Nominated, Presented, and Written by: Chad Felton, ACDA-MN Southwest District Chair
Photo l-r: Chad Felton, District Chair; LuAnn Rheingans, recipient
LuAnn Rheingans is from Appleton, MN and is highly involved with music at Lac qui Parle Valley, the school I have taught at for the last 6 years.
LuAnn has been around Lac qui Parle High School since its opening in the ‘90-’91 school year. The school has always had a tradition of piano teachers coming in to teach lessons during the school day and at one time there were 5 private teachers sharing our practice rooms. LuAnn is currently the only one still teaching and now has her own dedicated room.
She has collaborated with the choirs and has guided students in the art of collaboration. As many of you know it can be scary to play piano for your peers. But her students always come prepared, which is a great testament to her teaching. The choirs will ask “Didn’t you say LuAnn was coming today?” Her presence never fails to make the room feel more relaxed and her musicianship brings out the best in us all.
Have you ever had a moment at a rehearsal the week before the concert when you realize you added a piece for the choir, but failed to give a copy to the accompanist? (I’m sure it is only a problem that I have had.) LuAnn’s response in that moment is always… “It’s alright”, while she proceeds to sight read and continue our rehearsal. We all know it’s not alright, but LuAnn is so gracious and kind that she takes on the extra work to make it alright.
LuAnn has played for every LqPV musical since 1996 and has worked with hundreds of solos and ensembles over the years. Her role as vocal and diction coach cannot be understated. She listens to the students, offers suggestions, and then checks in with me to let me know what will make it better. I must also acknowledge her ability to calm nervous students. When emotions run high, sometimes the only response a student can muster is tears. When that happens, LuAnn is there to offer a much needed hug.
I am so pleased to present the 2021 SW MN Advocate for Choral Excellence, to LuAnn Rheingans.