Shelley Johnson- Director of Choral Music & Music Department Chair

Shelley Johnson received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from IndianaShelley on Stage 2015 University.  While she was there, she was a member of the Marching Hundred marching band and pep band for the 1976 NCAA National Championship basketball team
.  Shelley was also a member of the Singing Hoosiers and was involved in many of the choral music performances.  In 1980, Shelley was president of the music fraternity at IU.  After graduation, Shelley taught at Parkside Elementary and Lakeland High School in LaGrange Indiana where she directed the marching band.  In 1983, Shelley became the vocal music teacher at DeKalb Middle School where she formed the Patriot Connection, the Liberty Connection and the Liberty Belles show choirs.  In 1985, Shelley took the vocal music position at DHS where she also serves as Music Department Chair.  In 2010 she was rewarded with a Golden Apple from TV21 and an Educator of the Year from the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic.  In 2011, Shelley (along with her husband Kent) received the Allen Graber Citizen of the Year award presented by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.  In 2013,  Classic Connection was honored at the Indiana House of Representatives.  In 2014, Shelley received the Education Award for Leadership from Ft Wayne Business Weekly.

 Dwight Jordan – Choreographer for Classic Connection

Dwight Jordan is a Music Educator, Director, Choreographer, and Producer.  Dwight Jordan is one of the founders of Show Choir Camps of America.  He is a well-known choreographer for many award-winning show choirs as well as a director/choreographer for several Branson Missouri shows including the Showboat Branson Belle and at Silver Dollar City.  Dwight is a director/choreographer for shows at Six Flags Great America in Gurney Illinois.  Dwight was a guest conductor for International Festivals in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Estonia.  Dwight was also a judge for the Miss America pageant.

Alex Hall – Choreographer for Sound Sensation

Alex graduated from DHS in 2003, having been a part of Classic Connection and featured in several stage shows including Tony in West Side Story.  Alex has performed around the mid-west including Six Flags Over Mid America at Gurney Illinois.  He currently choreographs several high school show choirs as well as being a free-lance choreographer.

Mark Myers – Music Arrangements

Mark Myers is a graduate of DeKalb High School and North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, where he earned his degree in Choral Music Education with honors.   He taught vocal music at Waubonsie Valley High School, serving the western suburbs of Aurora and Naperville, Illinois.   Mark has been a conductor on the staff at both of Chicagoland’s internationally acclaimed children’s choirs, the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus and the Chicago Children’s Choir and has frequently been called upon as an adjudicator, choreographer, and vocal clinician for several school and community choirs in the Midwest.  He has also served in various capacities on the staff of Showchoir Camps of America for the past 13 years.

Jeremy Western – Back Up Band Director

Jeremy Western graduated from DeKalb High School in 1989 where he was Shelley’s first show choir drummer.  It was there that Jeremy (and Shelley) learned an invaluable lesson from Sterling Culp when he called out during a clinic – “Drummer!  Two & Four!  Two & Four!”  Jeremy drummed for American Entertainment Productions in Columbus Ohio,  where he toured with a show group.   He has been the back up band director for DeKalb’s show choirs for as long as we can remember.  Jeremy is a Garrett Police Officer, owns a successful credit repair business and judges show choir competitions in his spare time.

Jake Kern – Back Up Band Director

Jake Kern graduated from DHS in 2002, where he was a member of the show choir back up band and played various roles in the drama department including the prosecuting attorney in Agatha Christie’s Witness For The Prosecution and the Principal in Footloose.  Jake received his Bachelors degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Indiana University and works for the Northeast Center.

Josh Sassanella – Choreography

Josh graduated from DHS in 2000, where he was a member of Classic Connection and in that year won 7 Grand Championships including Florida Show Stoppers.  He was also featured in several stage shows while at DHS.  Josh has performed at Branson Missouri’s Silver Dollar City as well as several cruise ships.  He appeared in Momma Mia at the Mandalay Bay Theater in Las Vegas and toured with the First National Tour of Rock of Ages.  Josh appeared in Broadway’s Rock of Ages and in the Broadway company of Spiderman, Turn Off The Dark as The Flash!

Eric Hall – Choreography

Eric graduated from DHS in 2005 having been in Classic Connection, the Dynamix and featured in several stage shows including the role of Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Eric attended Elmhurst College in Elmhurst Illinois and is now a free-lance choreographer living in L.A.

Nick Maloy – Vocals, Music & Choreography

Nick graduated from DHS in 2009 where he was a part of Classic Connection, the Dynamix and featured in several stage shows including  Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors and  Aaron Fox in Curtains.

Shelby Bassett – Choreography

Shelby graduated from DHS in 2010 having been a part of Classic Connection and Sound Sensation.  Shelby is currently studying Music Education at Indiana University in Ft. Wayne.