For senior Katie Chmelko, music has always been her source of passion. A Philadelphia native, she played an active role in her high school’s orchestra, chamber ensemble, and jazz band. Since that time, Chmelko has developed a deeply rooted love for the fine arts here at Saint Mary’s. The personal attention and intimate relationships between students and teachers was the primary reason for Chmelko’s college decision. “I am thankful everyday for choosing to come to Saint Mary’s to be a part of this wonderful music program. We have such talented and wonderful teachers here, and because the department is smaller we get the personalized attention that is needed for us to grow as students, performers, and future teachers.”
Both a talented singer and instrumentalist, Chmelko is pursuing a degree in music education. As a student teacher, Chmelko currently teaches choral music to students at LaPorte High School, LaPorte, Ind. However, her journey does not end there. Chmelko has strong intentions of continuing her education with a graduate degree in choral conducting.
Chmelko has grown tremendously as both a musician and overall student. This past November was Chmelko’s second consecutive year playing a vital part in Saint Mary’s College's "High School Women’s Choir Festival." This year, Chmelko invested her time in conducting a piece for Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir. Her first two years as a college student were spent touring Carnegie Hall, and later studying abroad in Rome during the time the festival was scheduled.
Her courses in music theory and music history have enabled her to better analyze and interpret a wide variety of musical pieces. Chmelko holds in high regards Dr. Menk, her music mentor and student advisor since freshman year. “She has been a tremendous source of guidance and encouragement and has helped me discover my passion for conducting.”
— Brianne Carroll '12