We’ve written before on the Stanton’s blog about our knowledgeable staff. Now, we’d like to give you a chance to get to know our staff on a more personal level. Over the next several months, we will be having members of the Stanton’s team take our “30 Questions in 60 Seconds” questionnaire. We hope you will get to know the “real” us, and learn how we might better be of service to you!
Rachel Steele has been at Stanton’s since 2013. She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from The Ohio State University. Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington OH), Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!
What department do you work in at Stanton’s? – Choral Department
What do you consider your specialties here? – Middle school choral, instrumentalists transitioning to teaching vocal music, and general music products.
How long have you worked at Stanton’s? – Almost 2 years
What is your favorite task at Stanton’s? – Helping teachers solve programming problems when they come in. It’s like a great big puzzle!
What is your hometown? – I graduated from Jackson High School near Canton, OH, but I and my extended family are from the Pittsburgh area.
Where did you go to college? – I did both my undergraduate (Bachelor’s of Music Education) and graduate (Master’s of Music Education) degrees at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
What is your major instrument? – Flute
Where or with whom do you currently perform/teach? – I am a flutist in the Heisey Wind Ensemble (Newark, OH) and I play flute, sing in the choir, and ring handbells at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH). I also occasionally clinic local school groups.
What do you like to do in your spare time? – baking (I’m one of THOSE Christmas cookie people), sewing (my kids have the most elaborate Halloween costumes on the block), and reading (I love history and historical fiction). I also love to shop for other people.
What days of the week can you be reached at Stanton’s? – Tuesday-Saturday. I’m grateful to have a “weekend” even if it’s offset by a day.
What is the last song/piece you listened to? – Armenian Dances by Alfred Reed
What is the last song/piece you played/sang? – Mozart Flute Concerto in G
If you had a chance to perform with three musicians, living or dead, who would it be? – Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin
What is your most memorable musical moment? – The summer between high school and college, my private voice teacher talked me into auditioning for the Blossom Festival Chorus, which is the summer chorus for the Cleveland Orchestra. By some miracle, they accepted me and I got to perform “Carmina Burana” with the orchestra that summer. It was an amazing weekend, but since I’m short, I always stand in row 1. I learned that percussionists act the same from 5th grade band all the way through the Cleveland Orchestra.
If you could be instantly proficient on an additional instrument, what would you choose? – French horn
What is the most unusual performance you have ever been a part of? – My first year teaching, we got a call from the mayor of the small town I taught in. There was a bridge re-opening after construction, and they wanted our marching band to start at one end of the bridge, and the marching band from the next district over to start at the other end and march toward each other, meeting in the middle. Both bands then played a selection together in the middle of the bridge for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Everyone took the whole thing very seriously, but for me keeping a straight face was difficult.
What musical sound or noise do you love? – A great wind ensemble playing a chorale in minor key.
What musical sound or noise do you hate? – Young children singing in a belt-y, scoop-y, slide-y pop style.
If you had your choice watching a great concert tonight or performing in a great concert tonight which would you choose and why? – Perform. There’s something about being part of an ensemble (where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts), that is really special.
If heaven exists, when you arrive at the Pearly Gates, what heavenly ensemble would you like to be assigned to? – Assuming that I’m going to not suck, I want to get assigned to the jazz band. Those are going to be some fun folks to hang out with for eternity.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – Archaeologist/Egyptologist
What profession would you not like to do? – Construction worker
On a scale of 1-10, how funny do you think you are? – In person, about a 5, because no one seems to know when I’m being sarcastic. On social media, I’d like to think I’m closer to an 8!
Who was your first crush? – Robin Williams as “Mork” on Mork and Mindy.
Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion? – I would love for it to be considered “manly” to sing and be musical.
Do you love or hate roller coasters? – LOVE!
If you were a super hero, what powers would you have? – I would be able to add hours to every day, and eat as many Christmas cookies as I wanted without gaining weight!
How many pairs of shoes do you own? – I don’t think I’ve ever really counted, but I’d guess around 25 or so. I am especially guilty of collecting sandals.
Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? – Win the lottery. I’d love for my “job” to be volunteering for a school music program and giving money away whenever I felt like it.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? – My mom’s homemade iced tea, sliced tomatoes from my Great-Grandfather Patton’s garden, and corn on the cob! (Melting Pot for dessert!)