If you hear some appealing choral or instrumental music on the Valley Lutheran campus, it’s very likely connected to the direction of Peter Schimm. Now in his fourth year on the staff, his responsibilities include Concert Band, Concert Choir, Valley Singers, Explorations in Music, and Intro to Guitar. He also is the VLHS Musical Director, the National Honor Society Adviser, teaches Trinity Lutheran bands, and is organist at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church.
When asked what he appreciates about Mr. Schimm, one senior student replied, “He’s hardworking and puts a lot of effort into making the Music Department so much fun. One of the best things about Mr. Schimm is that he cares about our self-improvement and will actually take time before school, after school, or even during his breaks to help us with our music if we’re struggling.”
Mr. Schimm’s Bachelor of Music Education was awarded at Concordia University Chicago and he also fulfilled the requirements for the Lutheran Teacher Endorsement, but his love of conducting started early when he got to conduct a few choir pieces at a concert his senior year of high school. Then at Concordia he eventually directed and composed music for a few musical groups including the Cougar Band that performed at football and basketball games. He also sang with a semi-professional River Forest choir called the Chicago Choral Artists.
Currently he is an active member of the National Association for Music Educators, Arizona Music Educator’s Association, Arizona Choral Educators, and Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association.
At the time he was in the interview process here, he was also considering a call to another Lutheran school in Illinois, but he says, “I liked the potential opportunities for growth here at Valley Lutheran…and I find the culture and atmosphere to be exactly what I would have hoped for. The culture is centered around spreading the love of Christ and bringing up the students in the way they should go. Both the teachers and students show genuine care and concern for each other.”
His love of learning and music is no surprise as both of his parents were Lutheran school teachers and musicians. He and his wife Kelly are the parents of a 3 year old daughter, with another daughter on the way to join their family in November.