By Jeff Iverson
Photo: Jeff Iverson (nominator), Vicky Harris (recipient), Kerry Johnson (district chair)
Although Vicky Harris has accompanied my students over the past four years in which I’ve worked in the Glencoe-Silver Lake school district, she started accompanying band and choir students in the district over 25 years ago. Upon her retirement, she began accompanying the high school choirs for several concerts and contests while stepping in during those much-needed solo and ensemble events.
As a faithful member of Christ Lutheran Church in Glencoe, Vicky enjoys singing in the church choir, and during the past year has stepped in as interim director while the church searches for a new one (if you live in the Glencoe area and are looking for a church choir job, see Vicky!).
We are very lucky to have Vicky as a strong advocate for choral music in the Glencoe community, although my first meeting with her wasn’t music-related. I first met Vicky about 20 years ago during my first year teaching as a new knowledge bowl coach at Yellow Medicine East High School. When my team made it to State, I had no idea what I was doing. Vicky was more than willing to help out, answer questions, and be of assistance. I still experience this generous, kind-hearted nature with her today as she accompanies GSL students as well as volunteers at knowledge bowl practices.
As choir directors, how lucky we are to have accompanists like Vicky – retired individuals that have put in their time during their careers but are still willing to put in several hours supporting choir programs any way they can because they believe in students and want to see their local arts thrive. It is truly an honor to present this year’s Southwest District ACE Award to Vicky Harris.