MIMI STEELE, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of KCC, 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, Concert Choir Director, has been directing choirs of all ages for over 18 years. He has been with Kirkwood Children’s Chorale (KCC) since 2007. He currently is the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Parkway School District where he oversees art, music, and theatre for 28 schools. Previously he taught at Lebanon Junior High School, Lebanon High School, Parkway Central High School, Parkway West High School, and Parkway Central Middle School.
Mr. Lackey has received a number of honors and recognitions including the 2003 Missouri Choral Director’s Association Prelude Award. His choirs have performed for the Missouri State Music Educators Conference as well as across the United States, Canada and Europe. Mr. Lackey also directs and judges at a variety of conferences and festivals around Missouri. Mr. Lackey is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and National Association for Music Education.
Mr. Lackey received his Bachelors Degree, Magna Cum Lade, from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. He holds a Masters Degree in Music Education and is currently pursuing his PhD in Education at University of Missouri, St. Louis.
Mr. Lackey loves spending his time outside of work with his family and two lovely children, Christian, 8 & Selena,7.
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 is a choral director with Kirkwood Children’s Chorale, an award-winning select choir training program, consisting of three choirs of children in grades 2-8 from all over the St. Louis Area. In her fifth year with KCC, Katie directs Choristers, the 2nd and 3rd grade choir.
Katie Brown is a certified Orff-Schulwerk teacher. She attended the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and earned her K-12 vocal and instrumental certification. She is working towards her Master’s degree in Music Education from Adams State University. She is a member of the American Orff Schulwerk Association, as well as the St. Louis AOSA Chapter, where she serves as treasurer.
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 Artistic 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.