Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Music Master of Music Music EC-12 Special Education EC-12
Mr. Ken Van Lysebettens - Director of Choirs - Ed White Middle School
Greetings Eagles and Guests!!!
Welcome to our Ed White MS Eagle Choir Program! My name is Mr. Van and this is my 5th year in NEISD at Ed White/DATA Middle School as the Director of Choirs.
It is my privilege and pleasure to be your choir director here at Ed White! My music journey began with singing in my church choir and playing in the band throughout elementary, middle and high school. Later I received a Bachelor of Music degree from the American Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, during which I embarked on careers in both a performance and education that have spanned over 40 years around the country as a professional musician, arranger and director.
While working as a professional musician, I began my career as a music educator in my hometown of Chicago in 1988. After teaching band, choir, drama and general music for 29 years, we moved to the San Antonio area in 2017 where I began teaching in the SCUC ISD. In August of 2019 I accepted an invitation to teach in NEISD becoming a member of the Ed White Eagles family and faculty as the Director of Choirs at Ed White Middle School.
Each year in the fall, our Ensemble Choir, Concert Chorale and Chamber Ensemble groups begin the year with songs, games and treats in our a 'Bring A Friend To Choir Nite' followed by our October performances of our Eagle Choirs in our Fall Concert (last year themed 'Songs of Hope') as well as our Veterans Day performances. We end the 1st quarter with our Eagle Fine Arts Family Fun Night scheduled the last Friday of each quarter at a different area venue...EVERYONE HAS A BLAST! After our awesome late-October Eagle Choirs Halloween Costume & Karaoke party we close out the month of October with our Eagle Choirs performing along with other Ed White fine arts groups in our campus-wide Fall Festival.
Moving on to November, last year we enjoyed a performance of the historically famous dramatic opera 'Pagliacci' at the Tobin Center which the kids were absolutely facinated with not to mention the fancy upscale decor in this theatre venue. This year's performances offered in early October will be 'Hansel and Gretel' and 'The Pirates of Penzance' so get your votes in ASAP!! We also travel about this time (or in February) to a performance at the 'San Antonio SPURS' game which we have performed at the last couple of years both during the half-time show and for the opening national anthem. During the December holiday season we also take in a combined choir/band/orchestra holiday concert at Trinity University...incredibly talented groups to say the least! Our holiday concert tour usually includes area performances at the Brookdale Oakwell Senior Living, one of the uncontested student favorites where our students perform, visit with the residents, carol through their halls offering gifts (dollar store) and bringing holiday love and cheer to the elderly in our community. We close out our festive December schedule with our Eagle Choirs Winter Holiday Festival Concert (last year themed, 'Holidays of Song'), the PTA Varsity Fine Arts Concert and our Family Fine Arts Fun Nite.
After the holiday break our varsity groups begin preparation for UIL Concert & Sightreading Contest in February (28th thru March 1st this year). We also begin auditions for this year's musical production of Beauty & The Beast'! All choir members are eligible to audition for this musical so DON'T MISS OUT on the opportunity to be part of this life changing performance experience!! Our last musical in May of 2022, Guys and Dolls was an absolute hit with our students as well as our audiences. Just beyond UIL contest is our Eagle Choirs Spring concert (last year themed,'Hold Fast To Dreams') along with a possible community performance TBA.
With an active schedule throughout the rest of the year, our students look forward to the Broadway musical, Region Choir auditions, Clinic and Concert performance, our Pop Festival Concert, our Eagle Choir Awards Banquet and so much more!
The Eagle Choir program also sponsors other events including our Eagle Choir Karaoke Coffee House and the school-wide Ed White Student/Faculty Talent Show!
SO NOW WE'RE BACK!!! ...and I am PUMPED!! We are so looking forward to seeing you all and hearing your voices this year !! For those that are incoming new members...WELCOME ONE AND ALL!!! So excited to meet you and have you sing with us!! FYI: Choir is a 'No Anxiety Zone'. We come to enjoy making music together and THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GONNA DO!! We want to focus on developing our voices and the listening skills that make us sound B-E-A-UUUU-TIFUL together!!
So come one, come all and let's SING, SING, SING!!!
See you very SOON!! :)
Director of Choirs
Ed White Middle School
2022-23Eagle Choir Class Schedule
(as of 8/8/22)
Mr. Van – Director of Choirs
Performing Arts Department
1st Period: 8:25 - 9:17am
Ensemble Choir (NV - 6th)
2nd Period: 9:21 - 10:07am
EH Ensemble Choir (NV - 6th)
3rd Period: 10:11 - 10:56am
Concert Chorale (JV - 7th)
4th Period: 11:00 - 11:46am
Chamber Singers (Varsity- 8th)
5th Period: 12:24 - 1:10pm
6th Period: 1:14 - 2:00pm
Ensemble Choir (NV - 6th)
7th Period: 2:04 - 2:50pm
8th Period: 2:54 - 3:40pm
Concert Chorale (JV - 7th)
Learning in the Ed White Eagle Choirs:
In our choir program we work throughout the year on all fronts of vocal pedagogy and techniques using our Rhythm Reader, SOS rhythm exercises and other sources to improve our understanding and performance of rhythms and counting as well as ensemble rhythmic performance at the different levels. Believeing that sound crystalizes and anchors concepts if introduce prior to teaching concepts, the sightreading philosophy we operate on is a three-tier process: 1.) Sound before Sight 2.) Sound to Sight and, 3.) Sound at Sight. Our pitch and melodic sight reading skills are targeted in our SOS Sightreading exercises which we use in conjuction with the Sightreading Factory online app that has endless variations, length and levels of sightreading challenges and performance practice. We vary our warm-ups in range and difficulty based on the level of the students vocal skills, techniques and music .
Our choral groups are learning the importance of performance practices that develop not only understanding, performance skills and outstanding vocal techniques but also they develop musical independence empowering students in performance skills and confidence to take on increasingly greater challenges in the performing arts as well as requiring students to transfer knowledge (higher order/critical thinking skills) which in turn requires students to examine, compare, contrast, analyze and discriminate between things they see and hear. Performance skills also make students more efficient in rehearsal saving time in the process and excelerating learning as practices become an ingrained part of students' music making process and vocabulary opening the door to more advanced repertoire and nuanced concepts. Performance practices also embed expressivity into the learning process as an integral part instead of being an after thought.
Many of these foundational rules of choral singing and general rules for music may be found on our choir hall back wall right above the students at every rehearsal which we refer to in our daily choral warm-ups, drills and seasonal repertoire rehearsals as practical examples occur. These rules help students to form paradigms for proper vocal techniques that unify many of the blend issues that arise helping them to sing 'as one' with consistent tone quality and intonation. Rules for final consonants, punctuation, diphthongs, syllabic/word stress, the word 'the', final and internal R sounds, decreasing/increasing vocal parts, moving voice parts, the sluir, long tones, ascending and descending pitches, repeated pitches, repeated phrases or sections, suspensions, pick-up notes, motifs and themes. We also discuss, demonstrate examples of and rehearse proper rather than improper placement of the voice or head voice (vs. throat voice)
Our Eagle Choirs perform four all-program choral concerts in-house each year (Fall, Winter, Spring and EOY concerts) as well as holiday and special in-house performances (ie: Veterans Day, PTA Holiday Performance). We also perform off-campus during the school year (ie: Spurs games, Brookdale Senior Living). We also host fun activities like 'Bring A Friend Choir Nite', virtual Karaoke Coffee House Nites, school-wide talent shows and school musicals.
Lots to do and learn in the Eagle Choirs program so COME JOIN US and SING, SING, SING!!!
See you at the Eagle Choir Hall!
Mr.Van - Director of Choirs
Eagle Ensemble Choir
Eagle Concert Chorale
Eagle Chamber Singers
Eagle Choir Hall: (210)356-5940