Inside ECS: Joshua Hren, Elkhart Memorial

Vocal jazz teacher, Joshua Hren is already preparing his students for another state competition appearance. In the 2016-2017 season, Hren lead his choir group “Gold Rush” to Elkhart Memorial’s first state appearance in its history.

“It was an incredible experience – a first for me as well,” said Hren. “It was so exciting for the students to get that recognition for all the hard work they had done over the year.”

Now with a year under their belt, Hren and his students hope to make another appearance this upcoming year, already preparing both physically and psychologically.

“Even this summer, I started having conversations with the returning students, as well as our new members of Gold Rush, about the excitement of a possible return,” said Hren. “We are working at building more and more accountability for our music learning, as well as creating a family feel so that there’s the buy in we need.  Music is being chosen even now to showcase the talents we have in our vocal jazz program.  We like to choose something more contemporary, something classic, and a ballad, so the Gold Rush students and I are already listening to and critiquing possible pieces.”

But ultimately, the experiences and memories made in doing so are most important to the group.

“The kids had a great time and it was definitely memorable,” said Hren.  “The most memorable time was the chance to clinic with professional jazz singers, as well as the camaraderie that was built by the kids.”

In his free time, Hren enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with his family, including his wife, Jennifer, and his almost 6-year old daughter, Catherine.

Joshua is currently reading: “(really, re-reading) “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Meg Meeker, a book to address how he can continue to grow as a father to his daughter. Fiction-wise, the last book he read was “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.”