Woodstock High School will welcome Brian Jozwiak as its new choral director.
Jozwiak is taking over for Paul Rausch, who retired this year after 33 years leading the choral program at WHS.
Jozwiak attended Vernon Hills High School, where he played in orchestra and sang in the choir. During his senior year of high school, Jozwiak was in the IMEA all-state honors choir, which was about the time that he decided to pursue his passion.
“Being surrounded by so many talented singers, I began to think I was actually pretty good at this,” Jozwiak said.
Jeremy Little, a WHS graduate who learned under Rausch, was Jozwiak’s high school choral director. Jozwiak said Little, along with his orchestra directors, nurtured his love for all things music and guided him toward this career path. The inspiration and affirmation of his own musical talent and love for singing is something that he hopes to pass along to the students he will teach at WHS.
“I was surrounded by awesome teachers throughout my education, and they were really inspirational in my decision to pursue education in music,” Jozwiak said.
Jozwiak graduated from Augustana College, Rock Island, where he double-majored in musical education and vocal performance, and went on to teach grades ranging from sixth through 12th in Orion and then Belvidere. Most recently, he taught at Belvidere South Middle School.
His love for music also was fueled by seeing the prosperous journey of his mother unfold. She taught music and choir.
“Having seen her live out a successful career in music, in the back of my mind I thought I might pursue this,” he said.
Jozwiak’s connection to Woodstock doesn’t stop at Little. His father grew up in Woodstock and his grandparents still live in Woodstock, along with some cousins, aunts and uncles.
Jozwiak knows that he is stepping into an important role and recognizes the presence of the arts in Woodstock, and looks forward to being a part of community events, including the madrigal dinner.
“It’s exciting. I am going to work hard, and I know these are big shoes to fill. I’m up for the challenge and excited for the opportunity. I want to bring my own creative energy and my passion for music,” Jozwiak said.
“It’s a really great culture to be stepping into.”