Kawika Berthelette is proud to join the team at McKinley-Thatcher for his fifth year as an educator. He brings a diverse musical teaching background that has included Band, Choir, General Music, and Piano and is excited to share these experiences with the McT community. He spent three years teaching middle school band at Adams City Middle School in Commerce City, CO, and last year at Barrett Elementary and Kaiser Elementary here in Denver Public Schools. In addition, he created the school band at Kaiser Elementary, has been a guest teacher for Prairie View High School teaching Chorale and Piano, and spent four years counseling at a music and performing arts camp. Mr. Berthelette also spent seven years teaching private instruction in both voice and trombone. Mr. Berthelette’s students have received gold medals at the Elitch Gardens Music Festival, have been seen in the Commerce City Memorial Day Parade, and have been showcased at the City Wide Elementary Honor Choir.
Mr. Berthelette is a classically trained Baritone/Tenor, and has performed with the Thornton Independence day Festival Choir, Thornton Community Choir, Crested Butte Opera, Fort Collins Opera, Druid City Opera workshop, as a funeral performer, and as a young artist at Arias at Avos. He has received recognition as being “The best performer of Richard Hundley” and “The best performer of Yrjo Kilpinen” on multiple websites. As a trombonist he has performed as the principle trombonist for the Brighton Music Fest Orchestra, the third trombone for Bright ‘N’ Jazz, and has been a member of the Colorado State University Pep Band. He also was a member of the internationally acclaimed Colorado State University Marching Band (where he had the opportunity to perform with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy). Mr. Berthelette is also a composer who has written two Symphonic Poems for full orchestra (working on the third) and has written one art song.
He looks forward to bringing his energy and diverse musical background to McKinley-Thatcher. He feels very blessed to work in this community and is excited to see the growth our young people make this year.