Metro West District ACE Award
Nominated by Julie Kanthak, Eden Prairie High School
Presented by: Chris Larson, Metro East District Chair
I am humbled to be here to speak about Choral Excellence Advocate- Rebecca Waller. We nominated Rebecca to honor her eleven years of service to EPHS Choral Music Program as a piano accompanist extraordinaire. As I prepared for this presentation, I learned that Rebecca has embodied choral excellence and dedicated her WHOLE LIFE to all things music. Now her youngest daughter Sarah, is carrying on this legacy as she begins her fourth year as Albany Area Schools Choral Music Director and Educator.
Rebecca began her choral journey in Centralia Missouri where she sang and played organ for the Methodist Church where her father was the volunteer choir director. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance, with a choral emphasis from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Rebecca’s three children have been highly involved in Angelica Cantati Youth Choirs where she served for six years as a board member-three of which she was board chair. She recently retired as Director of Music and Fine Arts at Crossview Lutheran Church of Edina. For thirty-four years she dedicated herself to directing a strong music and fine arts ministry. SO you see- Rebecca has been a LIFE-LONG Advocate of Choral Music Excellence.
When Sarah came to EPHS as a freshman, eleven years ago, Rebecca the consummate “choir mom” came to US, unsolicited, to offer her support as a piano accompanist. Hundreds and hundreds of rehearsals, concerts, festivals later, Rebecca has exceeded, in fact gone well above and beyond all of our expectations.
From the simplest chordal “boom, chick, chicks” to orchestral reductions, to gospel style to the most challenging, most complex lyrical piece I could hand to her….Rebecca played EVERY piece with grace, beauty and expertise. NO ONE plays a musical line as sensitively as Rebecca. She makes me a better musician. She encourages everyone in her presence to be better musicians. Our students LOVE and appreciate her. They can sense the high expectations she places on herself and on each measure in front of her. Our kids are sincerely excited to rise to the occasion of making beautiful music with Rebecca when she’s in the room.
SO from the bottom of my heart Rebecca, I want to thank you for being an integral partner of the EPHS Choir Team in building and sustaining our kid-centered philosophy of providing rich choral experiences for our students.
Thank you for allowing us to honor you and your life-long ministry of musical excellence and advocacy through action and deed. Thank you for so humbly and generously sharing your God-given talents toward the advancement of the Choral Art form to thousands and thousands of people.
Lastly, to Sarah- We are so PROUD of you!!!! You are the third generation to carry on your family’s tradition of Choral Music Education and Excellence.