Amanda Dienhart

Director, Apprentice Chorus

Susan Gerling, in her 24th year of directing the Apprentice Chorus, graduated with honors from California State University, Fullerton.  She holds a Master of Music from Silver Lake College in Wisconsin. Mrs. Gerling is certified by the Organization of American Kodaly Educators, and has extensive education in early childhood music and the Orff approach.

Her professional work experiences include directing children’s church choirs, teaching chorus and general music in both private and public schools, and serving as the founding director of a large community music school in Whittier.  On occasion she has enjoyed serving as a clinician and guest conductor in area festivals.

While at Long Beach Unified School District, she helped to create the John Muir Academy for the Performing Arts, enrolling 900 children in choral programs and stage productions, which won a coveted Bravo Award from Los Angeles County.  Susan recently retired from Capistrano Unified School District where she adapted the Kodaly approach in the primary grades, and also prepared as many as forty concerts annually.

Her passion for mentoring other music teachers has been an important part of her career. She has served as a master teacher, presented many workshops and taught graduate level music courses at various universities in Southern California.

Susan has two married daughters and the four most adorable grandchildren ever.  She and her husband, who is also the chorus accompanist (known to the children as “Mr. G.”) enjoy spending their free time entertaining friends at their beach cottage in Oceanside, and hopping aboard cruise ships whenever possible.

Learn more about the Apprentice Chorus