Neuqua Valley High School Choirs
Choirs at Neuqua
(contact director for access code)
People have a unique ability. It is the ability to share the meanings of emotions, the ability to share that which makes us who we are. No other life form can do such a thing. We not only have such an ability, we have a need to share that which makes us who we are. This has given rise to a uniquely human form of transport; we call it art. The art of music affects our emotions in a most direct, powerful, and untranslatable fashion. Music transcends language; it goes beyond the limits of words and can affect us in ways that nothing else in the world can. It allows us to grow.
There exist countless non-musical benefits through membership in choir as well. Attention to discipline, stage presence, manners, self confidence, work-ethic, cooperation, responsibility, and fostering a desire to improve are but a few.
To develop each student's aesthetic potential;
To develop knowledge, understanding, and habits concerning the basic elements of music;
To promote musical literacy by developing skills necessary for music performance;
To promote understanding of the value of choral music as an art;
To satisfy each student's need for self expression;
To develop and foster the desire and the potential to extend and continue music experiences in social and cultural life beyond high school;
To refine each student's discriminative abilities; and
To develop independence and initiative in areas such as solo and small ensemble performance.
NVHS Choral Department Staff
Mr. Jim McCullough has been working in the choral and vocal jazz arena since 1980. Jim helps programs develop both musically and relationally. The success of a program has just as much to do with how the members feel and relate to the director and each other in addition to the technical skills involved. Performers under Jim's direction have received DownBeat awards, performed at numerous ILMEA conventions and have toured internationally. Jim has adjudicated jazz festivals in the US and Canada including the Reno International Jazz Festival, Magee Secondary School, and the UNC Vocal Jazz Festival. He has had the benefit and joy of working with and learning from: Dr. Gene Aitken (University of Northern Colorado), Dave Cross (University of Washington), Frank DeMiero (Sound Music Publications), Ken Kraintz (Everett Public Schools), Kirk Marcy (Edmonds Community College), Phil Mattson and Dr. Steve Zegree (Western Michigan University).
Mr. McCullough is thrilled to be part of the NVHS Choral program, leading WildScats Gold!
Mrs. Anne Kasprzak received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education with highest honors from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1994. While at Saint Mary’s College, she received the top department awards in both Music and Education. Mrs. Kasprzak is also a graduate of VanderCook College of Music with a Master’s Degree in Music Education. Mrs. Kasprzak will be conducting several curricular choirs, directing the Neuqua Valley Chamber Singers, and will be working as part of the team that directs the musical this year. Prior to working with students at Neuqua, Mrs. Kasprzak was the choral director at Crone Middle School for seven years. During that time, she directed a choral program of over 350 kids in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. While at Crone, she also directed the Honor Chorus, the school musicals, and she took numerous students to solo and ensemble festivals each year. Mrs. Kasprzak has also taught elementary vocal music in District 204. During her time as a teacher in District 204, she has been named a “Most Influential Teacher” by the Indian Prairie Education Foundation on several occasions. Mrs. Kasprzak is a member of the artistic staff for the Young Naperville Singers where she directs the Cantabile Singers. She also served as guest conductor for the Elgin Children’s Chorus in 2008. She has been a member of the New Classic Singers at the College of DuPage and serves as a piano accompanist at Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Naperville , Illinois . She is also an active soloist at churches in the Chicagoland area. Outside of her musical endeavors, Mrs. Kasprzak dedicates all of her time to her husband and their three young children.
630.428.6000 ~ ext. 4819
Mr. J. Ryan Rimington is a National Board Certified Teacher, conducts curricular choirs, teaches Introduction & Advanced Placement Music Theory, directs the WildScats Blue vocal jazz ensemble, leads the World Voices multi-cultural and student acapella ensembles, facilitates the music technology computer lab, and serves as co-Auditorium Manager. As an educator in the Indian Prairie School District, multiple students have recognized Mr. Rimington as their “Most Influential Educator.” While earning Bachelors and two Masters Degrees from the University of Illinois School of Music and College of Education, Mr. Rimington was honored as the Most Outstanding Student in Music Education and recognized with highest academic honors by being named onto the Bronze Tablet. In 1999, he earned 2nd place in the American Choral Director’s Association National Conducting Competition. Mr. Rimington is also a published composer and arranger of several choral works, and frequently receives commissions and conducting invitations from midwestern choral ensembles and festivals. Outside of his musical endeavors, Mr. Rimington dedicates his time to his beautiful wife and four children while hopping around on golf courses (in the fairways, of course) and rooting on the Chicago Cubs!
630.428.6000 ext. 4820
Mr. Reid Spears received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Indiana University, and has had the privilege of working as a full-time professional musician ever since. He spent many years performing on the cruise ships at Navy Pier, including a long tenure on the Spirit of Chicago (1992-2001), where, in addition to performing, he also functioned at times as bandleader and assistant music director, and then later on the Odyssey (2001-2008). Since 1996, he has led his own band, Inside Out, which performs for private parties, corporate events, and country club functions, and now also leads Billy Elton, a show celebrating the music of Billy Joel and Elton John. He has also been the pianist with the Chicago Skyliners Big Band since 1998, and performs several concerts with them every summer at parks and festivals throughout the Chicagoland area, as well as many other performances throughout the year. He appeared with the Skyliners in an episode of the CBS television show, "Early Edition". Over the course of his career, he has had the honor of performing with many well-known artists, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members The Drifters, Peter Frampton, and members of Earth, Wind & Fire, The Dells, and the Phil Collins and Barry Manilow touring bands. He spent some time performing in the contemporary Christian music industry, releasing his own CD entitled "A Vision in Mind" in 1996. He has also worked frequently as an accompanist, including auditions for the Broadway and touring productions of The Lion King and Aida. In 2001, he became a permanent accompanist with the Elgin Children’s Chorus, as well as the choral department of Neuqua Valley, while continuing his extensive performing schedule with his own and several other Chicagoland bands. He loves spending his spare time with his wonderful wife, Stacey, and their daughter, Jaidyn, as well as cheering on his favorite teams, the Cubs and the Blackhawks.
630.428.6000 ~ ext. 4821