Welcome to a new year everybody! We are starting 2017 by introducing you to Mrs. Elizabeth Hogan McFarland.
Mrs. McFarland is the co-director of Choristers, teaching the Wednesday night 3B section. She brings a passion for helping people discover beauty in themselves and the world around them through the study of music to her work as a conductor, teacher, and clinician. Mrs. McFarland is currently a PhD candidate in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with emphases on choral conducting and vocal pedagogy at the University of Missouri. Her research interests include middle school/junior high singers, choral music for women’s voices and school community partnerships involving choral music. Read on to learn more about Mrs. McFarland…
- What brought you to SLCC?
I was asked to sub for a rehearsal by my friend, Brandon Williams, who was the conductor of Chorale at the time. Little did I know that Mrs. Berner was subbing for Mr. Frazier (the accompanist) that evening as well! It was a memorable first rehearsal!
- How was music a part of your childhood?
Music was a part of my life from very early on. My mom was an elementary music teacher while I was growing up – music was always in our house. We sang, danced, and played musical games as a part of daily life! I participated in the church bell and children’s choirs, and took piano lessons from Mrs. Pikaard’s mom!
- Is there a book or story that influenced your life or is your favorite?
I loved reading growing up. Two of my favorite series were “The Babysitters Club” and Nancy Drew mysteries. I loved reading stories of brave and resourceful girls who weren’t afraid of adventure.
- Which animated/Disney movie can you watch over and over again?
My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast! At one point in my life, I knew every word.
- Tell us about one of your hobbies outside of music.
I love to travel with family and friends. I’m writing this from O’ahu, Hawaii! Traveling, especially by myself, makes me notice the world and understand my place in it in new ways.
- It’s time for breakfast… what is on your plate?
My favorite breakfast is a piece of whole grain peasant bread from Breadsmith, toasted, topped with something like peanut butter and banana, or butter and homemade jam along with a fresh cup of coffee with cream. I don’t get to eat this every day – more often I eat bites of fruit, egg, etc. that my daughter Ellie doesn’t finish, or a quick bowl of cheerios and a banana.
- Where have you traveled? Was it with a choir or band tour?
My most memorable trips I took as a performer in a group were to Austria/Hungary and Disney World. I’ve taken my students to many places, including 7 trips to Disney, New York, New Orleans, and Chicago/Wisconsin. This year, I have traveled to North Carolina, Colorado, Hawaii, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Florida.
- What is your current occupation outside of the Choirs?
I’m a music teacher at Parkway North High School, part-time. I work part time for my church, The Gathering, as the connections coordinator for the Clayton site. And, I will finally finish my PhD in music education in May of this year! I’m also wife to Kyle and mom to Ellie, which is more fun than work!