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Director. Educator. Musician.
Mike Kabash is a respected and dedicated self-starter with 12 years experience in education and directing with proven expertise in creating musical community on campus that promotes the school and develops students to their fullest potentials.
To bring some color to my black and white professional resume (click link to view), I created this page to offer another window into my work in music and performing arts education. Thanks for taking a look and a listen.
A short biography:
Mike Kabash - music director, program founder and coordinator, and recipient of the 2016 Teacher of the Year award - taught at Saint Mary School from 2009-2017. Prior to coming to Saint Mary Campus Schools, he taught Global Studies at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in New York City and then briefly directed the music program at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, marking both a turning point in that program and in his future role in education. After recently spending two years at Trinity Hall as history teacher and then technology coordinator, he is refreshed and ready to return to music and the performing arts.
Mr. Kabash received his Bachelors degree in History with a Music Minor from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland and then his Masters in Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.
At Saint Mary School, Mr. Kabash taught, created, integrated, and directed student centered performing ensembles at many age levels. When he first arrived at SMS he taught K-8 music and there were not yet any extracurricular arts programs. He created and directed the Saint Mary SoundWaves Band and also the Mater Dei Prep Band. He arranged music for and directed the Saint Mary Singers at our weekly Friday liturgies and at off-campus events both within the community as well as on the radio and arena stage. He was deeply involved in the TheatreWorks program, in which the company performs to the music of our own student pit band, operates lighting and sound tech, creates choreography, costumes, and more. He also coordinated the Saint Mary SoundWaves lessons program which gives young musicians experiences in solo, small group, an ensemble playing as well as develops their general musicianship and proficiency on an instrument as all our students grow and develop their artistic potentials.
Music is fun.
In designing and building a cohesive and thriving campus performing arts program - choir, band, lessons, theater - our TheatreWorks company, which included about 80 students, was an organization that really showcased the different elements together. We produced and directed 3 middle school musical theater productions per year, including set design, t-shirt design, live student orchestra, choreography, stage and technical crew, you name it. Productions included The Music Man, Beauty & the Beast Jr., Aladdin Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr., Lion King Jr., Alice in Wonderland Jr., Godspell Jr., and also included lesser known shows including Camel Lot, In a Galilee Far, Far Away, Press Start, Not Your Average Joe, original musicals, and more.
Why so many shows? If both rehearsals and performing are seen by the students and staff as fun experiences, then why not? Whether our goal is a big stage production, a holiday specialty, a hot cocoa house cabaret, or whatever you can think of, we like to enjoy a well planned, fun and rigorous rehearsal schedule that keeps us in motion and develops our sense of team and our performance goals. Being on stage and getting to the stage is fun, and this is evident the videos, pictures, and audio recordings I share on this site.
Take a look at the two video selections below to get a taste for how I like to open up a show. Then continue to the bottom of this webpage for more videos, including clips from our fun fun fun 2017 production of Godspell Jr.
Listen to this: Everyone sings
The playlist to the left is your chance to hear samples my favorite choir, the Saint Mary Singers, as well as a recordings from recitals, promotions, and bands. Listening in will really help you get a feel for the breadth of what we did and the sense of fun that goes with it.
I custom wrote all the musical arrangements (the sheet music) that our ensembles sing and play with specific strengths and needs of my students and program.
Hit play on this playlist while in your office and whistle while you work.
It all began with a soccer tube sock wrapped around a drum stick and the classroom garbage can in general music classes.
When I began at SMS, they were looking for one thing in particular: a band. We started with no instruments and no musicians, and we ended up with more than we could have imagined; we created a mecca for the performing arts.
Knowing that everyone sings, one of my early goals was in creating and developing a choir, which would later make use of our stronger instrumental musicians while developing our most eager and inspiring others. Every element of the program was created with purpose and with the campus community in mind, and we had a complete musical ecosystem serving students of all ages, proficiencies, and levels of interest.
Creativity and Possibility
One afternoon in a piano lesson a student told me about a silly song idea she had. I asked her to sing it again as i transcribed it A couple years later, unbeknownst to her, I finished the song, and a colleague and I had written an entire Christmas musical, Kristy Can't Find Christmas, based around this idea she had in her piano lesson. Her name is on the byline of every band member's sheet music of the musical's feature song, Santa's Second Visit.
Hear that song and more while browsing The Saint Mary Singers' 3 albums of original arrangements of Christmas classics available on Spotify!
I utilize technology to help coordinate students and programs. Below are a few points of interest on smSoundWaves.com, which I built as an organizational and communications tool to manage my maturing program at Saint Mary School, to keep people informed, keep things running smooth, and share media. It also shows my interest in the applied and performance aspects of a music program. Here are a few links to you get started, and feel free to start at the main page and browse.
When I would leave the room only to come back finding out the students not throwing paper airplanes but rather counting themselves in to music or performance numbers we were working on it was clear that we had succeeded in creating a very special artistic community.