SANTA FE—Head of School Jim Ledyard has announced several appointments to the New Mexico School for the Arts faculty and advisory team.
Joey Chavez will join NMSA as Chair of the Theater Department. A 12th generation Santa Fean, Chavez has been heading the Theater program at Santa Fe High for the last 15 years. During this time he was involved in more than 150 productions, from musicals and world premiers to original personal and student work. He has also taught for The University of Oklahoma, The Alliance Theater in Atlanta, GA and for Young Audiences New York.
Chavez states, “I am very pleased and honored to be joining the founding staff of the NMSA. This is a wonderful opportunity to help build a program for the students of our state which will allow them to have access to training on par with other Arts High Schools around the country.”
Cristina González, recently appointed Chair of the Visual Arts Department, received her MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her BA from Yale University. She has been teaching painting and drawing for more than twelve years. “I’m delighted to join the New Mexico School for the Arts. I’m especially excited about working with professional artists who are among the best in their field, and who are passionate about sharing their knowledge, skills, and vision with high performing students” states González.
Upon accepting the Chair of the Music Department position, Benjamin Klemme remarked: “The New Mexico School for the Arts will strengthen the cultural fitness of our community by offering the promising young artists of our state a place in which to develop the skills required to express their unique abilities and talents. The opportunity to cultivate the promise of these students as a member of the NMSA faculty is a privilege I approach with enthusiasm and a responsibility I will strive to meet with purpose.”
Klemme leads the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association as Music Director and Conductor and has helped bring classical music to life for young people through his work with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s “Music In Our Schools” program; in Ohio, he founded the Scordatura Chamber Orchestra, a Cleveland-based ensemble designed to achieve classroom learning objectives in language arts, math, science, and social studies through the creative presentation of parallel classical music principles, and served as the music department chair of Lutheran High School East; in Iowa, he served as the Associate Conductor of the Northern Iowa Youth Orchestra.
Karen Hall has been named Voice Instructor for the School. Dr. Hall is a versatile educator, music researcher and professional singer. Her experience as an educator includes university teaching positions at New York University, the Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory as well as several high school accelerated arts programs throughout the United States.
The School is still in negotiations for its Dance Department Faculty.
In announcing these appointments, Head of School Jim Ledyard states, “The search for arts faculty and chairs, which has taken three months and involved over two hundred applicants, has been an incredibly rewarding process in itself. I have met artist teachers from every corner of New Mexico and from all of the major art centers of the country. The individuals who will be joining our faculty, and those who will sit on the audition panels, are as talented, distinguished, and committed a group as could be found anywhere. I look forward with great anticipation to begin working with them.”
The following individuals are available for interviews:
Jim Ledyard, Head of School 505-310-4195
Joey Chavez, Theater Chair 505-467-2975
Cristina González, Visual Arts Chair 505-670-9579
Karen Hall, Vocal Instructor 505-504-8750
Benjamin Klemme , Music Chair 505-603-6708
New Mexico School for the Arts is a public, statewide, residential charter high school dedicated to artistic and academic excellence. NMSA offers pre-professional instruction in the performing and visual arts in combination with rigorous academics leading to a New Mexico diploma. NMSA prepares a diverse community of students to successfully continue their arts education at institutions of higher learning while preparing them to lead productive and creative lives that enrich their communities. New Mexico School for the Arts is located at the former St. Francis Cathedral School, 275 East Alameda in Santa Fe and is supported, in part, by the New Mexico Community Foundation, Thaw Charitable Trust, Thornburg Charitable Foundation and an anonymous donor. For more information, log on to: www.nmschoolforthearts.org.