Salem-Keizer Music Faculty, 2022-23
Salem-Keizer Music Faculty, 2022-23

Performance Samplings

Upcoming Performances

In the News

Project Chamber Music: Willamette Valley – Elsinore Theatre

Music Educator of the Year Award

Each year, the Oregon Symphony in Salem honors a music teacher as Music Educator of the Year. The process begins with the nomination of candidates from any area of public classroom music education in the Salem-Keizer School District, including orchestra, band, and choir.

Past Music Educator of the Year Award Winners

2019/20: Ariana Recher, music director at Wright Elementary in Salem-Keizer School District

2018/19: Jim Charnholm, orchestra, McKay High School; Kimberly McConnell, choir, West Salem High School

2017/18: Karly Schindler, general music, Chávez Elementary School

2016/17: George Thomson, West Salem High; Dr. David Brown, Sprague High; and Andy Thomas, Whiteaker Middle School

2015/16: Anisa Rodriguez Foroughi, general music, Four Corners Elementary

2014/15: Rebecca Couch, choir director, Walker Middle School

2013/14: Steve Phillips, general music, Auburn Elementary School

2012/13: Todd Zibelman, symphony orchestra and band director, West Salem High School

2011/12: Tiffany Gaither, general music, Schirle Elementary

2010/11: Carol Stenson, choir director, South Salem High School

2009/10: Jim Taylor, choir director, McNary High School

2008/09: Ike Nail, band director, West Salem High School

2007/08: Bonnie Gallagher, orchestra director, Whiteaker Middle School

2006/07: Holly Albertson, general music, Gubser Elementary; and Rosalie Karalekas, general music, Rosedale and Liberty Elementary Schools

2005/06: Stephen A. Nelson, orchestra director, Sprague High School

2004/05: Paul J. Mayhew, choir director, McNary High School

2003/04: Janet Romine, general music, Faye Wright Elementary; and Russ Christensen, choir director, Sprague High School

2002/03: Mary Lou Boderman, band director, South Salem High School

2000/01: Richard Dalzell, choir director, North Salem High School

Elementary Choral Festival

Elementary Choral Festival


Caden Harris-Clippinger & Matthew Zheng – South Salem High School

Brahms Double Concerto in a minor for Violin and Cello – Movement 1

Honorable Mention distinction:

Victor Ceja (McNary High School)– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concerto in G for Flute – Movement 1

Caden Randolph (Sprague High School) – Franz Joseph Haydn – Concerto for Trumpet


The following 5 distinguished professionals were the judges of the competition:

Nikolas Caoile – Wenatchee Symphony/Central Washington University – Director of Orchestras
Danh Pham – Washington State University – Director of Symphony Orchestra & Wind Ensemble
Ken Selden – Portland State University – Director of Orchestras
Katherine McLin – Arizona State University – Professor of Violin
Ben Brooks – Reynolds High School (Retired) – Orchestra/Band Director & Clinician

Congratulations to all of the participants from throughout the Salem-Keizer Schools and surrounding area!






Information & Resources

Instruments for Kids

Donate your gently used musical instruments today!

Help us provide instruments for students who would love to participate in school music programs. We gladly accept monetary donations to help with the cost of instrument repair and maintenance.

Drop off locations:

233 Commercial Street: Monday-Saturday 8:30am-5:30pm
484 State Street: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm

Questions? Or to arrange for a pick up, call 503-364-2933

Friends of Music is a division of SKEF

The Music Lessons Project

The new Music Lessons Project, a community-supported non-profit organization dedicated to providing individualized and small-group lessons.

Music Lessons Project brings private lessons to Salem’s lower-income schools

Application Coming Soon

Information is available on the OMEA website

Straub Middle School

This event is hosted by Straub Middle School and caters to middle school students. It will be held on TBD. Registration information will be available through your band director.

OMEA District 4

This event is hosted by the Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA), District 4. It serves as the state-qualifying event for students in OMEA’s District 4 region. Though ineligible for advancement to state competition, middle school students are welcome to participate. Registration information will be available through your band director.

Oregon Symphony Association

Salem Community Chorus

Salem Pops Scholarships

  • Application -Coming soon

Sylvia Perry Memorial Scholarship

Withnell Scholarship

VSO Young Artist Competition

Young Soloist Competition

Richard Todd performs classical horn solos and jazz improvisation. He will be joined by the McKay and North Salem High School Jazz Bands.

Performance details

  • Tuesday, February 7, 7:00 p.m.
  • McKay High School Auditorium
  • Admission is free and open to the public

About Richard Todd

Horn teacher at the University of Miami, and former Principal Horn of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Todd’s studio career has spanned over 35 years and included over 2,000 film and television scores. He has been given screen credit on blockbusters such as Star Trek Into Darkness and Tomorrowland. As a jazz artist, Todd’s education started with Ellis Marsalis.

Click here to download the event flyer in English

Music Event Monthly Calendar

Distance Learning Projects & Performances

McNary HS APT Program

McNary HS Choir

North Salem HS Choir

Sprague HS Band

Sprague HS Choir

Sprague HS Orchestra

South Salem HS Choir

West Salem HS Choir

West Salem HS Symphony Orchestra

Crossler MS Orchestra

  • Crossler Holiday Card

Judson Middle School Choir

Gubser Elementary Choir

Theatre Performance

Salem-Keizer Theatre Arts Department web page

Quick Facts: Our Faculty

OSAS Music Teacher of the Year

  • 2004: Janet Romine, Russ Christensen
  • 2005: Paul Mayhew
  • 2006: Stephen Nelson
  • 2007: Rosalie Karalekas, Holly Albertson
  • 2008: Ike Nail
  • 2009: Jim Taylor
  • 2010: Carol Stenson
  • 2011: Tiffany Gaither
  • 2012: Todd Zimbelman
  • 2013: Steve Phillips
  • 2014: Rebecca Hollen
  • 2015: Anisa Rodriguez-Foroughi
  • 2016: George Thomson, David Brown, Andy Thomas
  • 2017: Karly Schindler
  • 2018: Jim Charnholm, orchestra, McKay High School; Kimberly McConnell, choir, West Salem High School
  • 2019: Ariana Recher

Crystal Apple Awards

Crystal Apple Recipients

  • Barb Fontana, 2003
  • Becca Hollen, 2015
  • Bonnie Gallagher, 2008
  • Chuck Graber, 1997
  • Dave DeRoest, 2015
  • Gordon Ogo, 2004
  • Jason Erikson, 2019
  • Karl Raschkes, 2007

ODE Standards for Music

National and ODE standards follow the same framework.

Core Art Standards PDF

These diagrams may be helpful in understanding how the standards are coded within the framework (3 pgs).

How to Read the NAfME and ODE Standards

Scope & Sequences

Elementary ODE Music Standard

Elem Gen Scope and Sequence

Choir ODE Music Standards

Choir Scope & Sequence

Band ODE Music Standards

Download Band Scope and Sequence PDF

We asked our staff, “What is the best thing about teaching in Salem-Keizer?”

“The best part of teaching in Salem-Keizer is the high quality of teaching, standards and musical experience for our students, as well as the incredible community support for our music in Salem-Keizer.”

“I love working with a district dedicated to the excellence of the students as well as teachers. It is a wonderful district to teach in because I can support and be supported by other teachers in the school and the district.”
“The practical support of new teachers by the music leadership. Salem-Keizer holds high standards for music, but is also great at helping teachers meet those standards.”
“Salem-Keizer has a great community of teachers that offer support and assistance to one another. They are open to new ideas and help create an environment for success.”

“The teachers you will work with lead to an environment that pushes you to continue to grow as an educator. The people here are really great to work with.”

“Feeling a part of a strong musical culture and history, community support, accountability”
“The well-supported, high quality music programs, in all levels and areas makes me proud to be a new hire in SKSD.”
“Great colleagues. They really spread you out so that you can get a lot of experience.”

“Teaching in a community that supports you and loves music is a dream come true. I appreciate the connection between other teachers in my discipline and the community of support and encouragement that we have fostered. The students are phenomenal and I feel gratified as a musician in the quality of music we get to make together.”

“The Salem-Keizer school district is full of thriving music programs and excellent staff. This creates a culture of high expectations and exceptional support and growth opportunities. I truly believe I have grown so much as a music educator through the intentional and frequent formal and informal supports at the district and area levels. My colleagues are incredibly knowledgeable and are always willing to help and support the work I do with my students.”

Stephen Lytle, Coordinator of Music & Drama

Stephen Lytle

Coordinator of Music & Drama

Salem-Keizer Public School

Music Department

Portland Professional Ctr.
4760 Portland Rd. NE
Salem, Oregon 97305

Kathryn Kem

Program Assistant


Sheila Gebhardt

Administrative Specialist

Interested In Working Here?

Our district employs over 100 music teachers, serving students in kindergarten through high school. Students in our elementary schools receive at least an hour of music instruction each week, in addition to optional participation in choir, orchestra, and band. The choir, orchestra, and band programs continue through high school, with the full complement offered at each of our traditional middle and high schools. Some schools also offer courses in guitar, world drumming, piano, ukulele, etc.

Our programs are staffed vertically, enabling students to receive instruction from teachers working within their area of specialty. Our faculty hail from around the country, drawn by the commitment our community makes to ensuring all students have access to a quality music education. If you’re interested in joining our faculty you may wish to explore this website for perspectives from faculty members (Quick Facts section above), samples of student performances, and scope and sequences for our core content areas. You may also wish to visit our district’s quick facts page, our employment page, or search our current job postings.