Alumni Catharine and Andrew Klein met at Ball State and now live in Texas where they both work for the Burleson Independent School District.
Where are you both originally from and what did you major in at Ball State?
Catharine grew up in Austin, Texas. She moved to Indiana in 2003 and majored in Music Education. Andrew grew up in Columbia City, Indiana and majored in Music Education. We currently live in Burleson, TX and have both been working in Burleson ISD for the past 7 years. Catharine is the head band director at Kerr Middle School (feeder to Burleson Centennial HS) and Andrew is the assistant band director at Burleson Centennial HS.
What opportunities attracted you to Ball State?
CATHARINE: I was excited about the opportunity to participate in multiple performing ensembles such as the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Chamber Music.
ANDREW: My band directors graduated from Ball State and they encouraged me to go there as well. I knew it was a great fit for me once I got on campus and met my professors.
How did you two meet?
We met after a Wind Ensemble rehearsal in 2004 when Catharine was a freshman and Andrew was a junior.
What are your fondest memories from Ball State? Are there any teachers who influenced your career path?
CATHARINE: My fondest memories were performing in the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, in addition to serving on the board for MENC and providing musical enrichment for students at the Muncie Boys and Girls Club. Dr. Ryan Hourigan was a wonderful mentor and greatly impacted my development as a music educator.
ANDREW: Performing with my friends in the Pride of Mid-America for 5 years, performing with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Marimba Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. Dr. Mueller made a huge impact on my life. He encouraged me to pursue my master’s degree in conducting and introduced me to my next mentor Dr. Missal at Oklahoma State University. I would not be where I am today without him.
What do you both enjoy doing in your free time?
Catharine enjoys Aerial Yoga in her free time. Andrew enjoys playing golf and working on the lawn in his free time. In our free time together, we enjoy traveling, going to the movie theater, and playing with our dachshund, Grace.
What advice would you like to share with future Ball State graduates?
CATHARINE: Get as MUCH teaching experience as you can working with real students, as often as possible! When you start teaching, make time for yourself. It’s ok to set boundaries so you can be a healthy, well rounded person. You cannot teach your best when you are not well rested!
ANDREW: If you are going to teach, learn as much as you can about the instruments. If possible, sit in on private lessons with every instrument. Start networking now! A great way to start that process is helping with local marching bands. Knowing someone in the district could be the difference of getting your foot in the door for an interview or not.