MUSIC IS A BIRTHRIGHT.
The mission of Mile of Music’s Music Education Team is to help all people unleash their inner musician in order to build a community of active music explorers, music makers, and music lovers. We are committed to providing dynamic music-making opportunities for people on the Mile to set them on a path of discovering and developing their musical selves.

At Mile of Music, people don’t just hear the music, they are the music!


CLICK HERE to view a list of our MET Workshop Artists!

Leila Ramagopal Pertl

Brian Pertl

Jaclyn Kottman

Credentials

Music Education Curator, Performing Arts and harp teacher, LU ‘87

My Bio

Her Words: “The question isn’t whether you’re a musician or not. You are. It’s whether you have taken the time, through layered process, to develop the musical birthright which was yours to begin with.”


Leila Ramagopal Pertl is the Music Education Curator of the Mile of Music Festival. She created the innovative Music curriculum at Next Generation School in Champaign, IL and at Appleton Public Montessori, where music is treated as a core subject; each student taking music class every day and being immersed in drumming, dancing, singing, improvisation, composition, and music theory. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Lawrence University, a Master of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois. She is an active presenter and has recently given presentations and teacher workshops for the Illinois Association for Health Physical Education and Dance, Appleton Area School District, WMEA 2012, 2015, 2017 and the International Deep Listening Conference 2013, and the Appleton Education Foundation. Leila was the 2018 recipient of a Mentor Award from the Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (WACTE), serves on the council of the Wisconsin Music Educators Association, and is a lecturer in Music Education at Lawrence University.

Credentials

MET Member, trombonist, didjeridu, Dean of LU Conservatory of Music, LU ‘86

My Bio

His Words: “There are fewer bonds more profound than those created through community music-making.”


Brian Pertl is the Dean of the Lawrence Conservatory, ethnomusicologist, didjeridu player, and member of the Mile of Music Education Team. Before stepping into the deanship of the Lawrence Conservatory, Brian had a 16-year career at Microsoft in Seattle leading the Media Acquisitions Team. At Lawrence he has launched the 21st Century Musicianship Initiative which focuses on giving aspiring musicians rigorous classical music training seamlessly integrated with the creative, collaborative, and entrepreneurial skills needed to create fulfilling musical lives. He is excited by the boundless artistic potential of the Fox Cities and is committed to building vibrant collaborations between Lawrence and the greater community. His close partnership with Mile of Music is a perfect example of these efforts.

Credentials

MET Director of Operations, Choral/Vocal Music Educator, LU ‘12

My Bio

Her Words: “Making music together connects us more deeply to the core of who we are as individuals and to our shared humanity.”


Raised on sweet tea and family sing-alongs, Jaclyn originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia but is now proud to be making music in Wisconsin. Teaching in different corners of the world has given Jaclyn a deep appreciation for the way the Fox Cities uplifts the arts as part of the fabric of our community, and she has been a proud member of the Music Education Team since Mile 1. Jaclyn graduated from Lawrence University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music in Choral and General Music Education and a minor in Religious Studies, and is the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Young Choral Director award from the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association and Lawrence University’s Pi Kappa Lambda award for Excellence in Music Education. She currently teaches vocal and choral music with the Appleton Area School District and Lawrence Academy of Music, and is passionate about the power of singing to affirm the value of each person’s voice and build community.

Melissa Fields

Sarah Phelps

Ilan Blanck

Credentials

MET Member, vocalist, General Music Teacher

My Bio

Her Words: “Music allows children to come together and be a part of a shared experience, creating beauty.”


Melissa Fields is an elementary general music teacher in Appleton. She received her bachelor degree in Music Education from the University of Iowa and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. Her master’s thesis was on “The Incorporation of Children’s Picture Books into the Second Grade Music Classroom.” She has been teaching for over twenty years and is passionate about her profession. Melissa continues to develop her own musicianship by being a member of newVoices vocal ensemble. Performing and sharing her musical talent with the community is a definite joy. She enjoys life with her children Sam and Sophia and her dog Bernard. Melissa believes everyone has a musical ability and it is her delight in inspiring others to be musical.

Credentials

MET Member, vocalist, General Music Teacher, LU ‘07

My Bio

Her Words: “Teaching music lends strength to voices that may not otherwise be heard.”


Sarah has both her mom and her dad to thank for the privilege of growing up in a musical family. She was originally inspired to be a music therapist in 8th grade when she partnered with her choir teacher to start a program pairing regular education students with special education students in a hands-on music class. That teacher was the first person to ever believe she had singing ability and Margaret Jenks continues to be a mentor even today. Sarah met her husband and partner in goofiness, Brian, in 2004, their daughter, Penelope, was born in February of 2015 and Emilia joined the crew to make them The Fearsome Foursome in January. She loves her job teaching K-6th grade music in the Appleton school district.

Credentials

MET member, guitarist, educator, LU '16

My Bio

His words: “I teach music to try to pass on the love and respect that my teachers passed on to me for both music and the people in my life that play it.”


Ilan Blanck is a guitarist and composer currently puttering around the Twin Cities. A graduate of Lawrence University, he has spent the last several years playing in a variety of local bands, including with some of Appleton’s favorite nerd-funkers, Porky’s Groove Machine. This will be his sixth Mile as both performer and educator, and he could not be more excited to be back.

Kennison Ther

Adam Korber

Casey Frensz

Credentials

MET Member, freelance multi-percussionist, Band Director, LU ‘16

My Bio

His Words: “In every culture, society, and/or community, you can find music. Every person has a music that resonates within them. As music teachers, we are just providing the skills to help people connect and understand that music. Its a way for people to bond with each other.”


Kennison Ther is from Lake Zurich, Illinois but now lives here in Appleton. He is a graduate from Lawrence University with a degree in Music Education while studying percussion as well. He is the band teacher for Merrill Middle School in Oshkosh and also the percussion instructor for the Oshkosh Youth Symphony. Ther continues to play percussion in multiple community/professional groups through out the Fox Valley. Ther has been on the MET since mile 2 so this will be his 5th mile! During his time at Lawrence he was a part of LUPE (Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble) which studied music in classical chamber settings and music from Brazil, Cuba, and Ghana. Ther completed further study of Brazilian music at the California Brazil Camp for many summers and brought what he had learned to the group at Lawrence and to Mile of Music. Samba and other Brazilian styles are a passion of Ther’s, and he wants to share this beautiful music and culture with anyone and everyone.

Credentials

MET Member, cellist, High School/Middle School Orchestra Teacher, LU '18

My Bio

His WordsCommunity is an unstoppable force, and music making is essential to building community. When people make music together, they learn together. When people learn together, the grow together. As an educator I am responsible for fostering a musical community and a caring community.


Adam Korber is from Arlington Heights, Illinois and graduated from Lawrence University in 2018 with a degree in Instrumental Music Education and Cello Performance. He is now the recent hire of the Unified School District of De Pere where he will be teaching orchestra at De Pere high school and middle school. He has also taught with the Lawrence Academy of music as a cello and strings instructor, and continues to teach cello in the Appleton area. Adam believes that everyone is a musician. Through effective planning and a lot of fun along the way, Adam strives foster learning in a positive, supportive, and fun environment. Adam brings his passions for people, learning and music to the Music Education Team through ukulele workshops, laughter, and many smiles along the Mile!

Credentials

MET Member, multi-instrumentalist, Music Director, LU '14

My Bio

His Words: “Listening is the sacred, performing is exhilarating, and practice is necessary, but never forget that in the end, music is a way to play!”


Casey Frensz is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator in the twin cities area. His educational philosophy is based around the idea that jam and collaboration are the best tools musicians have to improve their skills and quality of life. Casey has taught privately, as well as in schools and as a clinician. He believes that everyone is musical, and with proper guidance, even a total beginner can play alongside lifelong pros to create something beautiful.

Matthew Lowe

Becca Shuman

Marshall Yoes

Credentials

MET Member, trombonist, designer, Hot Dog for Porky’s Groove Machine, LU ‘14

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “Put it on the one, ya know?” – Bootsy Collins


Matt Lowe is a freelance trombonist, teacher, and graphic designer living in Minneapolis. Beside his duties as a funk missionary with Porky’s Groove Machine, he teaches privately, runs his own design business, and collaborates with friends and peers on all manner of creative endeavors as he expands his artistic horizons. He looks forward to trying new things at the Mile of Music Education workshops and celebrating the incredible community of artists in Appleton.

Credentials

MET Member, trumpeter, Band Director, LU '15

My Bio

Her Words: “Music is a part of being human, and talent has nothing to do with it. We are musicians because we are human, and we are human because we are musicians.”


Becca Shuman graduated from Lawrence University in 2015 with degrees in music education and trumpet performance. A member of the Music Education Team since Mile 2, she spent the summer of 2015 interning with Carnegie Hall’s community and education programs in NYC, which fueled her passion for bringing diverse music-making experiences to all types of communities. She has taught general music and band at a variety of schools, and is currently the director of bands at Fridley High School in Minneapolis.

Credentials

MET Member, trumpeter, composer, educator, LU ’15

My Bio

Favorite Quote: ”Music expresses that which cannot be put into words.” — Victor Hugo


Marshall Yoes is a trumpet player, composer, and educator living in Minneapolis, MN. Raised in a family full of musicians, Marshall grew up with music naturally being a huge part of his life. After graduating from Lawrence in 2015, he spent time playing with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, teaching private lessons, and working as a Brass Specialist at Seymour High School. He moved to Minneapolis the summer of 2017 and spent this year working as a paraprofessional at a middle school in St. Paul. He continued to perform with various groups, including the Golden Valley Orchestra and Porky’s Groove Machine. In the fall, he will begin graduate school at the University of Minnesota, pursuing degrees in both trumpet performance and music therapy. He is incredibly excited to continue working with the Music Education Team and is looking forward to making music with the Appleton community.

Nick Allen

Luke Rivard

Nathan Montgomery

Credentials

MET Member, bassist, educator, LU ‘15

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “All you’ve got to do is keep your ears open.” – Jaco Pastorius


Nick Allen, a bassist from Madison, is a graduate of Lawrence University, where he studied Music Education and Bass Performance. After graduating from Lawrence, he spent two years teaching in the Appleton Area School District and performing as a freelance musician with many different groups of varying genres, including funk, bluegrass, rock, and jazz. He now makes his home in the Twin Cities. This will be his sixth year appearing as a performing artist and educator at Mile of Music.

Credentials

MET Member, percussionist, educator, LU '15

My Bio

His Words: “I’ve found that life liberates itself when music is pursued through a community that fosters creativity, integrity, and trust. It is our responsibility as educators to build this community; to share the lightness and freedom that we’ve come to know through music.”


Luke Rivard is a professional drummer, percussionist, and educator based in Minneapolis, MN. He graduated from Lawrence University where he studied with Dane Maxim Richeson. Luke performs in the bands Porky’s Groove Machine and Black Market Brass, and maintains a busy schedule as a freelance performer and teaching artist. In addition, Luke spends time as a program associate at the regional arts organization Arts Midwest, where he helps program music tours in the Midwest for international folk artists. He is thrilled to be back for his fourth Mile, and can’t wait to get groovy with you!

Credentials

MET Member, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, percussionist, LU ‘18

My Bio

His Words: “One of the greatest gifts my education has given me is the ability to perceive my environment in artistic ways. Music is my favorite language and has helped me connect with individuals and communities around the world. I am happy to play a part in our global sonic experience, sharing what I know with others and allowing others to teach me.”


As an aspiring musician, educator, ethnomusicologist, and entrepreneur, Nathan finds strength in the diversity of his interests. He is active in the jazz, free improvisation, rock, and new music scenes in the Midwest, all while co-directing Lawrence University’s nationally recognized Afro-Cuban ensemble as a lead vocalist, studying Balinese Gamelan under the tutelage of Pak Dewa Ketut Alit Adnyana, and playing an active role behind the scenes as a stage manager, audio engineer, and concert promoter. This is Nathan’s second time on the Mile of Music’s Music Education Team and he is looking forward to sharing and creating!

Sarah Clewett

Morgen Moraine

Lauren Thompson

Credentials

MET Member, oboist, Deep Listener, LU '17

My Bio

Her Words: “Music is freeing, wonderful, beautiful, calm, meditative… it guides you to a space that allows for peace and expression without judgement.”


Sarah Clewett, originally from Naperville IL, graduated from Lawrence University in 2017 with degrees in Oboe Performance and Psychology. She is very inspired by the philosophy and methods behind Deep Listening, created by composer and musician Pauline Oliveros. Sarah’s wide variety of music related-interests also includes music therapy and she is preparing to apply to Master’s programs this fall. During her time at Lawrence, Sarah has been a member of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Improvisation Group of Lawrence University (IGLU), Heavy Metal Ensemble of Lawrence University, Jazz Workshop, and several chamber music groups. She is looking forward to studying at the Silkroad’s Global Musicians Workshop this summer at DePauw University and sharing her experiences with Mile of Music participants!

Credentials

MET Member, trumpeter, vocalist, studio teacher, LU ‘16

My Bio

Her Words: “A great music educator Nick Keelan once said ‘Play yer song’, and I believe it really is as simple as that. All of us have a song that is beautiful and unique to us, a song which no one else could play quite like we can. Whether we sing it, hear it in the sounds around us or play it through an instrument, our only job is to let it out and share it, and in doing so we give others courage to do the same with theirs.”


Morgen Moraine is a trumpet player, vocalist, and all around music lover originally from Sussex, WI. Growing up in a musical household, her first community music-making experiences started in utero and have never stopped since. Some of her favorite memories are of community choir rehearsals and community youth music ensembles. She attended Lawrence University and graduated in 2016 with degrees in Psychology and Trumpet Performance. Morgen continues to live, work, perform, and teach in Appleton. She believes there is a special magic particular only to community music making and she is so excited to be a part of the Music Education Team for Mile 6, to help create more musical experiences for all, and to continue bringing the community together through experimentation, exploration, and creation in music!

Credentials

MET Member, violinist, Elementary Music and Kindergarten Teacher, LU '13

My Bio

Her Words: “I teach because I firmly believe that every person is a musician, regardless of background or training. Every day, I get to see young people discover just how much they are capable of, and to help them continue to grow as individuals and musicians.”


Lauren Thompson is a cheese-loving native of Appleton, WI. After graduating from Lawrence University in 2013 with a major in Music Education and a minor in Psychology, she moved to Michigan to work at Shar Music as an Apprentice. After two years learning as much as she could about music business, she returned to Appleton to pursue her passion for teaching. In 2015, she had the opportunity to teach both Elementary Music and Four-Year-Old Kindergarten in the School District of New London, earning her the nickname, “The Singing 4K Teacher.” This opportunity also allowed her to return to school to pursue an additional teaching license in Early Childhood Education, which she will complete through the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2019. In 2009, Lauren joined Gamelan Cahaya Asri, the student gamelan ensemble, and discovered a form of music that gave her the freedom to experiment, make mistakes, and grow as both a musician and educator. Since graduating, she has been playing with Gamelan Sekar Kemuda, the community gamelan ensemble. She hopes to eventually make the trip to Bali for the Cudamani Summer Institute. Although she has previously helped out as a mariachi violinist and gamelan musician among other things, this is her first Mile as a full member of the Music Education Team, and she could not be more excited for the opportunity to grow as a musician and educator.

Isabel Edmonds

Maralee Mindock

Jessica Grady

Credentials

MET Member, violinist

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” – Leo Tolstoy

Isabel Edmonds is an Appleton native in her final year at Sarah Lawrence College where she participates in orchestra and chamber group. She began studying violin with the Lawrence Academy of Music as a child and was involved in many of Appleton’s youth music programs. This is her first Mile of Music and she is looking forward to connecting with people through music.

Credentials

MET Member, oboist, music educator, LU '19

My Bio

Her Words: “I believe that communities need to come together to create positive spaces for learning, growing, exploring, and expressing together, and music is the perfect connecting link. Music is the force that can bring people, families, students, neighbors, colleagues, and peers together across generations and cultures. There is a music for everyone, and everyone possesses the ability to create music.”


Maralee Mindock, a fifth-year senior at Lawrence University, is majoring in Music Education (Choral, General, and Instrumental) and Oboe Performance. She loves spending her time at Lawrence University performing in many collaborative ensembles, including the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz Workshop, Tambo Toke (LU’s Afro-Cuban folkloric percussion ensemble), and many classical chamber groups with friends. At the Lawrence University Academy of Music, Maralee has taught private oboe lessons, managed the Lawrence Academy Wind Ensemble, and served as a camp counselor for the Academy Band Camp. This upcoming school year, Maralee will perform her senior oboe recital in the fall and also student teach at Shapiro STEM Academy and Washington Elementary Schools in Oshkosh, WI, at Oshkosh West High School, and abroad in New Zealand through the Global Gateway for Teachers program. You can catch her swing dancing every Friday night with the Lawrence Swing Dance Club or crafting with her friends.

Credentials

MET Ambassador, orchestral musician, vocalist

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” — Lao Tzu


A junior at Appleton North High School, Jessica first embarked on her music making journey at the age of ten when she began learning violin through her school strings program. Since then, though she never strays from her main instruments violin and viola, she is constantly learning new ones (the count is currently somewhere around eleven!). Jessica is excited to continue playing in the Fox Valley Youth Orchestra, Appleton North’s pit orchestra, Appleton North’s Jazz I group, the 2018 WSMA State Honors Orchestra, and even more thrilled to be a member of the Music Education Team for Mile 6; she can’t wait to share her musical passion on the Mile!

Amanda Stezenski

Isabella Benner

Owen Russell

Credentials

MET Ambassador, multi-instrumentalist

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “Music is what feelings sound like” — Georgia Cates


Amanda Stezenski is an upcoming senior at Appleton North High School. She has had a passion for music making from a young age, starting piano lessons at the age of 7. From there, she has picked up any instrument that she has had the opportunity to get her hands on! She enjoys playing in wind ensembles and in the pit orchestra of her school musicals. She is excited to inspire others to pursue their love of music, and try new things!

Credentials

MET Ambassador, french hornist

My Bio

Her Words: “Music is the one language that everyone can understand and that everybody can enjoy. The amazing thing about music is that it can show a history, portray a story, or even bring a community together.”


Isabella is a senior at Appleton West High School and Renniassance School for the Arts. She has been playing French Horn for 7 years. She has also been a member of the Fox Valley Youth Symphony for 2 years. This is her first year as a MET Ambassador for Mile of Music. She is most excited to learn about different types of music and rhythm and is eager to share what she learns with the community. Her favorite thing about music is knowing how different a piece of work is from the start to the performance. The work that musicians put into a piece is all worth it. She finds it amazing how sometimes a performance reminds others that music-making is for everyone and can even inspire them to join in the music-making themselves!

Credentials

MET Ambassador, trombonist

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” — Friedrich Neitzsche


Owen Russell is a sophomore at Appleton West High School. He has loved music ever since being part of the Performing Arts Program at Appleton Public Montessori! At West, he plays in band and participates in jazz band, and received the Director’s Award for his leadership and involvement. He has experimented with and played many instruments, including guitar, euphonium, trombone, ukulele, piano, cello, percussion, and others. Owen also sang with the Appleton Boychoir and enjoys creating electronic music on his laptop.

Reegan Van Camp

Holly Krabbe

Trent Larson

Credentials

MET Ambassador, trumpeter, Drum Major, composer, jazz musician, future music educator

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” — Albert Einstein


Reegan Van Camp is a former student from Hortonville High School, where he served as a Drum Major for the 2017/18 school year. He is a passionate music creator and educator, and will be attending UW-Oshkosh this coming fall as a Music Education major.

Credentials

MET Ambassador, singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist

My Bio

Favorite Quote: “I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.” — Rumi


Holly will be entering her senior year at Kimberly High School. She fell in love with singing when she joined Lawrence Academy Girl Choir in 2013 and has been broadening her musical skills by teaching herself piano and guitar. She performed with the Cantabile Girl Choir at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Dr. Edith Copley. Holly wishes to master as many instruments as possible, hoping to learn new skills to help during this year’s Mile of Music. She hopes to spread her love of learning music with everyone who attends Mile 6.

Credentials

MET Ambassador, singer-songwriter, trumpeter, future music educator

My Bio

His Words: “Music is what allows us to really be ourselves. There are no set in stone rules with music; you can express yourself with music in any way you like.That is why celebrating music is so important to me.”


Trent Larson recently graduated from Hortonville High School, and will be attending school at St. Norbert College this fall. Live performances are a very important part of Trent’s life, as he is an aspiring singer/songwriter, actor, and teacher. He is excited to learn more about the process of making and teaching music at this year’s Mile of Music Festival.

Gabrielle Medema

Credentials

MET Ambassador, pianist, vocalist

My Bio

Her Words: “Music is a brain workout stimulating one’s mind and soul while bringing joy to others and community.”


Gabrielle Medema was born in Bermuda to ocean sounds, calypso, steelpan, and gombey dancers. Early participation in kindermusik classes led Gabrielle to music enjoyment with life-long piano lessons. As an incoming Junior at Fox Valley Lutheran High School, Gabrielle will continue participation in choir, Future Business Leaders, forensics and varsity tennis. Gabrielle is a WMTA three-time State qualifier, two-time piano concerto competition winner, and was chosen for piano master class performance. Along with four siblings, Gabrielle loves to fill the family home with music. Looking forward Gabrielle’s plan is to instruct those with learning disabilities using music to enhance their life. As a MET Ambassador, Gabrielle is privileged to share music in the community with a touch of Bermuda sounds.