Spencer Wiley: Born to lead the choir

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Spencer Wiley: Born to lead the choir

Claire Kyllonen

Claire Kyllonen

Claire Kyllonen

Mr. Spencer Wiley has big plans for the Leander Choral Department.

By Claire Kyllonen, Leander HS, Leander, Texas

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Spencer Wiley stands before his students, his hands at the ready. With one look he has command of the room around him; 28 pairs of eyes stare fixedly, waiting for his mark. Not one word. Not one sound. Then, the music begins to play, and suddenly the room is enveloped with the resonating melodies and harmonies of an award-winning group of young men and women. Wiley’s warm smile says there is no place in the world that he would rather be.

“Every single day, I look forward to coming and working with these kids,” Wiley said. “I feel like I’m home.”

Former Assistant Choir Director at Rouse High School for the past three years, Wiley came to LHS this past semester when a sudden resignation of the former Head Choir Director led to a vacancy of the position.

“It was an answer to prayer,” Wiley said. “I’ve always wanted to be doing what I’m doing right now — ever since I was 12 years old.”

It was an answer to prayer. I’ve always wanted to be doing what I’m doing right now — ever since I was 12 years old.”

— Spencer Wiley

After graduating from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor with a bachelor’s degree in music education, Wiley pursued his dream of teaching at Henry Middle School here in Leander ISD.

“I soon realized the middle school level wasn’t where I wanted to be,” Wiley said.

Wiley then began his master’s degree in music education at Texas State, where he became recognized and sought-after by many choral programs across the Central Texas area. This led to his being hired as Assistant Choir Director at Rouse and eventually his interview at Leander.

“When I went into the interview room, I do admit I was nervous,” Wiley said. “But at the same time, I felt like it was supposed to happen. It was that feeling you get when you know it’s in the stars.”

Since his arrival, Wiley has wasted no time in prepping his students for UIL competition. With only four months of practice, Wiley was able to lead his choirs into getting Superior and Excellent ratings in UIL competition.

“The best lesson we’ve learned is that hard work pays off,” Wiley said. “If you just put forth the time and effort, you can do anything.”

Wiley’s hopes for the Choir Department don’t stop with perfect scores in performance and sight-reading. Next year, he has plans to initiate a new choir that is specifically for freshman, along with a junior varsity women’s class that is meant for fine-tuning already skilled performers.

“We started with 85 members when I got here,” Wiley said. “Because of the word being spread, we have 155 members who signed up to audition for choir next year.”

Wiley will close his first successful season as Head Choir Director with one last spring concert on May 23rd at 7 p.m. in the PAC. The concert will feature both of his current choirs, performing contemporary pop songs from artists like Rihanna and Pharrell Williams.

“I really feel like this is what I’m called on this earth to do,” Wiley said.

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