This Fall, Gayle Hartwig joins The Quire as our new director, bringing with her over 45 years of music education and experience! I talked with Gayle recently, and she shared some information so that we could all get to know her better.
Are you originally from Iowa? If so, where? If not, where did you grow up?
I grew up on a farm located along the banks of the Wapsipinicon River. My home town is Olin – Jones County, Iowa.
How long have you been involved in music? Have you done anything else musically besides your current focus?
My career in music started in Greene, Iowa where I taught K-12 vocal music for 2 years. During college, I spent summers working at several summer camps. Those were the days of playing the guitar and singing around the campfire. It was after teaching for several years that I became involved with the “Iowa Mountaineers”. I was able to do some traveling with them, climb mountains during the day and play my guitar and sing around the campfire at night.
It was these early experiences that eventually led me to be a part of the Iowa Arts Council where I developed programs for schools and community events, several of the programs were: “Songs from an Iowa Front Porch”, “Steam Heat, Gas Lamps, Hot Wieners and Opera”.
I don’t remember a time that I was not involved in music in one way or another. My mom and dad and extended family would sing for personal entertainment on the front porch of our home. Olin is a small community and we were quite proud of the music programs, both vocal and instrumental, that were offered in our school. There are an amazing number of professional musicians in the world today that are products of the Olin, Iowa school system. We were blessed with amazing teachers.
What’s your favorite kind of music (or your favorite artist)?
I have taught at the college level, maintained a private voice studio, directed church and community choirs, and most recently taught Music Appreciation and World music to non majors at the Centerville, Iowa campus of Indian Hills Community College. I really enjoy all kinds of music and want to keep learning new genres of music. I do enjoy “story songs”.
How did you get connected to The Quire?
I became connected to The Quire through friends who sing with the group and through friends who support the group. I am so looking forward to working with The Quire! This will be a new and invigorating challenge for me. My goals include working to continue the excellent musical sounds that The Quire is known for and growing together as a group in the community and beyond. I can’t wait to get started creating sounds together.
What’s the location of your favorite vacation spot to date? Name one place you would like to go.
My husband recently retired. We purchased our first home which is such a dream come true. I love our home so much and love working in the yard so much – It’s like a vacation home to me!! 🙂 That being said, I do want to travel to Schleswig-Holstein Germany, particularly I want to visit Heide and do some ancestry research. I do speak a little German.
What or who inspires you?
I enjoy having a glass of wine with good friends and good conversation. I am inspired by people I meet! I love to hear their stories and learn from them.
If you would like to know more about Gayle, singing members or The Quire in general, feel free to join us at our first rehearsal – this Sunday, August 28th, at Zion Lutheran Church (310 N Johnson Street, Iowa City) at 6 p.m.