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, 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, the 2nd and 3rd grade choir, is in her fifth year with KCC.
Katie is a music specialist in the Rockwood School District in St. Louis, where she teaches K-5 general music and directs an extracurricular honor choir. Katie has presented workshops in both the Wentzville and Rockwood School Districts, as well as for the Missouri Choral Directors Association. In 2014 Katie was the guest clinician for the MMEA East Central Division Elementary Honor Choir.
Katie 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.