New Teachers for Choir

New+Teachers+for+Choir

Laron Van Allen-Gilbert

Talise Chandler and Shauna Keene are our new Choir teachers this year. Both teachers have an extraordinary commitment to teaching and want to return to in-person instruction after 2 years of online learning. Keene is teaching at both Southern Hills and Fairview, with her teaching Voices of the Night and Festival choir. Chandler teaches Age of Guinevere, Enchantment, Troubadours, Festival, and Excalibur.

 

Chandler grew up in Colorado and graduated from Fairview, while Keene moved to the state in 1999. They both began teaching in the state after their moves. “I started teaching in 2010,” said Keene, with Chandler having taught at BVSD since 1997. Both took a break from teaching to raise their kids but then began teaching again at various schools throughout BVSD. Now the dynamic duo has arrived here at Fairview.

 

“Our goal is to keep the choir program going with its tradition of excellence” stated Keene. “COVID was difficult for the performing arts.” “One of my goals is to make choirs approachable for everyone, and super fun,” said Keene. Chandler’s goals are very similar, with her wanting the choirs at Fairview to be top-notch.“Choir program[s have] inspired my life and put me on the path of becoming a teacher, I’ve always wanted to give back that experience” said Keene.

 

Both Chandler and Keene have a deep connection to music. “Mr. Xavier, Mr. Keller, here at Fairview, my choir teachers, I just was so inspired by them. And I love that they taught us so much about music and singing, but also about teamwork and so, so many life lessons” said Chandler. Keene was likewise inspired by performance. “My grandpa was a music teacher in Los Angeles for over 40 years. And so he really showed me that you could be… “He was just so dedicated. He worked and then went to rehearsals every day of his life… and so he just showed me that you can do what you love, you can be a great teacher and you can give back to your community all at the same time.” 

 

“I think choir is a community. It’s like a sports team. It’s individuals singing, but everyone has a job. Everyone can contribute, whether they have a strong voice or not, whether they have a strong personality or not. There’s a place for everyone in choir” said Keene. Chandler added “Choir is special because of the sum of the parts. It’s greater than any individual brings to it. There’s this really palpable emotional connection to the music that we form and it draws us together and really, it touches us emotionally at levels that are hard to reach in other ways.”

 

We’ve been hearing nothing but good things about Chandler and Keene.  “I’m a big fan of them, they’ve hit the ground running” said Gunnar Neufeld a senior. Wes Ruder, a freshman, mentioned ”An aura of openness and authenticity” Rachel Brenin, a senior, had this to say.“They’re both very sweet and very genuine people…“ I like how different they are, we have one very bubbly…and then one who is more wrraa get down to business.”

 

Both Chandler and Keene love the outdoors. Chandler likes to work out, with some of her favorite exercises being strength training and yoga. She also enjoys watching films. ”My favorite animated movie is The Emperor’s New Groove.”  Keene is enjoying a show on Netflix called The Chef’s Table. Both spend plenty of time with their families.

 

Ushering in a new era of the choir department, Chandler and Keene have a difficult job ahead of them. All we can hope for is that this year will be a blast for the choir!