Musical Mondays: RAYNA BROOKS

Rayna Brooks – LHS 💜💛

Background – I grew up in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. I was in choir, band, and theater throughout school. I went to Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music for Music Education and Vocal Performance and graduated with two Bachelor’s Degrees. I’m currently working on my Masters in Music Education at Case Western Reserve University.

First music memory – I remember being called down to the music room in 4th grade where my teacher told me I had been selected to sing in an honor choir with kids from other schools. I remember being so proud and excited, even after it ended, I played the CD of that concert so many times that I can still sing a lot of the songs 20 years later.

Hobby – I love reading and spending time with my family, friends, and cat, Lloyd! I also sing and perform with Quire Cleveland and Cleveland Chamber Choir whenever I can fit it into my schedule, and I sing every week at a church downtown.

Favorite thing about teaching music – I know it’s a cliche answer, but the students really make it worthwhile. My favorite part of teaching music is watching students grow musically over their years in the program and take ownership of their learning. Their dedication and care for what they create is inspiring. They’re such great musicians, but also great people; I enjoy learning from them and about them, and getting to be a little part of their high school experience.

What is special about music in Lakewood? – The support from the community and from alumni for the choirs at Lakewood is so special. There’s such a long history of love for choral music and all the performing arts embedded into the history of Lakewood City Schools and you can tell the current students take pride in that. I love the alumni portion of our concerts so much because you can see how far back the passion and pride for music goes! It’s a legacy I’m honored and privileged to be a part of alongside my students and colleagues.

(Editor’s note: I don’t even have a kid in Choir, but when I see the alumni sing at concerts, someone is definitely chopping onions in the Civic. It is beautiful.)

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