Heather Stewart joined Chicago Children’s Choir in 2018 and brought with her a decade of diverse music teaching experiences motivated by her love of music and interest in its transformative powers in education. Originally focused on a career in music performance, in college, Ms. Stewart quickly discovered music’s potential to impact children’s abilities to learn and empathize with others, and to promote a more peaceful society. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then went on to utilize her three distinct certifications in instrumental, choral, and general music education in public and private school settings in Wisconsin, Northern Virginia, and Texas.
Over the course of her experiences in many different music teaching roles, Ms. Stewart realized her distinct passion for choral music education and decided to pursue an advanced degree in this area. She earned her Master of Music Education degree in 2018 from Northwestern University with special concentrations in voice and choral conducting.
While at Northwestern, Ms. Stewart sang in the University Chorale under the direction of Grammy-winning conductor Donald Nally. She also assisted in the research efforts of the late Dr. Steve Demorest, who wrote prolifically about the negative effects of “talent-mindset” on the realities that everyone can benefit from singing and that everyone can learn to sing accurately. Ms. Stewart was also highly influenced by the creativity research of Dr. Maud Hickey and the guidance of Dr. Sarah Bartolome. Reminded of her previous experiences as an autism therapist and special needs specialist, Ms. Stewart took great joy and pride in her work as the conductor of the Northwestern AMASE Community Choir.
Ms. Stewart continues her devotion to uniting diverse youth through music education in her daily work with Chicago Children’s Choir. Heather conducts the Garfield Park/Off the Street Club Choir, Beverly Neighborhood Choir, and various In-School Choir programs.
Outside of Chicago Children’s Choir, Ms. Stewart enjoys exploring Chicago with her husband and two daughters, Amelia and Evelyn. She serves as policy writer for the Committee for Equity and Minority Achievement (CEMA), a school board advisory committee for District 102, where her oldest daughter goes to school.