Valerie Lippoldt Mack, music chair and dance instructor at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas has gained experience and recognition as a music educator and professional choreographer throughout the United States. Her choreography has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Disney World, national ACDA conventions and MENC workshops, the Miss America pageant and various national showchoir competitions and festivals around the country. In 2010, the Butler Headliners were one of four finalists in NBC’s TODAY’s “Show Choir Showdown” and performed for more than 8.5 million viewers. A noted clinician, adjudicator and director, she has presented and adjudicated more than 500 workshops and festivals. She and her husband Tom, direct the annual Butler Showchoir Showcase each summer in El Dorado, Kansas.
Her best-selling books, IceBreakers: 60 Fun Activities to Build a Better Choir and IceBreakers 2 from Shawnee Press includes favorite team–building activities and fun games as well as encourage students to be positive, focus–minded musicians. Valerie and Todd Schreiber co–authored Olympic Games for the Music Classroom, also through Shawnee Press. Valerie’s newest resource book, Putting the SHOW in Choir! is now available and is a great source for teachers, choreographers, administrators and even parents. This how to book covers every aspect of staging a choir to auditioning, hiring a choreographer to dancing with style, recruiting males to dealing with stage moms.
At Butler Community College, Valerie directs the 120–voice Butler Concert Choir, the Butler Headliners Showchoir, the Smorgaschords Barbershop Quartet, and teaches tap dance, choreography and private voice. The Smorgaschord barbershop quartet has continuously placed in the International Collegiate Barbershop Competition. Valerie was honored as the Butler Master Teacher, has delivered commencement addresses, and is in demand as a motivational speaker for numerous events.
In her spare time, Valerie teaches at the Kansas Dance Academy, directs the Risen Savior Lutheran Church Choir, is on the board of directors for Music Theatre of Wichita, is a talent coach for the Miss America program, does regional commercial and TV work, and is involved with family activities. Valerie and Tom reside in Wichita, Kansas with their two children, Stevie and Zane.
Matthew Udland holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma City University in Music Theater and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After having performed all across the U.S. in multiple regional and national tour productions, he continues to music direct and perform as a featured soloist in concerts and theater events. In the choral music scene, he is an active member and presenter at ACDA and MENC conventions. His professional choral experience includes clinician work as well as travel with the Kansas City Collegium Vocal, a regular featured ensemble at the Piccolo Spoleto festival. As an advocate for purposeful integration of technology into the core curriculum and performance based classroom he continues to research how technology can be used to enhance content and connect students, faculty, and other schools through modern web-based equipment.
At Butler, Mr. Udland rehearses the 120 voice Concert Choir and the Butler Men, teaches Music Appreciation and voice lessons, and works with the theater department as music director for musical productions.
Ron Garber, instructor in music at Butler County Community College, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethel College and Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Wichita State University. He has done postgraduate work at the Universities of Oregon and Colorado.
Garber is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Kansas Music Educators Association. At Butler Community College, Garber teaches Music Appreciation, Applied and Class Voice, and directs the Chamber Singers.
From 1997 to 2006 Garber was the director of the Kansas Mennonite Men's Chorus; in 2003 Garber became the musical director/conductor of the Newton Chorale, based in N. Newton Kansas.
His academic honors include being accepted by audition as a student conductor in the University of Oregon's Summer Festival under the direction of Helmuth Rilling from Stuttgart, Germany, in the study of Bach cantatas. Garber has returned to Oregon for three additional summers to sing in the Festival Chorus.
In the summer of 1989, he was the guest tenor in residence for the Breckenridge Music Institute in Breckenridge, Colo. In addition he has performed as tenor soloist with the Arvada Chamber Orchestra, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, Wichita State University Chorus and Orchestra, Wichita Symphony; the Bethel College, Wichita State University and University of Colorado Opera Theaters, and most recently, the Wichita Chamber Chorale.
Garber has performed as tenor soloist in the performances of Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Creation, Haydn's Harmony Mass, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Bach's Magnificat, Bach's St. Matthew and St. John Passion, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Dvorak's Requiem Mass, Monteverdi's Magnificat of 1610, Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil, and Dave Brubeck's Gates of Justice.
Joel Knudsen has been an instructor of music at BCC since 1998. He teaches First Year Music Theory and Applied Piano, along with other music courses. Mr. Knudsen (aka Mr. K) leads a five-piece combo that accompanies the Headliners, and he also accompanies Chamber Singers, Concert Choir and Jazz Band. In addition, Mr. Knudsen has been the pianist for the Wichita Symphony since 1984, and maintains an active private studio of piano students.
His wife Lori is very supportive of the BCC music program, and Mr. Knudsen is the proud father of three boys who are musician's, and the proud grandfather of three awesome grandchildren. "I am at Butler Community College to do my part in making it the best music department it can possibly be. I love working with our students; watching them grow as people and as musicians. At the same time I am grateful for the growth in my own musicianship over the years I have taught at BCC. This is a direct result of working alongside of, and learning from, my wonderful colleagues and our talented students."
Adjunct Vocal Instructor
Nancy Wesche joined the faculty in the fall of 2005, bringing 32 years of experience to Butler. Her experience includes private studio work, choral, instrumental and church music, as well as work in the areas of curriculum and assessment. Her duties at Butler include the Butler Ladies, the Noteables, and private vocal studio work.
Mr. Scherling is a graduate of Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in Music. He has also done post graduate work at Kansas State University, Ft. Hays St. University and Wichita State University. He taught high school music and English at Buhler High School for 28 years, was staff accompanist for Southwestern College in Winfield and a member of the accompanists’ group at Wichita State University. He has done extensive musical theater work in the Wichita area including Music Theater for Young People, Cabaret, Horsefeathers and Applesauce and Wellington Community Theater. He has taught at BCC for 10 years, including Music Appreciation, Applied and Class Piano. He is also combo director for Butler Ladies and accompanist for the Fall musical.
Adjunct Faculty Voice Instructor
She has performed in both the National Touring and Broadway Companies of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and the concert version of JERRY SPRINGER:THE OPERA at Carnegie Hall. Katie has performed off broadway and in benefits around the country and Canada. Locally, she has performed with Music Theatre of Wichita and this December was thrilled to be a soloist with the Butler Concert Choir and the Wichita Symphony. Katie is now the director of drama at the El Dorado High School, she teaches private lessons and is a proud mom to her dramatic 2-year old.
Heidi Surber Teichgraeber graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in Music Education, with an emphasis in voice. Heidi has been a vocal music teacher in both public and private schools teaching grades 2-12. Heidi has worked with individual students for many years including private voice lessons, preparation for auditions, community work in 4-H with drama and music, community vocal performances, directing church children, youth and adult choirs, community Christian youth musicals and have been a soloist in the state of Kansas and Texas for different venues through the years. While teaching in the public schools she directed show choirs as well as large and small ensembles, was the musical director for our all school musicals, and worked with many, many students privately.
She is a member of KMEA, MENC, Kansas Arts Foundation, and the Kansas State University Choir Advisory Council.