Casa Grande native Dr. Kim Osteen-Petreshock takes over reins of CAC’s choral music program
By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - When Kim Osteen-Petreshock was attending high school in Casa Grande and a member of Central Arizona College's Bell Choir Ringers, she was taken under the wing of Kim Freyermuth who oversaw the vocal music at CAC.
Osteen-Petreshock remembers developing an admiration and respect for Freyermuth who engaged students by visiting area schools. She connected the students with music by exposing them to the Bell Choir Ringers, preparing them to sing solos, and teaching them how to sight read.
"I learned a lot from her," Osteen-Petreshock recalled, "and she wasn't even my high school teacher. She just came to our school and helped out those of us who were interested in music."
Fast forward to the present day and Osteen-Petreshock, who earned her doctorate of musical arts degree from Arizona State University, has been handed the reins to CAC's vocal music department as a professor of choral studies and the choral director.
Osteen-Petreshock doesn't intend on trying to be the second coming of her mentor, but she does hope to put forth that same level of effort in her new position.
"Obviously, there's no way to replace a specific person; I would never try to be her because that's impossible," Osteen-Petreshock said. "But, I respected the way she kind of kept an eye out for students who had some talent or some real interest in music.
The importance of this cannot be understated. According to Osteen-Petreshock, collegiate choral directors are always on the lookout for high school students and community members who are musically inclined. Engaging the community is a task that the Casa Grande native should have little problem undertaking.
Osteen-Petreshock has been visible in the CAC and Casa Grande communities, appearing in CAC theater productions such as Guys and Dolls, Lend Me a Tenor, Godspell, and Nunsense. She now hopes to use her connection to the community to "raise the profile" of the choral department at CAC, having noticed low participation in recent years.
"That may just be because people didn't know that we're here, that there's a choir they can be a part of without being a full-time student. I know that there are people out there that like to sing. I would just like to find them and let them know that we're here."
Osteen-Petreshock also wants to enhance the program's community engagement from an entertainment standpoint, presenting concerts throughout the year while raising community awareness of the program. She envisions taking her college choir to festivals, exposing choir participants to a variety of music and choral singing.
"The more you are exposed to, the more you can learn."
Osteen-Petreshock's overall commitment to teaching music and musical performance is unflappable. She knows that people sing because they believe it is fun. While she hopes to bring an element of fun to the classroom, especially since she enjoys teaching and the interaction that goes with it, she also hopes that her students find her lessons impactful.
"I feel very strongly about a certain level of quality in performing arts. There's going to be a balance. My classes are going to be fun, but it's also going to take some dedication and some work because that's the only way that you get the high level of quality that makes it worth doing."
Without question, it is Osteen-Petreshock's high expectations that landed her at CAC. In fact, there probably are a large number of institutions that would be thrilled to have her leading their choral programs. For Osteen-Petreshock, though, choosing CAC was a no-brainer.
"I really feel connected to this community. Sure, there are other places you can go to do these things, but I want this community to have a good music program. I want this community to have these things. It's not just a job to me. I really care about this place."
For more information about the CAC choral programs and classes, please contact Dr. Kim Osteen-Petreshock at firstname.lastname@example.org.