This week’s episode is an interview with Matt Bishop, music teacher at the Dunecrest American School in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. A year ago Matt was an early twenties suburban middle school choir teacher, having only ever lived in North Carolina and did not even own a passport. What led him to pursue such a drastic change and why? What hurdles did he jump personally and professionally to learn, apply, and accept this position? What is teaching at an international school like, especially a school in the Middle East? How has he grown as a person and musician in the past year?
If you’ve ever wanted to know what the process for international teaching is, Matt walks us through his experience. Or, if you’ve ever felt trapped and unhappy in your current situation, Matt humbly shares his own struggles and how he took control of his life. You will be inspired by Matt’s story and come away with yet another example of how choir can change your life.
Matthew Bishop is a lyric tenor, conductor, and teacher. A native of North Carolina, he holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from University of North Carolina School at Greensboro. While at UNCG, he performed as a soloist and chorister with the Schola Cantorum, University Chorale, and Chamber Singers. He was also the first undergraduate student at UNCG to assemble a choir and program for an undergraduate conducting recital, An Evening of Choral Classics.
Upon graduation, Mr. Bishop became the Choral Director at Holly Grove Middle School in Holly Springs, North Carolina. His students received honors such as selection for North Carolina Middle School Honors Chorus, All State and All County choirs. Bishop was also an active member of his Professional Learning Team and served as the All County Chorus Festival Coordinator. He also served as musical director for productions such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Annie Jr. Mr. Bishop’s professional memberships include National Association of Music Education, and American Choral Director’s Association.
In August 2018, Mr. Bishop relocated to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to build the Performing Arts programs at Dunecrest American School. He currently directs Grades 5-10 Choir and Theatre ensembles, as well as an after school Piano Lab. Mr. Bishop is excited to join The Voice Studio at American School of Dubai.
Music: Scott Holmes
Host: Beth Philemon @baphilemon www.bethphilemon.com
Dr. Shreyas Patel’s story of life and music is unlike any you’ve heard before. How do you balance a love for family with a love for making music? How you honor the sacrifices your parents have made for you while discovering who you are and who you want to be? Shreyas’ journey winds through the hallowed halls of England’s cathedrals, the path of immigration, a passion for music making instilled in a California high school classroom, and the expectation to go into the medical field. This interview will inspire you; for no matter your path to or through singing, music making can always be a part of your life.
Shreyas Patel, bass-baritone, is on faculty at Hillsboro High School, in Nashville, TN, serving as instructional dean and coordinator of professional development and teaching International Baccalaureate (IB) Sports, Exercise and Health Science, Medical Anatomy and Physiology, and IB Biology. His educational focus has been in educational leadership and professional practice, holding a Masters in the Art of Teaching, Medicine, and a Bachelor in Biology and a Bachelor in Chemistry.
Patel is an active soloist, chorister, conductor, and musical director. With vast experience from the great Anglican choral traditions at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, to his 35th musical production, “Hairspray!”, to oratorio performances of Bach’s St. John Passion, Patel is a versatile singer and musician. He has performed nationally with professional ensembles and maintains a busy concert schedule within the greater Nashville community and the national choral circuit. Patel was also the founder and artistic director (2007-2015) of Nashville’s critically acclaimed chamber choir, Portara Ensemble, that seeks to unite various artists and genres of music in the greater Nashville community. Patel is currently a Conducting Fellow with the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra.
Shreyas currently resides in Nashville, in the historic Waverly-Belmont community. He greatly enjoys the opportunity to work with wonderful artist-colleagues and share music in a world that needs constant reminders of the incredible beauty that collaboration, community, and music-making provides for all.