Jarrett Schill has been a music teacher in School District 73 for 18 years!
Music is one of his greatest passions; he can’t imagine going to work and not having music as part of his daily routine.
His teaching assignment currently involves teaching all music courses, which include several choirs, bands, and a course for exceptional learners where they cover world drumming, ukulele, karaoke and other fun engaging musical activities.
On top of this busy schedule, he helps students with their fundraising events for annual music trips, and organizes many local opportunities for his students to perform at.
He spends time performing with several notable ensembles in Kamloops, namely the chamber choir ‘Vivace Chorale‘, under the direction of the KSO concertmaster, Cveotzar Vutev. At times he has played with the KSO in pieces scored with saxophone, and has accompanied other local choirs on his instrument.
This summer, in addition to teaching at KISSM, he also played in and directed the pit band in KISSM’s senior musical production of “Grease!”
I had questions to ask Jarrett. Firstly, I needed to know what drives him to work so hard?!
“I’m driven to teach because I love to see ‘Shining Faces’. These are faces that are engaged and loving music. Shining faces is a term I like to use to explain the look on a student’s face when they have found complete understanding, ownership and joy in a piece of music.
I also enjoy seeing students have their first aesthetic experiences through the repertoire we are working on.”
What are your biggest challenges in your day?
“Some of my biggest challenges are making sure that all students have the opportunity to participate in the extremely valuable music spring trips we go on, regardless of their financial situation, and this takes a lot of time.
In addition, maintaining and repairing our district’s very aged instrument fleet. I spend inordinate amounts of time fixing instruments so that a student does not have to be without their instrument for a month while it has been shipped off to Kelowna or Vancouver for repair. Sadly, we no longer have a repair person here in Kamloops.
What musical projects and activities do your students participate in?
“My students are/have been part of the following ensembles: Kamloops Thompson Honour Choir (gr. 5-7), SD73 Honour Choir (gr. 8-12), SD73 Honour Band, BC Music Educator’s Association Provincial Honour Choir and/or Band, Thompson Valley Orchestra, Kamloops Community Band, and Vivace Chorale and the Kamloops Festival of the Performing Arts.
Three years ago 10 of my singers were elated to perform with Johnny Reid when he was in Kamloops for a concert at the Sandman Centre!
My choral students also sing O’ Canada annually at the Blazer’s Teddy Bear Toss home game! In addition, we perform at various seniors homes on the North Shore.”
Jarrett’s Intermediate and Advanced band combine to perform as a marching band of joy in the annual Santa Claus Parade!
I asked him, what about your own musical career aside from teaching? I see a saxophone in your picture?
“My principal instrument is the saxophone, and I started playing it when I was 10-years-old. I started piano when I was seven, but then quit! Yah…perhaps a big mistake for a music teacher, but it allowed me time to begin focussing on my favourite instrument in the world.
I continued studying saxophone privately until I was finished my Bachelor of Music at the University of Victoria. I also learned to play the trumpet in beginner band, and still play it to this day when I teach band on a daily basis, the same trumpet in fact.
I began singing as a child at church, continued on with high school chorale ensembles and also sang in chamber groups and choirs at UVic.”
On a final note, I see your wife Kerri is running for a seat as a school trustee. How do you support each other in your demanding roles within the community and school district?
“Kerri is super supportive….I swear she wins the award for husband-away most evenings of the week for rehearsal, meetings etc. She is always at my concerts, and loves seeing kids get the same amazing experiences that she received in her SD73 music program in Logan Lake.
She especially enjoys seeing the progress students make between their December and June concerts, and loves watching student’s skills improve over their three year span as part of the Brock Middle music program.
Kerri has an enormous commitment to public education, and believes strongly in the equal importance of the arts and sports in our school district. Over the years Kerri has supported our children in many of their school related activities.
Whether it be through fundraising with the PAC, attending School Board meetings, Parent Teacher Interviews, standing on the front-line with teachers, supporting programs like Encounters With Canada and other programs that help build strong, confident young minds. She is always supporting my student’s trips and fundraising endeavours and has taken an active role over the years.”
Jarrett and their children feel it is now their turn to support Kerri in her plans to advocate for positive change, as she runs for School Trustee for the SD73 Board of Education. Jarrett knows that without question, Kerri’s commitment and passion for supporting him and their children will translate into an enormous degree of hard work and dedication as a school trustee, working for our district’s students.
Jarrett and Kerri Schill