Music Faculty and Staff
Courses: Beginning Choirs, Junior Choir (boys), Freshman Choir, & Men's, Women's Choir and Vocal; Ensemble
Fine Arts Department Co-Chair
Courses: Beginning Strings, Intermediate Orchestra, Senior Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra
Marching Band Director
Courses: Theory 1, Beg – Intermediate – Junior Bands, Marching Band & Concert Band
Music Department Secretary
Courses: Junior, Senior, & Chamber Orchestra
Courses: AP Music Theory; Intermediate, Junior, & Concert Bands; Wind Ensemble
Courses: Junior Choir (girls), Freshman Choir, Senior Vocal Ensemble, Men's & Women's Choirs
Assistant Marching Band Director
Courses: Beginning & Intermediate Bands, Jazz Bands, Marching & Concert Bands, Wind Ensemble
Courses: Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced Steel Drum
Hometown – Elyria, OH; BA in Music Education, Vocal Emphasis, from UC’s College Conservatory of Music (2004), and a MA in Education (2009); Before joining the Walnut Hills music faculty, Bret was the choral director in the Three Rivers School District (Taylor H.S.) from 2004-2018. Under his direction, the high school program grew from one choir with 32 members to three choirs with over 175 members, and the middle school program from three choirs to six choirs with over 250 singers. At Taylor, Bret’s choirs consistently earned superior ratings at OMEA Large Group Adjudicated Events, as well as performed several large choral/orchestral works. In 2016, Bret was awarded the Hamilton County “Celebrate Excellence” Educator of the Year award. As a choral singer, Bret has performed under the direction of Robert Porco, James Conlon, Pävo Jarvi, John Adams, Earl Rivers, and Steven Coker. He was also the Theater Arts director at Taylor H.S. from 2004-2015.
Hometown – Cincinnati, OH; BA in Music Education from the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University (1988), MA in Education & Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix (2006); after graduation taught general and instrumental music in the Gary, Indiana diocese; has been teaching in the Cincinnati Public School system and at Walnut Hills since 1994. He also serves as Sophomore Class advisor. Mr. Caliguri was the 2007-08 recipient of the WHHS Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence. Mr. Caliguri’s primary musical emphasis is orchestral cello, but has also studied trombone, harp, and piano. He is principal cellist of the Seven Hills Sinfonietta.
Hometown – Ross, OH; BM in Music Education from Bowling Green State University (2000), MM in Music Education from Miami University (2006). Prior to joining the music faculty as Band Director at Walnut Hills H.S., Mr. Canter was Director of Bands for the Finneytown Local School District from 2000-2012 and Director of Bands for the Mariemont City School District from 2012-2015. Mr. Canter was Educator of the Year for the Finneytown Local School District in 2009. Mr. Canter performs locally in the 85 year old German big band, “The Klaberheads” on his major instrument, trumpet, and is an accomplished composer and arranger. He has presented clinics on band instruction at the Texas Bandmasters Conference, Texas Music Educator’s Conference, Oregon Band Director’s Academy, Ohio Music Education Association, and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. His beginning band method, Scale & Rhythm Chunks, is used by band programs throughout the country.
Hometown – Cincinnati, OH; BS in Biology (1980), MS in Bryology (1983), both from UC; worked as a field & office intern for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio in 1984; Data Manager & Botanist for TNC’s Natural Heritage Program in Maine until 1988. Currently part-time secretary in the Music Dept. Mrs. Forrester plays at Irish pennywhistle, messes around with Baroque recorder, & has been known to play wooden spoons in public. She is currently a member of the local Irish performing groups Green Key and The McSplains.
Hometown – Columbus, OH; BM in Music Education & BA in Music Composition from Miami U (2009). His professional experience has ranged from music instruction (Colerain M.S. & Elementary, as well as private studio), to reading intervention, Marching Band, summer camp director, live music performer on multiple instruments, musician in theatre pit, and an actor in civic theatre. He performs fiddle with Jake & the Freddies, violin with the Seven Hills Sinfonietta, and guitar & bass locally.
Hometown – Wallington, NJ; BA in Music Education from Penn State University (1995), MM in Percussion Performance, Miami University (2001); taught in Dayton, KY school system 1996 - 1999, and has been teaching in the Cincinnati Public School system and here at Walnut Hills since 2000. Mr. LeBorgne’s musical passion for Steel Drum music developed while studying with Dr. Chris Tanner at Miami. He performs locally with the group Island Ed & His Fiery Limbo Review. Mr. LeBorgne was the 2002-03 recipient of the WHHS Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence.
BM in Music Education, Vocal Emphasis, from Ohio Wesleyan University (2000), MM in Choral Conducting, Westminster Choir College, Princeton (2006). His initial teaching experience was with the Forest Hills school district from 2000-2004, where his Women’s Chorus grew from 30 to 100 members over the four years, and he founded the Anderson H.S. A Cappella Chamber Choir. Prior to being recruited for the choral program here at Walnut, Mr. Nims served as Director of Choral Activities at Lakota West H.S. from 2006-13, where his groups consistently earned superior ratings at OMEA Large Group Adjudicated events, as well as performed numerous large choral/orchestral works. He himself sings as a baritone, and has sung professionally with various ensembles, churches and theaters locally and throughout the country.
Hometown – Ocala, FL; BM in Music Performance from Stetson University (2003), MM in Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (2005), Education Licensure from Xavier University (2016). Upon graduation from CCM, Mr. Peoples began a ten year career as a professional trombonist and educator. While performing nationally and internationally at music festivals and with professional ensembles, he maintained a private teaching studio of up to 45 weekly students. This teaching experience encouraged him to follow a path to band directing. Over the last two years, Mr. Peoples has worked on the staff as Instructor and Assistant Band Director with the award winning William Mason High School Band while serving as adjunct Professor of Trombone at Xavier University. In 2016 he had the honor of assisting Marie Speziale with a presentation on rehearsal techniques for young brass choirs at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL.
Hometown – Piqua, OH; BA in Music Education from Miami University (2004), MM in Percussion Performance from Eastern Kentucky University (2007); taught full-time steel band at Leon High School in Tallahassee, FL (2009-2017), is a percussionist and teacher of over 15 years, and has been a full-time Steel Band director since 2009. For the past eight years, Mr. Wendeln was a highly successful teacher at Leon High School in Tallahassee FL, where his Steel Band program, Lion Steel, grew from 60 students to 170 daily, becoming one of the largest in the state, and one of the most accomplished high school Steel Bands in the country. Mr. Wendeln fell in love with steel band music when he played in the Miami U. Steel Band under Dr. Chris Tanner, and again at EKU under Dr. Jason Koontz. Throughout college and his professional career, he has had the privilege of performing alongside many of the great pan players and educators in steel pan today, and has traveled to Trinidad on three occasions to absorb the steel band culture firsthand. In both 2015 and 2016, Wendeln performed with birdsong Steel Orchestra in the Trinidad National Panorama competition.