Genevieve Tep has redefined standards, encouraged hundreds of students and created the well known Carlmont Choirs.
In 2003, Tepp, known to her students as “Sagi”, became the teacher of three choral classes. Since then, student enrollment has quadrupled and choir classes have expanded. A previously 50 student choir was transformed into the 200 student program it is today.
Sophomore and treble clef member Pyper Hayden said, “I love choir because of its welcoming environment. Choir is just a big happy family.”
All throughout Carlmont, Tep’s presence can be seen through her student’s singing tunes down the halls, bright posters urging more students to enroll in choir and a bustling PAC.
“She makes choir interesting. If Sagi were not the teacher, I probably would not be as involved in choir as I am,” said Hayden.
Currently, Tep runs a large program of five choir classes along with four separate ensembles who work after school and during lunch and one large ensemble of every choir. Choir is not just a class, it is a lifestyle.
These choral classes dedicate themselves in preparation for their three concerts in the fall, winter, and spring. In addition, once a year choir chooses a location nationwide for a tour, where they learn the musical history of the area and have time to relax.
“Choir tour was amazing last year because I was able to travel with people who share the same interest as I do and I made so many new friends,” said junior Gigi Vlahos, member of Treble Clef.
Choir allows students to express themselves in a healthy, social way within a controlled classroom setting. It is safe, fun and an good way to make friends. Many of her students say Tep is the reason for their success.
“Sagi makes choir awesome because she’s been doing it so long that she knows exactly what to do when. She gets along with teenagers really well and has an amazing personality which makes everything more fun,” said Vlahos.
Along with running a renowned program, Tepp is involved in many choral organizations outside of Carlmont. She is the co-chair of the American Choral Director’s California Coastal Region Honor Choir, serving on the California Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association as well as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Show Choir.
Concert Choir member, sophomore Davis Schmidt said, “I am in choir because I love to sing. I also love choir because Sagi really takes a personal interest in her students and knows how to talk to them.”