Elementary & Middle School Honor Choirs
Elementary Honor Choir
Sarah Hassler is the music specialist at Cherry Tree Elementary School in Carmel, Indiana, where she teaches grades K-5. She has taught students ranging in age from toddlers through college in general as well as instrumental music. Mrs. Hassler is Associate Conductor of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
Mrs. Hassler is a graduate of Capital University with a Masters of Education with Kodaly Emphasis and The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Music Education. She received her Orff-Schulwerk Certification and Curriculum from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota). She was the recipient of the Gregory Von Stein Scholarship from Capital University and the Gunild Keetman Scholarship from the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
She teaches Orff-Schulwerk Certification Level at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana and DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
Mrs. Hassler has presented sessions at the National AOSA Conference; the Indiana Music Educator’s Association conference; and, the National OAKE Conference. Mrs. Hassler is a frequent Orff Schulwerk workshop presenter and enjoys serving as guest conductor of children’s choirs.
Elementary Honor Choir
Janel Baker currently teaches grades 6-12 vocal music at Western Middle-High School in Russiaville, Indiana. She began teaching at Western in 2008. Prior to teaching for Western School Corporation, Janel taught for sixteen years at Rossville Jr.-Sr. High School in Rossville, Indiana. Now in her 24th year of music education, Janel’s current responsibilities at Western include directing 9 choirs. While at Western she has taught advanced music theory, advanced music history, directed the Western Vocal Jazz ensemble and taught both piano and voice privately. Through her teaching experiences, Janel has seen her vocal programs excel and experience tremendous growth and recognition. Her choirs annually participate in ISSMA contests receiving Gold division ratings and receive with distinction recognition. The Western Choir Department was awarded the All-Music Award in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Janel completed her undergraduate degree from Taylor University where she named the Secondary Student Teacher of the Year. A cum laude graduate of Taylor, she holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a minor in piano pedagogy. Janel completed her master’s degree in music education from Ball State University in 2000. Under her mentorship, Mrs. Baker has guided many student teachers and has seen many former students choose music education as their career path. Two of her former students from Rossville are currently teaching music in the Western School Corporation, Michelle Schneider and Autumn Smith.
Janel has served on the IMEA Board of Directors as the Area III Representative. She has served on the concert committee for ISSMA, been a guest conductor for CSWS, served as a guest clinician for IMEA Non-Competitive Festivals and directed the IMEA Middle School Honor Choir in 2003. Her professional affiliations include. NAFME, IMEA, ICDA, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and ISTA. She was honored to receive recognition as Teacher of the Year for Western School Corporation in 2015.
Janel and her husband Mark currently reside in Kokomo with their three boys, Seth (age 11), Isaiah (age 9) and Levi (age 5). Janel feels honored to once again be asked to direct the IMEA Middle School Honor Choir.