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JESSICA BERG - K-6 General Music and 5th and 6th Grade Chorus at Virginia Run Elementary School in Centreville, Virginia

Graduated from AHS: 2008

AHS Choirs:

Patriot Singers, Women's Ensemble, and Show Choir


George Mason University, Bachelor of Arts in History and Bachelor of Music in Music Education. 2013

The University of Virginia, Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Gifted Education, 2015

The University of Arizona, Master of Music in Choral Conducting, 2018

Jessica Berg has taught for the last five years in Virginia and in Arizona. She taught General Music and Chorus in Loudoun County for three years before moving to Arizona to teach for a year in Phoenix. While at the University of Arizona Jessica was one of six graduate students awarded the New York Research Grant funded by Daveen Fox Endowed Chair for Music Studies. The research conducted on this grant led to her first conference presentation for the Rocky Mountain Music Scholars Conference in March of 2018. Jessica presented her research paper "Challenging Bernstein’s Impact on the Perception of Mahler’s Music in America from 1911 to 1968". After completing her M.M. in Choral Conducting Jessica moved back to Virginia and is currently teaching General Music and Chorus in Fairfax County. Jessica is currently the Children's Choir Director at Franconia United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Va. Jessica is a sister of the Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity for women, and the Gamma Phi Beta social sorority.

DR. RACHEL GRIMSBY - Assistant Professor of Music Education at Illinois State University

Graduated from AHS: 1998

AHS Choirs: Select Ensemble. Women's Ensemble, Patriot Singers, Vocal Ascension

College: East Carolina University, Bachelors of Music Ed. 2002/ University of Hartford's The Hartt School of Music, Masters of Music Ed. 2010/ Michigan State University, Doctor of Philosophy in Music Ed. 2020.

Rachel is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Illinois State University. Rachel has over fifteen years of experience teaching elementary general music. Her research interests include the professional development and collaborative needs of 

inservice teachers and paraprofessionals, course work for undergraduates and graduate students in teaching music to students with disabilities, music and language acquisition in students with disabilities, and how music may benefit those with language delays. Rachel is the co-author of two publications; First Steps in Music with Orff Schulwerk, andFeierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosophy, and Practice, and also has been published in the Orff Echo and the Journal of Music Teacher Education. Rachel is fully certified in Feierabend, Kodály, Orff, and holds GIML Elementary I and II certificates. She also is a teacher trainer for both First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege Level 1 and 2. Rachel is a member of AERA, AOSA, GIML, OAKE, NAfME, ECMMA and is a founding member of FAME. She lives with her husband and two children in Bloomington, Illinois.

MELISSA HANSEN - Music Educator

Graduated from AHS: 2001

AHS Choirs: Patriot Singers, Womens' Ensemble

College: Shenandoah University, Bachelor of Music in Music Education 2005, Master of Music in Church Music 2007

Melissa has taught music in Greene County, VA since 2007. She has taught pre-K-2nd grade general music, high school chorus, as well as middle school drama. She is currently teaching middle school chorus and piano at William Monroe Middle School. Melissa currently leads a praise and worship band at Spring Hill Baptist Church in Ruckersville, VA.      

PEYTON JAMES - Professional Actor

Graduated from AHS: 2012

AHS Choirs: Ladies First, Patriot Singers, Take Note!, and No Fella A Cappella (founding member)

College: BFA Musical Theater- The Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Peyton has worked for Disney Cruise Line, performing throughout Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean as Rapunzel in Tangled the Musical and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Other credits include Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes and Ensemble/Eliza US in My Fair Lady.

She lives in New York City with her partner.

LOTTYE LOCKHART - Communications at the Society of Interventional Radiology

Graduated from AHS: 2013

AHS Choirs: 2009-2013 :Ladies First Showchoir Ladies Jazz: 2011-2013 Patriot Choir: 2012-2013

College: George Mason University (once a patriot, always a patriot) BA in Communication

Lottye Lockhart loves telling stories. She has been a multimedia journalist, producer, and anchor at NBC 29, a White House intern during the Obama administration, and a contestant in Miss Virginia 2014. When she isn't working her day job, she loves to sing, dance, and play piano and guitar. Favorite choir memory: music skipping at our big competition, show choir starting over and pulling off a never rehearsed a cappella performance! Best advice to students: try everything you can, and if you don't see an opportunity; make one!

MICHAEL SAKELL - Choral Director at Chula Vista High School for Creative and Performing Arts, singing with two San Diego Professional Choirs- Sacra/Profana and Bach Collegium San Diego, as well as section leader at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego.

Graduated from AHS: 2008

AHS Choirs: Men's Choir, Minutemen (founding member), Patriot Singers, Show Choir

College: Men's Choir, Minutemen, Patriot Singers, Show Choir

Michael Sakell (Choir Director) has a bachelor’s degree in music education (with voice as a concentration) from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Before moving to California, Mr. Sakell spent four years teaching choral music at Dixon-Smith Middle School in Stafford, VA. During his time in San Diego he has served as an artistic director for the San Diego Children’s 

Choir as well as staff singer at St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego. Currently Mr. Sakell is serving as a choir director at Chula Vista High School, School for the Creative and Performing Arts. He directs 5 different choirs (about 290 students) at CVHS including the Main Attraction (show choir), New Renaissance (chamber choir), and Silhouettes (advanced women's) ensembles. Mr. Sakell performs professionally with Bach Collegium San Diego and Sacra/Profana. He has performed, pit directed, and vocally directed many music theater productions including the SCPA's production of Mary Poppins and Once Upon a Mattress and VAPA's productions of "The Addams Family" and "Shrek".

LINZE STRUIKSMA - Theater director/director at Alta Vista High School in Utah; Writer and performer for shows in Salt Lake City

Graduated from AHS: 2004

AHS Choirs: PATS, Jazz Ensemble, and Show Choir

College: BYU in Theatre Studies (emphasis in makeup and costume) with a minor in English and a second minor in Dance; Masters at Westminster College in SLC in Teaching and Education, 

LINDSAY TAYLOR - Music Therapist (MT-BC)

Graduated from AHS: 2010

AHS Choirs: Patriots, Women’s choir, No Fella Acapella (founding member), All That Jazz

College: Queens University of Charlotte, Bachelors of Music Therapy; minor in Psychology; member of the Queens Chorale and the Queens Chamber Choir

Lindsay owns her own music therapy practice called The Music in Me, LLC which provides board certified music therapy services to the Charlottesville and Richmond areas, as well private music lessons and consultation services. She is a certified developmental services provider for early intervention. She is an employee for Easterseals UCP as developmental services provider, and she works with children birth-three years old