6037 Get (Middle) Schooled: Captivate & Inspire Your Middle School Orchestra Students

Learn from the experts! A highly engaging, diverse group of veteran string educators and composers will share the teaching responsibilities during this energizing week. Topics include creating and building a vibrant middle school orchestra culture in your school, classroom environment, management skills, rehearsal techniques, repertoire selection, new technology for use in the orchestra program, and reading sessions. Get ready for new ideas you can use from day one of the new school year! Bring your instrument and 2-3 orchestra pieces you plan to use this coming year.


Instructors: Carrie Provost, Carrie Lane Gruselle, Kirt Mosier & Tom Culver


Carrie Provost earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Northern Illinois University.  Mrs. Provost is a recently retired member of the string faculty in Wheaton-Warrenville School District 200, teaching at Franklin Middle School and at four feeder elementary schools for thirty years.  She currently serves as the co-director of the recently founded Naperville Youth Symphony Orchestra, and teaches graduate classes in String Pedagogy at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Mrs. Provost was a finalist for the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999, was awarded the Illinois ASTA School Teacher of the year in 2010, and received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the New 200 Foundation for 2011-2012. She was named a Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator from Quinlan & Fabish Music Company in 2016.  She has served on the conducting faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Music Clinic.  Mrs. Provost is a frequent adjudicator at contests, as well as a guest conductor for orchestra festivals. She served on the board of the Illinois Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and is the assistant concertmaster of  the DuPage Symphony Orchestra.  She is married to Bob, a retired orchestra teacher, and they have three daughters and two grandchildren.


Carrie Lane Gruselle is recently retired from teaching strings for the Appleton Area School District in Appleton, Wisconsin. Actively involved with the Wisconsin MEA Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance Project, she is also past president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American String Teachers Association  and former lead teacher for the Lawrence University String Project. She is string editor for FJH Music Company, and co-author of the new FJH Method Book: Measures of Success for Strings. Her arrangements and compositions for young string players are studied and performed regularly worldwide. Ms. Gruselle holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UW-Eau Claire and a Masters of Music Education with Suzuki Emphasis from UW-Stevens Point. 


Kirt Mosier, director of orchestras at Lee’s Summit West High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has also taught orchestration and arranging as an adjunct professor at UMKC Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. Not only is he a sought after composer, but also has twice won national composition awards. In 1993, his original work, “Baltic Dance”, won  the National School Orchestra Association Composition Contest and in 2004, “American Reel”,  won the 2004 Merle J. Isaac national composition contest.

In 2010, the Portland Ballet Company of Portland, Maine, commissioned Mr. Mosier to write an original score to their production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In 2014, Mr Mosier was invited to conduct the National Junior Honors Orchestra in their debut performance at Carnegie Hall.

From 1990 to present, Kirt Mosier has conducted numerous orchestras throughout the United States.  In addition, he has frequently been utilized as a keynote speaker at various conferences and events.

Mr. Mosier is the founding teacher of the Digital Media Technology program at Summit Technology Academy which is housed by the Lee’s Summit R7 School District. In Digital Media Technology students learn studio multitrack recording as well as video editing software and techniques.  Mr. Mosier’s students at Summit Technology have won national recognition.

Mr. Mosier has been the past orchestra vice-president for the state Missouri Music Educators Association  and is currently the president elect of American String Teachers Association for the state of Missouri.

Recently, Mr. Mosier conducted his work RUN! with  the Georgia All-State Orchestra.  Mr. Mosier will be conducting at the University of Wisconsin Strings Camp in June of 2015 and will be presenting workshops at the 2015 Texas Orchestra Directors Association Conference.  Mr. Mosier has also been invited to conduct on the national honors performance series at Carnegie hall twice during the 2016 season.


Tom Culver is director of the orchestras in School District 102, a K-8 district serving portions of LaGrange, LaGrange Park, and Brookfield in Chicago’s western suburbs.  In his 25-year tenure, the string enrollment has increased 400% and now consists of four orchestras and a chamber group.  Mr. Culver also leads the LiveWire ensemble - an electric string group that focuses more on eclectic styles.  

Mr. Culver’s education includes a Bachelor of Music Education from Illinois State University where he studied cello with Ko Iwasaki, and a Masters Degree from VanderCook College of Music.  Aside from studying cello as a teen, Tom honed his skills playing guitar and bass in area rock, blues, and jazz groups.  It is these varied musical experiences that have inspired him to incorporate alternative styles and improvisation into his teaching.

Tom maintains a busy performing schedule as a freelance cellist and bassist.  He performs frequently throughout Chicagoland with his 70’s cover band band 'Strung Out', in which he plays a electric six-string electric cello.


Click to Register for Summer MECA Courses

Course Information

6037 Get Middle Schooled: Captivate & Inspire Your Middle School Orchestra Students
Dates: June 26-30
Graduate Credits: 3
Tuition: $990, due in full with registration
Location: VCM - Room TBD
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Register online by Friday, April 14, and save $50 per class!
Register online by Friday, May 19, and save $25 per class!
Only registrations received and paid in full by 12:00 noon CDT on the dates above (April 10 for $50, May 15 for $25)  are eligible for the discounts. Balances paid after initial registration do not qualify.

VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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