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

Leila Ramagopal Pertl

Brian Pertl

Sean Goldman

Credentials

Music Education Curator for Mile of Music, Performing Arts Teacher Appleton Public Montessori, Lawrence Academy of Music harp instructor, Lecturer in Music Education Lawrence University, 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 the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, 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, and the International Deep Listening Conference 2013, the Appleton Education Foundation, and is a lecturer in Music Education at Lawrence University.

Credentials

Trombonist, didjeridu, and Dean of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, LU ‘86

My Bio

<strong>His Words:</strong> “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

Multi-percussionist, Lawrence University Conservatory of Music ‘18

My Bio

His Words: Music education deepens the mind of both the student and the teacher. You learn new things through teaching and by being taught. Everyone is constantly learning.”


Sean Goldman is a senior at Lawrence University from Milwaukee. While pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion performance, Sean enjoys performing with the various world music and classical music ensembles Lawrence has to offer. He studies under Professor Dane Richeson in hopes of continuing the percussion studios community outreach programs and becoming a freelance and chamber musician.  This is his second year as a member of the Music Education Team and is excited for the Mile 5!

Jaclyn Kottman

Sarah Phelps

Gabriel Peterson

Credentials

Choral Music Teacher at Einstein Middle School, Classical School, and Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir, 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 Appleton. Teaching around 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 teaches in the Appleton Area School District and through the Lawrence Academy of Music, and is passionate about the power of singing to affirm the value of each person’s voice and build community.

Credentials

Elementary General Music Teacher, Badger Elementary, 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 music teacher was the first person to ever believe Sarah had singing ability and she continues to be a mentor even today. Sarah met her husband and partner in goofiness, Brian, in 2004 and their daughter, Penelope, was born in February of 2015. She loves her job teaching K-6th grade music in the Appleton school district.

Credentials

Saxophonist, Teacher, Improviser, LU ‘17

My Bio

His Words“Sharing music through music education is a thrilling opportunity to instill others with the same love of music making and collaborating that pushes me to make art through music every day.”


Gabe is an Appleton native and 2017 graduate of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music where he studied classical saxophone and improvisational music in the studios of Steven Jordheim, Sumner Truax, and Jose Encarnacion. While at Lawrence, Gabe found a love for collaborating in music with dancers and artists of other disciplines and loves playing big saxophones. He is currently waiting tables and sailing for a chartered boat tours company based in Sister Bay, Door County and plans to move to New York City in the fall to continue his career as a musician. Gabe is thrilled by the exciting work that the Music Education Team has done the past four years and can’t wait to join for the first time to share his love for music at Mile 5!

Eli Edelman

Luke Rivard

Adam Korber

Credentials

Percussionist, LU '15, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music '17

My Bio

His Words:  “The intersection of rhythm, melody, and movement is an extremely powerful and welcoming social experience.”


From an early age, Eli Edelman began exploring music from around the world while also steeping himself in classical and contemporary music. At LU, he discovered his niche in the deeply rooted folkloric musics of Cuba and was able to augment his research by making it a focus of his history degree. During four trips to Cuba, he studied with master musicians to learn the drumming, singing, dancing, and history of many Afro-Cuban aural traditions. Eli received a Masters in Music from Indiana University where he studied Cuban and Brazilian music for two years. In the fall, he will move to New York City where he is excited to begin a career at a mortgage firm while continuing to teach music privately, collaborate with Latin musicians, and play funk with fellow Lawrentians in Porky’s Groove Machine.

Credentials

Percussionist, 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 began his musical journey 10 years ago through immersing himself in the creative world of songwriting, drumming, and home recording. He continued his studies in classical and contemporary percussion at Lawrence University, and spent the summers of 2013 and 2016 in Ghana to study Ewe drumming, dancing, and singing at the Dagbe Center. Luke graduated from LU in 2015 and has since been in demand as a teaching, performing, and recording artist in Milwaukee, WI. Luke currently directs Lawrence University’s Kinkaviwo Ensemble, and regularly performs funk music with Porky’s Groove Machine and indie folk music with Caley Conway. He plans to move to Minneapolis in the fall, where he will continue to perform, teach, and further his own private studies on drum set.
 

Credentials

Music Education and Cello Performance LU’ 18

My Bio

His Words“Music gets people in touch with who they really are.  It gives them a chance to delve into what makes them an incredible person, and see how creative and important they are in this world.”


Adam Korber, a fifth-year senior at Lawrence University, majors in music education and cello performance. With cello as his primary instrument, he strives to explore music both in and outside of the western classical realm through learning from musicians around the world. During the summer of 2016, Adam worked with Mike Block, Yo-Yo Ma, and the musicians of The Silk Road Ensemble at the Global Musician Workshop; at which he explored music from other cultures with people from around the world. At the Lawrence University Academy of Music, Adam teaches cello and co-directed the beginning class as a part of String Project. This upcoming school year, Adam will student teach at Bayport High School with master strings teacher Audrey Nowak. Adam continues to push himself by writing his own music and songs, and by beginning to scratch the surface of improvising and learning more music by ear! Adam returns to Mile of Music with the belief that EVERY human has the right to make music, and receive high-quality instruction – something that the participants and the Music Education Team achieve!

Kendra Pankow

Becca Shumann

Marshall Yoes

Credentials

Music Education LU '18, Music Activities Counselor at True Friends

My Bio

Her Words: “The value in music goes deeper then pure entertainment. Music provides an avenue for expression, unity, collaboration, practicing life skills, and a way to explore the beauty around us.”


Kendra Pankow is a fifth-year double degree student at Lawrence University majoring in music education and International development. With parents who love music, Kendra has explored the beauty of sound and music-making from an early age. She has enjoyed music-making through singing with family and choirs and studying piano and clarinet as well as participating in various ensembles and worship teams.  During her study abroad in Uganda and experience with refugees in America, Kendra has seen the power music has to unite, express, provide enjoyment and evoke emotions and connections. Recently, Kendra worked as a music activities counselor at a residential camp for adults and children with disabilities and has greatly enjoyed seeing music become a means to connect, communicate, and facilitate growth and interactions. This upcoming school year, Kendra will be student teaching with general music teachers in the Appleton area school district. Kendra is excited to join the Mile of Music Education Team especially because she believes music is a part of EVERYONE’S life – sometimes it just has to be awakened!

Credentials

Trumpeter, Director of Bands at Fridley High School, LU '15

My Bio

Becca Shuman graduated from Lawrence University in 2015 with degrees in music education and trumpet performance, and continues to perform with groups such as the Oshkosh Symphony, Vento Winds, the Lawrence University bands, and various chamber groups in the Fox Valley. A member of the Music Education Team since Mile 2, she spent the summer of 2016 interning with Carnegie Hall’s community and education programs, which fueled her passion for bringing diverse music-making experiences to all types of communities. She spent last year as the director of bands for the Coleman School District in northern Wisconsin, and this fall, she will start as the director of bands for Fridley High School in Minneapolis.

Credentials

Freelance trumpeter and composer, LU ‘15

My Bio

His Words: “Music allows me to express a part of my personality that I have a hard time expressing naturally.”


Marshall Yoes is a trumpet player and composer originally from Gilbert, Arizona. Raised in a family full of musicians, Marshall grew up with music naturally being a huge part of his life. He has been performing in some capacity for the past 8 years, from freelance church gigs to renaissance festivals and recording sessions. While at Lawrence, Marshall studied trumpet with John Daniel and jazz composition with Fred Sturm and Patty Darling, as well as studying psychology in the college. He is currently taking time off to focus on his composing and prepare for applying to graduate school, while still playing around Appleton with the locally infamous nerd-funk band Porky’s Groove Machine.

Melissa Fields

Casey Frensz

Nestor Dominguez

Credentials

Vocalist, Appleton Elementary General Music Teacher, member of newVoices Choir

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

Music Director at Upper Mississippi Academy in St. Paul, MN, Singer and Saxophonist of Porky's Groove Machine

My Bio

His Words:  “Music gives us an opportunity to participate in an ancient tradition and empowers us to express ourselves in ways that transcend cultural barriers.”


Casey is a well-rounded multi-instrumentalist and music educator who finds the greatest joy of music to be in its endless variety of possibilities. He teaches 6-12th grades students and has designed a curriculum focused on songwriting, collaboration, improvisation, and jamming. In his solo and freelance work, Casey loves playing in different styles and with different people. Whether working as a teacher, funk saxophonist, or bandleader, Casey believes that passion, dependability, competence, and communication are the virtues that pave the road to success. Casey loves attending Mile of Music each year and is very excited to be a member of the Music Education Team for this year’s festival.

Credentials

Music Teacher - Chicago Public Schools, LU ‘14

My Bio

His Words: “Receiving a music education allows our young generation to practice  creativity- a quality that many employers are now looking for. It is the opposite of what standardized tests do – make our students ‘button pushers”.


Nestor Dominguez, Jr is an energetic, young-hearted music educator born in Guerrero, Mexico. He is an alumnus of the Chicago Public Schools, The Merit School of Music and Lawrence Conservatory of Music. While at Lawrence, he studied instrumental/general music education and trumpet performance. In December of 2013, Mr. Dominguez traveled to Sierra Leone, West Africa to volunteer as a music teacher. During his time there, he taught music lessons to over 300+ children. Upon graduation, he returned to his hometown of Chicago to teach music at Northwest Middle School in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Mr. Dominguez looks forward to his third year of teaching- this time teaching k-8th grade at James Monroe Elementary in the Logan Square neighborhood. During his free time he enjoys swimming, biking and playing trumpet.

Kennison Ther

Ilan Blanck

Ella Heiks

Credentials

Band Director at Merrill Middle School in Oshkosh, Freelance Multi-Percussionist, LU ‘16

My Bio

Kennison Ther is from Lake Zurich, Illinois. He is a graduate from Lawrence University with a degree in Music Education. He will be starting his first year of teaching at Merrill Middle School in Oshkosh this upcoming fall, and is returning for his 5th Mile this summer. Ther’s primary instrument is percussion, and 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 and brought what he had learned to the group at Lawrence and to Mile of Music. He was one of four student directors that created and led LUPE’s 2014 PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Conference) performance with world renowned guest artists. 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

Music Education Team Member

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 Appleton, WI. A graduate of Lawrence University, he has spent the last five years playing in a variety of local bands, including with Appleton’s favorite nerd-funkers, Porky’s Groove Machine. This will be his fifth Mile as both performer and educator, and he could not be more excited to be back.

Credentials

MET Kid

My Bio

Ella Heiks is heading into 8th grade at Einstein Middle School in Appleton.  She plays cello, ukulele, the spoons, and participates in the Lawrence Academy Girl Choir. She loves jammin’ with her friends and family, and teaching campfire songs.

Phynix Beringer

Michael Russ

Owen Russell

Credentials

MET Kid

My Bio

Phynix Beringer is an 8th grader at Valley New School in Appleton. He plays the violin, ukulele, various percussion instruments and sings in a youth choir. He loves all things music and finds and can frequently be found jamming out a rhythm on anything he can find. He has been so inspired by Mile of Music for the past four years and is an MET Kid on the team for his second year.

Credentials

MET Kid

My Bio

Michael Russ is a 7th grader at Flex Academy in Little Chute. He plays the ukulele, the trumpet, and enjoys making his own instruments out of pvc pipe and other materials.  He loves making music and listening to it. He learned samba drumming, gum booting, and so many things with Mrs. Pertl as his music teacher at Appleton Public Montessori. This is his first year as a MET Kid on the team!

Credentials

MET Kid

My Bio

Owen Russell is a freshman at Appleton West High School. He has experimented with and played many instruments throughout the years, including guitar, percussion, euphonium, tin whistle, ukulele, piano, and many others. Owen also has four years of experience singing with the Appleton Boychoir and enjoys creating electronic music on his laptop. He was in Leila Pertl’s ‘s music and performing arts program at Appleton public Montessori, and has loved music ever since!

Isabella Leiva

Nick Allen

Dan Reifsteck

Credentials

MET Kid

My Bio

Isabella Leiva is a sixth grader at Appleton Public Montessori. She plays the ukulele, violin, samba drums, and loves gumbooting! When she is not playing music you can find her by the lake on a paddle board or kayak!

Credentials

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 has spent the last 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. It will be his fifth year appearing as a performing artist and educator at Mile of Music.

Credentials

Percussionist, Teacher, Composer, LU '15

My Bio

His Words: “Making music encourages you to forget who you were, embrace who you currently are, and observe how that changes over time.” 


Dan loves exploring the different worlds of percussion and is passionate about performing new music. After graduating from Lawrence University in 2015, Dan joined the Academy of Music teaching private lessons, directing a Drumming Ensemble for high school percussionists, and teaching drumming and dance styles from Ghana at the Piano Odyssey Camp. Besides teaching, Dan has premiered over a dozen new pieces for percussion with his chamber ensembles Slipstream and Lilith. He was also part of the Lawrence University Percussion Ensembles selected to perform at PASIC in 2014 and studied tabla in Pune, India that fall. Dan will move out to Boston in August to pursue a Masters in Music from Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Matt Lowe

Credentials

Music Education Team Member

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.