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He writes their songs, records their music, and gets the fifty-plus kids from Austin’s Palm School Choir onto high-profile stages such as NBC’s Today show and the South by Southwest music festival. Needless to say, this is not your typical school choir. The group has just released its sixth album, the double-disc PSC Gold (cdbaby.com).
You’ve taken a unique approach as a music teacher.
I went to a small Catholic school, and my music teacher wrote all these rocking religious tunes. It had a big impact on me. As a teacher myself, I started off doing the standard choral repertoire, but after a few years, I wrote this fall holiday show, and it was a big success. I recorded it and gave out the CDs. Everything kind of snowballed after that.
How did the school react?
The kids got into it from the beginning. I’d sit with them at lunch and use their stories in my songs. The administrators have been supportive from the get-go.
What do you hope the kids take away?
Years from now, I want them to remember our time together. The cool thing about the choir is that you can continue with it after you graduate, so I keep in touch with Palm alumni. I hope they play the CDs for their kids someday and remember a good, glorious time.