skip to Main Content

From ICC Singer to Music Educator


Leeann Starkey, ICC/IYC Alumna, 1996-2004

One of the most meaningful performances I can remember was singing at the Dachau concentration camp while we were on tour in Germany. We made a circle and sang songs of peace in Hebrew as many cried and hugged each other. The impact of what had occurred in that place was very real and unforgettable. Touring with the choir opened my eyes to the world and gave me an appreciation for other cultures, in ways that can’t be learned from a textbook.

I think witnessing the immense talent of our directors had a huge impact on my life. From the moment I joined the ICC, my life was changed forever.  I had always loved to sing and wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, but I distinctly remember realizing through ICC that music education was a lifelong gift to me.

I knew from 5th grade (the year I joined) that I wanted to teach music, and I will always attribute that to the ICC.  I am a choral conductor myself now and so much of how I teach and how I direct my choirs is a result of being under the baton of Henry, Ruth, Josh, Cheryl, and Meredith (to name a few). The ICC has impacted my life in great ways, and that impact has instilled in me a passion for music and a desire to share music with others.

Erica ZimmerICC/IYC Alumna, 1987-1997

I never realized the music that I learned while I was in ICC would stick with me for the rest of my life. Learning songs in Hungarian, Italian, Afrikaans, Chinese, Latin and other countless languages seemed like no big deal as a kid. As an educator, I am astonished by the high caliber of music that was presented to us. There was never a thought that we couldn’t complete the task. Expectations of ICC choirs were extremely high and because of that, ICC developed resilient, motivated and dedicated kids. To this day, 20 years later, I can still sing some of these songs.

ICC is the reason that I am a professional singer and voice teacher. The training I received from 10 years in ICC was invaluable. I didn’t realize until I went to college to become a music educator and performer, how prepared I was. The direction by Henry Leck and Ruth Dwyer had a tremendous effect on my career choice and path.  The impact ICC had on my life has brought about an understanding of excellence, artistic integrity, and compassion.

Back To Top