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Teaching Artists

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Zoe Gatz is currently a singer, dancer, and actress working in Southern Wisconsin. She is a senior in Music Theatre at Carthage College, and an alumni of the Kids From Wisconsin organization. She cannot wait to bring you the joy of making music and performing, and hopes that you have as much fun as she does doing it with you! You can catch her as the Head of Audience Development at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest, IL for this upcoming season.

Zoe Gatz

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Taylor is from Rockford, Illinois. He has trained with Rockford Dance Company, Northern Illinois University, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, HybridMotion & recently graduated from the Lines Ballet Training Program. He is currently in his second season as a movement artist with Waterstreet Dance Milwaukee.

Taylor Maurchie-Banks

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My education is in Early Childhood and Infant/Toddler education through MATC, and Dance through UWM. I have worked in childcare for over 20 years.
I work as a Teaching Artist, helping students express themselves through music and dance. This is also my passion. I have witnessed that children who learn to express themselves through music and theater arts have shown success with balancing their emotions.
Outside of my Teaching Artist profession, I enjoy spending time with my husband Nicholas, whom I’ve been married to for 17 years now. We have three boys who we are raising in Franklin, Wisconsin. Our weekends are filled with soccer, baseball, and all sorts of other extracurricular activities.
I am a Certified Massage Therapist since 1994, specializing in Neuromuscular Therapy for pain relief and Sports Massage for athletes. This trade is very complimentary to me as a dancer, as I am always aware of my own body aches, injuries, etc. Having three boys involved in sports, Massage Therapy has also helped them with their muscle strains, and growing pains.
I also work as the After School Program Coordinator at St. Alphonsus, Franklin. I manage and oversee the after-school program, creating various activities for students, handling student behavioral concerns within the program, and the hiring and management of the staff.
Working with children teaches me patience and compassion as a person. It also reminds me that not one child is like another. We all learn differently. We all grow differently. But, we are all special. We are all unique.

Stacey Pagac

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I love an array of things. Some hobbies that are close to my heart are singing, of course, dancing (when no one is watching), cleaning, cooking, love to play tennis, and teaching music. I grew up in Rockford Illinois, That is where I fell in love with music. I grew up in church; growing up in church gave me access to music, that close access was beautiful to me. Although I had access, I wanted more from music; I wanted a deeper understanding. I had to find that on my own. Finding interesting musical influences on my own led me to some amazing artist that crafted my gift and directed my interest. I studied Donald Lawrence, Destiny's Child, James Brown, Ray Charles.
My love of music is very deep, I would even say embedded into my soul. As stated earlier, I love to cook! My favorite meal to make is seafood gumbo! I make a mean dish. Something that makes me laugh is goat scream videos, I don't know why they get me every time, but they do. I hope to meet you all and make wonderful music with you where you all have the ability to share music and joy with the world. Never limit yourself and never limit your gift, it can always grow.

John Stanford

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I am a pianist, arranger, and educator living in the Chicagoland area. I am currently completing my senior year as a Jazz Studies major with a minor in Audio Production at Elmhurst University.
I have had the great honor of performing for two years as a principal member of the Kids From Wisconsin troupe (2018-19). From this experience I have learned the principles and procedures for being a professional level, full-time touring performer.
As a member of the Elmhurst University Jazz Band and under the direction of Doug Beach, I have been given countless great performance opportunities, including but not limited to shows featuring names such as Kurt Elling, Byron Stripling, Ryan Truessdell, Dennis Mackrel and many more.
Outside of school, I perform regularly around the Midwest, performing music in settings ranging from solo piano to salsa bands, jazz trios and with full string orchestras.
Over the past summer, I was given the great opportunity to work as a teaching artist for the Kids From Wisconsin to provide music education for inner city kids in Milwaukee with underfunded arts programs.
Furthermore, with the experience provided from teaching the summer music program through the Kids From Wisconsin, I have been employed by two private piano lesson studios based in the Chicagoland area.

Dan VanZeeland