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Stettler Spotlight - Rhonda Sylvester

music teacher stettler
Rhonda Sylvester

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Born and raised in Stettler

Why do you choose Stettler as your home?

Rhonda says she likes the small town community. She knew a lot of people from here growing up. She taught here in Stettler while driving back and forth to Camrose for one of her degrees. She also lived in Kassel Germany where she studied German and taught English and music for grads 5-13. Afterwards, she returned to teaching in Stettler.

“Stettler is where my heart has led me.”

What do you do?

Rhonda is a private voice and choral instructor. She specializes in vocal technique and development. She teaches choral and musical theatre here in Stettler, and is going into her 28th year of teaching. When it comes to being a teacher, she says she has learned as much from the kids she’s taught as she learned in text books.

She has gotten into adjudicating music festivals and has been doing it roughly 10-12 years. She says she’s adjudicated in both Alberta and BC, and likes taking those students to the next level.

Rhonda started an impressive schooling roster with a Diploma in music from RDC then received her Bachelor of Music. She received her Teacher and Performer Degrees in vocal performance from the Royal Conservatory and she also received a Performer’s Degree from the Conservatory Canada.

Tell us about your family?

Married with 2 children (one of each) and a dog.

Who inspired you growing up?

One of her biggest influences when she was younger was Elaine Pitts. Rhonda says she auditioned for Mrs. Pitts when she was just 5 years old, and despite Pitts not often taking children before they were seven, Sylvester says she believes the music instructor saw potential in her. Despite being incredibly nervous for the audition, once she was accepted to the group, Sylvester says she felt much more confident and started to absolutely love singing.

Who inspires you now?

Rhonda states she is truly inspired by her fellow teachers and her students. She thinks there is an incredible sense of community for those in the Stettler Arts and that she is really enjoying a lot of different styles of choral music coming out right now. It’s given students and teachers wonderful opportunities to personalize their music. It helps to reach/engage with other people who may not have been as affected by the more traditional forms.

“The arts is an escape.”

Do you have any hobbies?

Although she spends a lot of time with music, she says her family are huge board game buffs. She also enjoys reading, gardening and camping.

What are your plans for the future?

Rhonda is looking forward to her upcoming season and her annual Christmas Concert. There is also a spring concert, and of course she plans to participate in the District Music Festival.

Anything you would like to tell your community?

Sylvester is hoping a lot of kids will embrace singing, or at least something in the arts. She says there is something for everyone. The arts are about togetherness and inclusion.

Thank you to Rhonda for being part of Stettler Spotlights.


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