Our local students are lucky to attend schools with amazing educators, so we thought we’d turn the spotlight on some of the friendly and talented teachers in our communities.
For our first Teacher Feature, we chose the brand-new music teacher at Stowe Middle/High School: Grace Chris.
She lives in Berlin with her fiancé, Ben, and Sable, their gray Russian blue cat.
Where did you go to school?
High school: Hartford High, Vermont. College: University of Vermont for undergrad (music ed), and University of Maryland for master’s degree (also music ed).
When/how did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
Since high school.
What’s your favorite kind of music for choruses to sing? How do you choose songs?
Music that is meaningful and has a strong message. I choose songs by getting to know the group and the individuals in it, and I ask for student input.
Do you like to sing outside of school?
Oooooh yeah! Love singing in choirs, solo, and musicals. Favorite shows: “Once on This Island,” “The Secret Garden,” “Hair,” “Titanic,” “West Side Story” — the list could go on and on!
(Editor’s note: Grace has an incredibly beautiful soprano voice; she played Lily Craven in Stowe Theatre Guild’s 2014 production of “The Secret Garden,” and I played her sister, Rose.)
Do you play any instruments?
Clarinet and handbells.
What do you like to do outside school?
Be outdoors, cook/bake, watch movies, be with family and anything with my fiancé, Ben.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to kids (musical or otherwise) for this school year?
Sing with passion, and be yourself.
What’s your favorite season?
What’s a healthy snack you like to enjoy on the go?
Why Stowe? What do you like about it so far?
I love Vermont and the community seemed like the right fit. I love the overwhelming sense of welcome I feel, and I just love the students.
Do you have any favorite inspirational quotes?
“Music is the shorthand of emotion.”
— Leo Tolstoy
“Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.”
— Leonard Bernstein
Have an idea for a local teacher we should feature? Send suggestions to email@example.com.
— Hannah Normandeau