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Director Biographies

Joey Menninga, Santa Fe 5/6 Center,Chisholm Middle School

Joey Menninga, a native of Wichita, KS, has served as the director of the Chisholm Middle School and Santa Fe 5/6 Center orchestras in Newton, KS since 2004. Prior to his tenure in Newton, Joey taught orchestra in Hays, KS and has extensive experience teaching private violin and viola lessons. Mr. Menninga held the position of part-time music instructor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, where he taught violin and viola for two years. In addition, Mr. Menninga has previously served as viola coach for the Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras Program. Mr. Menninga earned a masters degree in music education as well as a masters degree in educational leadership, both from Wichita State University, and a bachelors degree in music education and viola performance from Bethany College. Mr. Menninga has played viola with orchestras from across the area including the Newton Mid-KS Symphony, the Wichita State University Orchestra, the Bethany College/Lindsborg Community Orchestra, the Hutchinson Symphony, the Salina Symphony, and the Hays Symphony. He has also played with the Bethany College String Quartet and currently plays viola with the Silver Sound String Quartet from Wichita, KS. Mr. Menninga enjoys playing a wide variety of music and has played the trombone in the Bethany College Brass Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Symphonic Band. Mr. Menninga also had the opportunity to sing with the Bethany College Oratorio Society in their performance of Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Joey also enjoys attempting to play the guitar and bass guitar and can be found playing these instruments at church occasionally. From 2011-2015, Joey was the bass player for the band Shine Like Stars (www.slsworship.com), and toured with the band throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, California, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Ohio. He has also recorded three albums with the band and their music can be heard on Itunes and Spotify. 

  Kara Tann, Santa Fe 5/6 Center, Newton High School
Kara Tann joined the Newton music faculty in August 2014. She directs the Newton High School Orchestras and co-teaches orchestra at the Santa Fe 5/6 Center. She recently moved from near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she taught from high school orchestra and other music classes, as well as private violin lessons in K-12 settings. Kara holds a B.A. in Music Education from Eastern Mennonite University and is currently finishing her M.A. Ed. with a concentration in Music from Arcadia University. While in Pennsylvania, Kara played with the Bryn Athyn Symphony Orchestra and performed her graduate violin recital in May 2014. While she is primarily a violinist, Kara enjoys playing all sorts of string instruments!