Thanks to inspiring teacher

Before I head off to school this fall in the bustling city of Chicago, I wanted to take some time to extend my greatest gratitude and thanks to Joel Pietsch, the best piano teacher and one of the most inspiring and influential music coaches I’ve ever had. 

I began taking weekly piano lessons with Joel when I was in the seventh grade, which was the beginning of six years of fabulous music instruction that I wish never had to end. Over the years Joel has been more than just a piano teacher, he also took the spot as an encouraging high school counselor, making sure I was learning what I needed to know to achieve my musical dreams at the next level, guiding me in my college search, and helping me all along the way with college auditions, portfolios, etc.

Joel and his wife Tia Pietsch have provided me with so much over the years with their wonderful school, Harbor School of Music and Dance, helping me pursue, strengthen, and achieve my dreams in the fine arts and I am forever grateful to them both.

I must also note that they aren’t the only ones who have supported me in my lifelong involvement in the arts of Homer; the list of all the many inspiring coaches and mentors I’ve had during just my past 18 years of life can go on forever with the names of Jill Berryman, Ken Castner, Cherish McCallum, Mark Robinson, and so many more that have helped shape me into the young adult that I am today, and I extend my love and thanks to them all. 

So thank you so much Joel and Tia at Harbor School of Music and Dance, and everyone else in our small village by the sea that have supported me along the way. I will forever call this place home.

Mariah Stuart