Emerick Dee is in his 20th year of teaching and ninth year as choir teacher at Traverse City West Middle School. Mr. Dee is the lead choir teacher at WMS where he is responsible for the 6th-8th Grade Choirs as well as the Madrigal Singers, totaling nearly 300 students!
Mr. Dee formerly taught at Roscommon HS & MS and Morley Stanwood Community Schools after graduating from Central Michigan University in 2003. His involvement in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association is extensive and his students consistently receive top ratings and high commendation from MSVMA adjudicators. His 8th Grade Treble Choir was chosen to perform at Choral Hour as part of the Michigan Music Conference in 2019. He directed the 7-8-9 TTB State Honors Choir in 2016. He accompanied numerous State Honors Choirs from 2009 through 2020. He serves the MSVMA members frequently as an adjudicator and clinician/consultant. He regularly presents sessions at the MSVMA Summer Conference and the Michigan Music Conference. He has served on the Full Board of MSVMA as a District Manager and as a Supervisor for State Choral Festival. He is a contributing content provider for Musician's Toolkit, an online music education resource for teachers and students. He enjoys giving private piano, guitar, and voice lessons and serving on his church's worship team. Emerick loves spending time with his wife, Janelle, and four children (Piper, David, William and Georgiana).
Olivia Donahue is student teaching at WMS in the mornings (1st & 3rd Hour 6th Grade Choir, 6th Grade Exploration of Music, and 8th Grade Treble Choir) and music with Mrs. Brazee at Willow Hill Elementary School in the afternoons. She is graduating from the University of Michigan this December and we're thrilled to have her on our team this semester!
Angela Wiliford is in her 14th year of teaching music at TCAPS. We are thrilled to have Mrs. Wiliford joining the WMS Choirs for her second year where she is co-teaching the 7th Grade Treble Choir of over 70 students! She is an elementary music specialist at Long Lake and will also be co-directing the All City Choir. Mrs. Wiliford holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan, Teacher Certification from Grand Valley State University and an M.A. in School Counseling from Western Michigan University. Prior to coming to TCAPS, Mrs. Wiliford taught Middle and High School Choir at Adrian Public Schools and Comstock Park Public Schools where her ensembles consistently received top ratings. She loves living in Traverse City with her husband, Matt, and her children, Grant and Bella.
Erich Wangeman is a veteran teacher with extensive success! He is entering his twelfth year with the Traverse City West Senior High School Choirs. He also formerly taught for ten years at West Middle School.
Mr. Wangeman received his B.A. in Music Education and M.A. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University. Since he began teaching, choirs under Mr. Wangeman’s direction have received highest honors at national and international festivals. His choirs consistently perform in Michigan’s most prestigious performance venues, representing the finest in high school choral singing. Choirs under his direction were selected from a nation-wide audition to receive the prestigious Weill Institute Grant from Carnegie Hall. Choirs from his former high school program were also featured at regional and national conventions of the American Choral Director’s Association. Mr. Wangeman has served on the board of directors for ACDA Michigan and as president of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association. He is a nationally recognized choral clinician and the subject of the book, “Swagger, Gentlemanliness, and Brotherhood: Explorations of Lived Experiences In a High School Men’s Chorus. Mr. Wangeman travels throughout the United States to lecture about the developing male voice and building men’s choruses. He currently resides in Traverse City, Michigan with his wife and daughter where he is a proud Traverse City West Titan!
Wendee Wolf-Schlarf received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Albion College and Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University. This is her thirty-sixth year of teaching for Traverse City Area Public Schools where she conducts a select women’s ensemble, Vocal Majority, at Central High School and three women’s choirs at West Senior High School. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she also serves the district as the K-12 Music Department Coordinator.
Mrs. Wolf-Schlarf has had the privilege to conduct the MSVMA SA and SSA Honors Choirs at Midwestern Music Conferences and the 2016 SSAA Honors Choir at the Michigan Music Conference. Her select women’s ensemble has been selected to perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. She is an active member of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association where she serves as a festival adjudicator and has extensively been involved with planning the Michigan Music Conference – An In-Service for Music Educators and the Choral Student Leadership Conference. She was named the 2005 MSVMA Teacher of the Year and the 2013 Music Educator of the Year for the Michigan Music Education Association.
She is married to Russ Schlarf and they have two sons, Stuart and Sawyer. She is very fortunate to call Traverse City her home.
Stephanie Schall-Brazee is an elementary general music teacher for the Traverse City Area Public Schools where she also directs the select Women’s Choir, Bella Voce. As a choral director, Stephanie’s choirs have consistently earned first degree ratings at festivals and have been invited to sing at the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to her public school teaching, Stephanie is on the faculty of the Northwest Michigan College Children’s Choirs where she directs the Intermezzo Choir.
Stephanie’s training includes a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Central Michigan University, and a Master of Music Education from The Hartt School, where she was a graduate assistant to Dr. John Feierabend, a leading expert in early childhood music.
As an endorsed Teacher Trainer for First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege, Stephanie has presented courses and sessions on “Singing Development in Young Children”, “First Steps in Music”, “Music and Movement in Preschool” and “Conversational Solfege“. Recently, Stephanie co-authored a chapter in the newly GIA published textbook, Feierabend Fundamentals.
In 2018, Stephanie was selected as an Outstanding Educator by the Traverse City Area ISD. She has served two terms on the board for the Feierabend Association for Music Education (FAME) and is still actively involved in this important association.
Enjoying her work teaching children, adolescents and adults, Stephanie is also on the summer faculty of the Lakeland University Kodaly Certification program (formerly Silver Lake College of the Holy Family) where she teaches Level 1 Pedagogy.
Stephanie loves teaching and living in Traverse City with her husband, Curt and their daughter, Katie.
David Husser is the collaborative pianist for the Traverse City West Senior High School choral program. He also accompanies the Northwestern Michigan College Children’s Choirs, NMC Canticum Novum, and many other ensembles and soloists in the Traverse City area. He maintains a large private teaching studio and teaches group and applied piano lessons at NMC and Interlochen Arts Camp.
Mr. Husser’s compositions have been performed by pianists and choral ensembles in multiple states. His articles have been published by American Music Teacher, and he has served as a presenter and panelist at a variety of national conferences. Mr. Husser holds a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois.
Check out this wonderful video highlighting the quality educators and students of the West Choirs with former superintendent, Mr. Paul Soma!
Also, check out this wonderful video featuring Mr. Wangeman!
Here's another video featuring three TC West Choir Teachers, Mr. Dee, Mr. Wangeman, and Mrs. Wolf-Schlarf. It focuses on the opportunity for three of their choirs to perform at the 2019 Michigan Music Conference and speaks to the wonderful tradition of choral excellence at the Traverse City West schools!
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