MIMI STEELE, Artistic Director, Co-Founder of KCC, Director of Carolers, holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music Education (Vocal and Instrumental) from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is certified in the Kodaly Method and the Orff Approach, Level III, and the Choral Music Experience.
Mimi taught Elementary Vocal Music in public schools and churches starting in 1971 in Mississippi and Missouri. She retired on May 31, 2011 after teaching 27 years in the Kirkwood School District where Mrs. Steele directed children's choruses and produced many school musicals. She taught instrumental music for 16 years and is a flute soloist.
Mimi is certified in the Creative Artistry and Choral Music Education in conducting children's choirs. Mrs. Steele has served on staff for the Indianapolis Children's Choir Summer Festival. She has studied Choral Conducting with Joan Gargorki, Angie Broeker, Henry Leck, and Dr. Doreen Rao.
She is a member of MMEA, MENC, ACDA, OAKE and the St.Louis Orff Schulwerk Association, of which she is a past President. Mimi served as the American Orff Schulwerk Association’s Local Co Chairperson for the 2012 National Professional Development Conference that was held in St. Louis.
JEFF LACKEY, Director of Concert Choir, teaches at Parkway Central Middle School where he directs all choirs in grades 6-8. Jeff has taught pre K-12, spending most of his teaching career at the Middle School level. He is the recipient of the MCDA Prelude Award in 2003. Mr.Lackey has directed & judged at a variety of conference & honor choirs in Missouri. His choirs have performed throughout the United States & Canada including performing at the 2004 State Music Educators Conference. Jeff received his Bachelors Degree in Vocal Music Education from Missouri State University, & his Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Education.
JORDAN BLACK, Director of Cambiata, completed his Bachelors in Music Education in 2008 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Jordan has just completed his Masters in Education Administration at Lindenwood University. He taught elementary general music at River Bend and McKelvey in the Parkway School District as well as serving as an assistant with the Parkway Central High choirs where he directed the all male a cappella ensemble. Beginning in the Fall of 2012, Jordan teaches choir at Northeast Middle School in Parkway. A composer and arranger as well, Jordan has had pieces performed by various school and community ensembles in St. Louis and Columbia. Outside of his teaching, Jordan sings bass in Vocal Edge, St. Louis' premier vocal band and Voices of Prometheus, a vocal chamber ensemble that tours during the summer. Jordan holds Orff Level 1 certification and is a member of MENC.
KATIE BROWN, Director of Choristers, has also been with KCC as Choral Assistant in Concert Choir. Katie teaches Elementary Music at Ellisville Elmentary School in Rockwood School District and also maintains a private Clarinet and Winds studio. Mrs. Brown is Level II Certified in the Orff Schulwerk approach and she holds her undergraduate degree from the Music Conservatory at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Katie is also a member of MENC, American Orff Schulwerk Association.
CURTIS FEARS, Director of Community Relations, has been associated with KCC in a variety of roles since his oldest child joined the Chorale in 2000. Both of his children are KCC alums. Curtis has been a member of various committees including the Parent Board. He has served in various volunteer roles from stuffing envelopes to ushering concerts. He has helped plan and produce concerts, national and international choir tours and has chaperoned several tours. He has been the "official" photographer for KCC since 2004. His current position involves working with and reporting to the Administrative Board, working closely with the staff and Artistic Director, pursuing grant and other funding opportunities and promoting KCC in the community.
Curtis has had a lifelong love of singing and was a member of several singing ensembles in college. He also participated in stage performances in high school and college appearing in several plays and musicals. In addition to KCC, Curtis has served on boards and committees in the community for such organizations such as the Kirkwood School District and the St. Louis Civil War Round Table. Curtis has worked for Washington University Medical School for the past 27 years.