MSBOA's 2023 Teachers of the Year
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
MSBOA wishes to congratulate our 2023 Teachers of the Year!
2023 Teacher of the Year for Orchestra
Ann Felder earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan where she studied with Nate Gordon, Yizhak Schotten, Bob Culver, and James Froseth.
Ann is the string specialist for Monroe Public Schools where she teaches 6th - 12th grade. The high school orchestra under her direction has earned a first division rating at every festival they have attended, both district and state, during her tenure. Ann also leads two after-school groups, the Frenchtown Fiddlers and the MHS Chamber Strings. In addition to the 37 years Ann has taught at various public, private, and parochial schools, she also had the pleasure of directing ensembles and teaching young string players in community organizations. During her 24 years with Monroe Youth Orchestra and the Arts Centre Orchestra (ARCO), Ann worked with colleagues that included Michael Hopkins, Robin Bloomberg, and John Iatzko.
Ann has served on the executive board of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association at both the district and the state level for several years and is currently serving District 12 as Past-President. In 2021, she presented at the Michigan Music Conference as part of an MSBOA panel put together by the Music Education Committee. As a member of ASTA, she regularly sends students to MASTA camp and even spent a couple years as a camp counselor once upon a time. In addition to teaching and MSBOA duties, she continues to serve as the organist for her church, a position she's held for the past 18 years.
Ann plays violin and viola in various community and musical theater ensembles and occasionally can squeeze in a concert cycle with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra. She and her husband, Mark, had the opportunity to join the South Shore Orchestra of Valparaiso, IN on the China tours of both 2016 and 2018. She looks forward to her upcoming retirement (June 2022) and hopes that she will have the opportunity to explore the joy of playing even more. Ann and Mark have 3 grown children and three grandchildren of whom they are immensely proud.
2023 Teacher of the Year for Band
Rebecca Kilgore is in her 25th year of teaching band, with the past 19 years at East Rockford Middle School. Bands under her direction have consistently received superior ratings at both the MSBOA District and State Band Festivals. Every year since its inception, students from the East Rockford MS band have been selected for the Michigan All State Band, with numerous students sitting in the principal chair. Prior to East Rockford Middle School, she taught in the Kelloggsville and Kalamazoo Public Schools. While at Kelloggsville Public Schools, Ms. Kilgore developed the music program from 19 students in the high school band to over 65 students in just five years.
Ms. Kilgore is an innovative educator, and has helped to provide many opportunities for her students, as well as professional development for her colleagues. At East Rockford MS, she started the 6th Grade Solo Festival, a 7th grade band “live” Broadway theater trip and an annual 8th grade band trip to Chicago. The East Rockford MS Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the Michigan Music Conference in 2013 and 2016. She co-presented a session on Beginning Band at the 2018 MMC with Nichole Bier titled, “Beginners: Better, Faster, Stronger.” In 2020, Ms. Kilgore was on a panel discussion at MMC led by Andrea Mack titled, “Self Care and Flow.” In 2023, Ms. Kilgore and the East Rockford Symphonic Band will present a demonstration clinic titled “After the Notes and Rhythms, NOW WHAT? Concert/Festival Preparation Tips.”
She received her Bachelors of Music from Western Michigan University and her Masters in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music.
Ms. Kilgore was selected as MSBOA District X Band Teacher of the Year for 2022 and 2015. She is an MSBOA Solo and Ensemble District/State Festivals and MSBOA District Band Festival, and is in demand as a clinician throughout Michigan. She was nominated for the Who’s Who Among American Teachers award two times and was nominated for the Strathmore’s Who’s Who Award. In 2022, Rebecca became a member of American School Band Directors Association. She currently serves as MSBOA District X President and has served on the executive board since 2005 as Adjudicator Chair, Secretary, and Medals/Plaques Chairperson.
Rebecca Kilgore serves on the faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, conducting the Bernstein Band the past nine summers. She has also conducted the Middle School Band at the Knollcrest Music Camp at Calvin University the past eight summers. Rebecca has also conducted the MSBOA District 11 Honors Band in November 2018, the MSBOA District 4 Middle School Honors Band in April 2017 and the District X 7th Grade Honors Band in 2016.
Ms. Kilgore lives in Rockford with her two daughters Madison (16) and Elizabeth (12). She enjoys going to the beach, playing dominos/card games, attending Broadway Musicals, occasional tent camping and hanging with friends.