Meet Breck’s New Choir Director: Dr. Horne


“The day I don’t want to come to school is the day I stop teaching,” Dr. Horne said during our first choir rehearsal with her, “I just won’t be effective anymore.” If you’ve talked to her for any amount of time, you know it’s clear she loves what she does. She shows up at 7:20, brings enthusiasm to class at 8:30, and continues that excitement during rehearsals until 5:30. Even after this long day, she invites participants to stay after. 

Dr. Horne has always loved music. “When I was getting my Ph.D. I wanted to make sure I kept involved in music,” she said, “and so if there was a one-year maternity leave or something, I would do that plus going to school ’cause I just wanted to keep my art going,” She’s known she wanted to be a music teacher since third grade, though at that time she planned to teach band. When the opportunity came up in college to teach choir at a small K-12 school, she begrudgingly took it. Luckily, it worked out, leading her to teach choir at 20 different schools in 9 states, and sparking a successful teaching career. 

Her love for music, in fact, is one of the reasons she came to Breck. She spoke about how she raised her own kids on the other side of the river, in St. Paul, and had heard about Breck in her years teaching at SPA. After years outside of Minnesota, teaching in places like Alabama and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, she wanted to come home. “I love the focus of music [in the midwest], the focus of education, and I think it’s with parents too… they want their kids to succeed,” Dr. Horne explained. She made it clear that she has very high hopes for the Breck choirs, and in my opinion, under her guidance, the choir has sung amazingly these past four weeks. 

While her expectations are high, she believes it’s up to the students to make the choirs truly great. Dr. Horne’s main goal for the Breck choir programs is to harness that midwestern focus on the music while simultaneously letting the students choose what they want to pursue. “It’s not my choir. It’s the students’ choir,” she noted. “They’re the ones that are gonna make a difference.” She mentioned starting community partnership tours for Breck Singers and adding more concerts at the students’ discretion. “I see it as a collaboration, and the more you can inspire and have the students take an innate responsibility for it, there is no limit to what they can do.”

Overall, it’s up to the students to challenge themselves and pick what will work well for them, but after one choir practice, I can already tell that she is going to push us to be our best. She is going to be a great addition to the Breck arts program, and I can’t wait to see what she does. Welcome to Breck, Dr. Horne!