some of her favorite roles have been Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance” and The Narrator from “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” She is a member of The National Association for Music Education, American Choral Directors Association, Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, Wisconsin Music Educators Association and the Barbershop Harmony Society.
General Music Teacher, Irving Elementary School,
West Allis-West Milwaukee School District
Scott Greger teaches general music at Irving Elementary School in West Allis. This is his 12th year teaching in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District. Prior to that, he taught in Oconomowoc and Janesville. Currently, Scott teaches students from 4 year-old kindergarten through grade 5. Irving Elementary has a diverse group of students and staff that feature a large population of students with special needs. Scott finds this work to be challenging and incredibly rewarding.
Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College and Master of Music from UW-Milwaukee. He is an active member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Waukesha where he sings, plays handbells, and works with high school youth. He currently sings with the Jubilate Chorale to nourish his love for choral music. Married to his wife Sheri for almost 10 years, they delight in their son, Eli, who enjoys everything about being three year old, including singing, dancing, and monster trucks.
Private Voice Teacher
Wendelin Lockett has over 20 years of experience teaching voice and piano privately. Her students have been winners of the Ruth DeYoung Kohler Award, the Washington County Concerto Competition, Exemplary Awards at the WSMA State Solo & Ensemble Festival in voice and piano, as well as winners and finalists in the Wisconsin National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions. She has been a judge for the Hal Leonard Voice Competition and a clinician for vocal masterclasses at numerous Wisconsin high schools. Wendelin also teaches at Concordia University and has been a faculty member at Cardinal Stritch University, Alverno College and Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. She is a current member and past board member of NATS. A native of St. Louis, MO, Wendelin came to Wisconsin in 2001 by way of San Diego, Boston and New York City. While in Boston, she earned a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In 2014, Wendelin received her Level 3 certification of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method at The Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute of Shenandoah University.
As a performer, Wendelin has appeared in operas, musicals and concerts with numerous companies and musical groups throughout the United States. She is comfortable teaching and performing in a variety of styles and is grateful to be able to spend each day sharing her passion for music with her students. She lives happily in Cedarburg with her husband Jeff, and daughter Hannah.
Band Director, Private Teacher and Instrumental Instructor
Kathryn Krubsack is a busy musician and teacher. She is principal horn of the Kenosha Symphony and the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra. She performs in numerous other ensembles around Wisconsin including the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, as well as in local musicals, big bands, chamber ensembles and national touring companies. Kathryn released a CD, “Class A Horn Solos from the WSMA Contest List,” and has premiered/soloed several horn works throughout the United States and at International Horn Society conventions.
Equal to Kathryn’s love of playing the horn is her love of teaching instrumental music. She is the horn instructor at Carroll University, UW-Parkside, Concordia University and Wisconsin Lutheran College. She recently retired from 25 years as a band instructor in Milwaukee’s Lutheran elementary schools where she brought to her students the excitement and the fun of playing a band instrument. Her programs grew and fed into the Martin Luther High School bands directed by her father, David Krubsack. She has also been an organizer and instructor for the Lutheran Band Camp. Her love of instrumental music and the students, as well as her fun-loving approaching to teaching made the camp an enriching summer activity year after year.
Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf, and a Master’s Degree from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Kathryn currently teaches horn and trumpet for band programs in Wauwatosa and Menomonee Falls, and maintains a roster of private horn and trumpet students. Many of her students have won scholarships, performed at Carnegie Hall and been accepted to various top tier music schools. Kathryn continues to be a clinician for brass and jazz festivals, adjudicator for solo and ensemble contests, and member of the International Horn Society, International Trumpet Guild, and Milwaukee Musicians Union.