Kurt Cereske is an adjunct professor of elementary music education at Wayland Baptist University and is the Assistant Choir Director at Lubbock High School in Lubbock, Texas. He also teaches pedagogy in the Kodály Association of Southern California Music Education Institute, the Portland State University Kodály Certification Workshop, and the West Texas Kodály Initiative. He is the Kodály Studies Director and Associate Conductor for the National Children’s Chorus (Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington D.C.) and is an Associate Conductor and Musicianship instructor for the West Texas Children’s Chorus. Kurt has given professional presentations at both regional and national conferences and for music educator workshops across the country, as well as conducting honor choirs across the nation at the regional, state, and national level.
He is an experienced music educator, specializing in early childhood and elementary music education, children’s choral music, Kodály pedagogy and musicianship training. Kurt earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Dr. Martin Luther College and a Master of Music Education from Michigan State University. Mr. Cereske is in his final stages of the PhD. program in Fine Arts, Music Education, at Texas Tech University.
Gretchen Harrison is in her 30th year of teaching choral music. After teaching in Blue Valley for 15 years, she is currently the choir director at Frontier Middle School in the Olathe KS school district. The choirs at FTMS routinely earn highest ratings at contests and festivals. Two of her choirs performed at the 2017 KMEA In-Service and Workshop, in Wichita, KS. Harrison has been part of the artistic staff of Allegro Choirs of Kansas City since 2005. She directs one of the choirs in that program (Vivo) and assists with two additional choirs (Moto and Brio). Harrison earned a Bachelors’ in Music Education from Wichita State University and a Masters’ in Music Education from University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has completed her Level III endorsement in CME (Choral Music Experience). After serving in various district and state-level leadership position, she is the past National Chairperson for Junior High and Middle School Repertoire and Standards for American Choral Directors Association and is currently the National ACDA Repertoire and Resources Chairperson for Youth Services. She was recognized in 2003, 2009, 2015 and 2016 as “Outstanding Middle Level Choral Educator” for Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association. The Olathe Education Foundation honored her in 2015 with their “Outstanding Educator” designation. Harrison also enjoys serving the profession as a guest presenter and clinician and has served in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, North Carolina State Treble Honor Choir and will direct the Georgia All-State 6th Grade choir this year. Harrison is on staff with VanderCook University (Chicago) as MS Choral Music Teacher. Harrison is active in ACDA, KCDA and NAfME and KMEA. Her musical family includes band director (retired) Kim Harrison and two children, Kellyn, a first-year middle school choral music educator, and Cole, a 5th semester senior in Music Technology and Spanish at Fort Hays State University.