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Ms. Klaassen is very excited to be returning to the Olathe East Staff for her third year as Director of Choirs. She is a graduate of Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, and is an alumna of Smoky Valley High School, also located in Lindsborg, KS.  She is an active member of KMEA (Kansas Music Educators Association), KCDA (Kansas Choral Directors Association), and KMEK (Kodaly Music Educators of Kansas).

Prior to her appointment at Olathe East, Ms. Klaassen taught 5th-12th Vocal Music in Perry-Lecompton for 4 years and K-5 Music at Windom Elementary for 1 year.  In 2014, she worked at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and has coordinated summer arts camps prior to 2014.  In her 2018 summer, Ms. Klaassen finished the coursework and training to become a Kodaly Certified Teacher.

"Growing up, I remember my family always singing 4-part music together.  We were known as the Von Klaassen family (play-off of  von Trapp family).  Of my 12 other siblings, I was the only one to pursue music as a career."

Here's to another great year of memories and life-changing music!  East Side is the BEST Side!


JASON SICKEL, Assistant Director

Jason Sickel is in his 19th year of teaching choral music and is thrilled to be the assistant choral director at Olathe East and Olathe South High Schools. He has been an active member of the Kansas Choral Directors Association where he currently serves as Repertoire and Resources Chair for High School Choirs. Choirs under his direction have performed in concerts and clinics at many universities across Kansas and Missouri. His ensembles have performed at the Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshop (2011, 2016, 2018, 2020).  He has presented a variety of workshops and presentations at state and regional music education conventions. He was selected Blue Valley School District Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2016 and was humbled and honored to represent all teachers in Kansas as the 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year.


DR. KEZIA SCHRAG, Collaborative Pianist

Dr. Schrag is a native Kansan and has pursued bachelor and doctoral degrees in her home state. She has performed recitals and as soloist with orchestras in the U.S., Poland and Hungary. Additionally, she has participated in masterclasses with professors of the Liszt Academy, the Peabody Institute, Indiana University, Juilliard, and more.  She has a serious love for teaching and currently maintains an active teaching studio in Olathe, Kansas where she is also the accompanist at Olathe East High School.

Her recent performances included the premier of Sonata for Saxophone by Mike Leibowitz at the University of Oklahoma, a lecture recital on the Liszt song transcriptions with baritone, Dr. Robert McNichols, Jr., and a collaborative recording with saxophonists, Dr. Crystal Alexander and Keri Wing. Dr. Schrag also enjoys jazz, cooking, and most of all, spending time with her trusty sidekick, Amélia Schhrag-McNichols.

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The Story of Olathe East Choral Music

Established in 1992, Olathe East is a leading high school in the midwest for academics, athletics, and performing arts. We currently serve a population of almost 2,000 students each day, and offer a wide array of activities for students to engage in.

The Choral Music program was founded by the inimitable Texanna Ollenberger. A KMEA Hall of Fame Educator, recipient of the Harry Robert WIlson Award through KCDA, and a legend of the craft, Texanna gave Olathe East Choirs a profound beginning.


In 2000, the program welcomed it’s most long-standing director, Dr. Dwayne Dunn. Under the direction of Dr. Dunn, the Olathe East Choirs performed at numerous festivals and received many awards. Convention performances include the Kansas Music Educators Association in 2007, and the MENC Biennial Convention in 2008. Awards include Superior ratings and Best-in-Class awards at both the Alamo Showcase of Music in 2002, the Spring in the Park Music Festival in 2010, and the Dallas Classic Festival in 2011. During these years, they also toured internationally in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Canada, and throughout the United States.

Following Dr. Dunn were the tenures of Dustin Cates, Susan Scheibler and Baker Purdon from 2011-2019. During these transitions, Mr. Cates and Mrs. Scheibler and Mr. Purdon continued the exceptional growth in the program, culminating in a 2018 performance at the Kansas Music Educators Association, premieres of commissioned works and invites to sing at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center.

In the Fall of 2020, during the middle of COVID, the program invited its sixth director, Ms. Laura Klaassen.  As the program enters this new era, we look forward to continuing to grow the excellence in both musicianship and citizenship of our singers.

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