Meet Your Teachers

This page is meant to help you guys get to know your fabulous SJAM Music teachers! If you’re new to the SJAM Music Program or haven’t met any of our music teachers before, you’ve come to the right place 🙂

Mrs. Probst

My name is Mrs. Probst, and I am very excited to meet all of our current or future SJAM Music students!

What’s your musical background?

I have had a passion for music going back as long as I can remember! I started playing piano around age 4, always sang in school and community choirs, dabbled in guitar, and started saxophone in grade 9. Saxophone and specifically concert band/jazz music became my focus, and I decided to pursue saxophone studies in university. Fast forward to today, and I’m still playing my saxophone in groups whenever I can, and singing in community choirs because I love it!

What courses do you teach and which ensembles do you lead at SJAM?

At SJAM, I teach instrumental music courses of all levels – depending on the year. The ensembles that I lead vary from year to year as well, but typically you can find me working with instrumental ensembles – concert bands or jazz bands.

Why did you choose to become a music teacher?

I like teaching all subjects, I find working with high school students fun and energizing. But teaching music is a whole other experience. I love that we get to be creative together, and work on building our individual skills to create something fantastic as larger groups. While SJAM has had a history of fabulous groups over the years, each is unique and special in its own way. I’m looking forward to many more years of great experiences in SJAM Music!

Mr. Bruzzese

Hey everyone! My name is Mr. Bruzzese and I am one of the Instrumental Music teachers at SJAM.

What’s your musical background?

When it comes to instruments my main instrument is the drums but I also have experience with a variety of percussion instruments, as well as trombone, bass guitar and acoustic guitar. I grew up in a musical family – both my parents were active members in their high school’s marching bands and my grandpa was actually a long-standing member in a barbershop quartet. My older brothers and I took piano lessons from a young age, but I decided to pursue drums when I was 10 and well … here we are! A lot of people don’t know this, but one of the reasons I became a drummer was because I was inspired by the SJAM Jazz Band drummer back when the school first opened. My brothers were both in the Jazz Band and I remember coming to the school concert to see them play and was really blown away by this performer’s skill/energy — so much that it made me want to be a drummer too.

What courses do you teach at SJAM?

At SJAM I teach music/gym classes to students in the 1500 pod, as well as History/Social Sciences.

Why did you choose to become a music teacher?

I decided I wanted to become a teacher because I always had jobs growing up that emulated teaching, and so that paired with my love for music seemed like the perfect fit. I also had some pretty awesome teachers at SJAM that inspired me to go on this path as well!

Which SJAM Music ensembles do you lead?

When it comes to ensembles, I run the school’s Drumline, Intermediate Jazz Band and Junior Band when they are operating. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to run these groups again and to work with all of you!

Mr. Kirley

Hey there, my name is Mr. Kirley!

What’s your musical background?

I am mostly a guitar player but also play piano and sing a bit. I’ve been in rock and bluegrass bands throughout my life. My kids laugh because I teach guitar all day and then come home and play guitar or read/watch guitar-related online content all evening. I also love to cook and hang out with my family.

What music courses do you teach and which ensembles do you lead at SJAM?

I teach Guitar and Student Success at SJAM and sometimes a bit of English.   I run Guitar Ensemble and Guitar Jam for extra-curricular groups. (Okay, I think I just won the award for using the word “guitar” the most amount of times in a single description… 😉 )

Why did you choose to become a music teacher?

I chose to teach music because I love it and enjoy working with students and helping them make progress on their instruments and as people. I look forward to meeting and having fun with SJAM Music students in the future!

Mrs. Gladding

Hello! My name is Mrs. Gladding and I teach Vocal Music, English, and ACE Music at SJAM.

What’s your musical background?

I’ve been around teaching and playing music my whole life. My mom was a teacher, and both my parents are very musical. My main “instrument” is voice, but I do play piano a bit. My high-school program at Waterloo Oxford DSS was unique–we took both instrumental and vocal music in the same course, so I learned clarinet in class as well. I started taking voice lessons in my last year of high-school and continued on through university. I became a music teacher because I had a lot of great music teachers in high school and one in particular that inspired me to become a music teacher. I was really involved in every choir at W-O! Being involved in music was one of the best things about high school! Since I had such a great experience, I hope to help new SJAM students get involved in the great community here at SJAM.

Which ensembles do you lead at SJAM?

I lead Highlander Chorus, Jazz Choir, and I’m the vocal director when we do our big all-school musicals, like Matilda in 2019. SJAM is definitely my home. I’ve been teaching here since the school opened in 2004 and the staff and students are like my family.

Why did you choose to become a music teacher?

I became a teacher to learn about people, and help them grow into their dreams. Teaching is challenging and different every day. It keeps me learning and I love to watch students grow from shy singers in grade 9 to confident soloists and choir leaders in grade 12. It’s amazing!