Who Is Gabrielle Wibbenmeyer?
December 7, 2016
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Gabrielle Wibbenmeyer took the position as the new choir teacher at West Anchorage High School starting this school year.
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Wibbenmeyer participated in both her high school choir and an after school choir program. Her choir program was very different than that of her high school choir, being more structured and more professional. She said that she wishes her high school program was as caring about music as her after school program. “I was inspired to become a music teacher because first, I couldn’t imagine doing anything in my life except music. And also, I wanted public schools to have the same kind of music experience as my evening paid professional choir was, because they deserve it too,” said Wibbenmeyer.
After high school, Wibbenmeyer moved to Western Kentucky to attend Murray State University, which happens to be the same school that former West choir teacher Katy Green attended. Wibbenmeyer attended for four years and graduated May of 2016. “That’s kind of how this all came to be with this job is she just wanted somebody she could trust and that would take good care of the choir when she left because she cared so deeply for them and she brought them up to a level of musical excellence and she wanted that to continue,” said Wibbenmeyer.
Agnes Larson, a sophomore at West and student of Wibbenmeyer’s mixed choir, said, “Give our new choir teacher a chance since it’s her first year of teaching.” Larson said that she has not learned much yet this year as it is only the first quarter, but she hopes to learn more about choir and choral music in the future. When asked if she would recommend choir to other students, Larson said, “I think everyone should give it a chance … Mixed choir is a very diverse family, I would say, and I’m enjoying it,” said Larson.
Although Wibbenmeyer’s expectations are very high for her students, she said that she believes in a respectful but fun classroom environment. “So if kids give me my time when I’m in front of them teaching, then I’ll always give them their time. I’ll give them a chance to have a moment to talk to a person next to them and just ask them about how their morning was, to really get to know each other and create that family atmosphere,” said Wibbenmeyer.
The next choir concert at West is on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00. West and Romig Middle School will again combine to perform very diverse pieces that people have never heard before along with traditional winter music that most people will definitely recognize.