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PAA Staff


Parker Arts Academy Staff:


 

Matt Knutson

Matt Knutson:

is in his 3rd year as the Parker High School Co-Choral Director and 2nd year as the Parker Arts Academy’s Vocal Director. His duties include directing Viking Choir, A Cappella Choir, and two Contemporary A Cappella Groups, while also teaching Intro to Music Theory, AP Music Theory, and Music Tech. Matt also is the musical Vocal Director of the three PAA musicals each year and coaches students through WSMA Solo/Ensemble and Honor Choir.  

Parker HS Choirs, under the direction of Mr. Knutson, have performed with the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club (2022) and with Broadway stars Josh Young & Emily Padgett (2021).  Mr. Knutson’s choirs tour biannually to New York City and have performed in the Empire State Building as part of the National Festival of the States (2022). His choir and PAA students have had masterclasses with Josh Young & Emily Padgett-Young (2021), Christopher Curtis (2022), John Edwards (2022), Andrew Last (2022).

Prior to Parker HS, Matt has served as the Vocal Music Teacher at Champlin Park HS in Champlin MN and Scott Highlands Middle School in Apple Valley, MN. Matt has coached students to state, regional, and national ACDA honor choirs. While teaching in Minneapolis, Matt was a member of the semi-professional choir, Magnum Chorum. He also was the tennis coach at Rosemount High School in Rosemount, MN.

Matt received an M.M. in Choral Music Education from the University of St. Thomas and a B.A. in Music Education from Luther College. He was an active member of the Luther College Choirs that toured through Italy, South Africa, and Namibia. At Luther College, Matt was also involved in contemporary a cappella groups and the tennis team. Matt is an active member of the American Choral Director’s Association and Wisconsin Choral Director’s Association.

Matt lives in Janesville with his wife, Maggie and son, Michael. He enjoys watching Wisconsin sports, playing tennis, and family time.  Matt is very excited to be working with the students and staff at Parker Arts Academy and Parker High School!

 

Matthew Knutson

Music / Choir Teacher
Parker

 

Dijon Kirkland

Parker Arts Academy Dance Teacher
Parker

 

Colin Swanson

Parker Arts Academy Directing Teacher
Parker

 

Abigail Goodhall

Music / Choir Teacher
Parker

 

Robyn Doege-Brennan

Vocal Instructor
Parker

 

Dijon Kirkland

Dijon Michelle Kirkland

is a native of Washington D.C., and has been dancing for over 20 years. She attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, The Ailey School, Princeton Ballet School, Maryland Youth Ballet, and Alonzo King's Lines Ballet. Dijon holds a B.A. in Dance from Point Park University. Upon graduation, she danced with The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2nd company (DCDC2) for two seasons. She then became a member of the Cleveland Cavalier Girl NBA dance team in 2015, and is a part of the 2015-16 NBA championship team!

She’s been a part of various projects such as Mojuba Dance Collective, Soursop Stories, Blakk Jakk Dance Company, and some independent projects. In November 2020, Dijon was a part of the supporting cast of an independent film “Lovely Jackson.” She currently is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in dance at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. For the past several years she has served as a dance teaching artist at Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio. Recently she was invited to guest teach at Northern Kentucky University and the American College Dance Association held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2022, Dijon founded DMK Dance Projekt which is a project-based dance company in Cleveland, Ohio. She is extremely excited to join the Parker Arts Academy as the dance instructor in the fall.

“Art is Life, God is Love.”


 

Colin Swanson

Colin Swanson

is the current acting teacher at Parker Arts Academy in Janesville, WI. He graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University earning a Bachelors Of Fine Arts in Theatre Studies focusing in Musical Theatre, Directing, and Scenic Design. He also serves as the Artistic Director of Children’s Theater Academy in Kenosha WI and serves as a board member and stage Director at the Rhode Center For The Performing Arts in Kenosha WI.  

A few of his directing credits include “ the Addams family” (Rhode Center) “Newsies” (Children’s Theater Academy), “Moana” Children’s Theater Academy), “The 39 Steps” (NWU Theater), “Beauty and the Beast” (SJCA Theater), “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” (SJCA Theater), “Grease School Version” (Children’s Theater Academy), “Shrek The Musical” (SJCA Theater), “Mary Poppins JR.” (Children’s Theater Academy), and “Lion King JR.” (Children’s Theater Academy).

Colin began his theatre career at Children’s Theatre Academy in Kenosha, WI in 3rd grade and now has taught, performed, directed, and been a scenic designer for over 12 years. Colin possesses a knack for teaching educational theater while recognizing individuality and adapting techniques to bring out the best in each child. 

Abby Goodall

Abby Goodhall

is a graduate of UW-Platteville, where she earned two degrees: Bachelor of Arts - Music Education (Choral, Instrumental, and General Music), Bachelor of Arts - Music Non-Teaching (Voice and Trombone). She was involved in a variety of ensembles at UW-Platteville, both vocally and instrumentally.

Throughout her collegiate years, Ms. Goodhall has been awarded many honors, such as 2nd place recipient of the 2022 Wisconsin Choral Directors Association’s Undergraduate Conducting Competition, and winner of UW-Platteville’s 2021 Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s Conducting Competition.

During her time on campus, she was employed through the university as a music librarian and music theory tutor. Ms. Goodhall just completed her student teaching at Muskego High School, both in choir and band. Professionally, Ms. Goodhall is a new member of Midwest Choral Artists, and plays trombone in jazz gigs throughout southern Wisconsin.

In her free time, she loves to paint, go on walks by the lake, kayak, spend time with family and friends, and hangout with her pet bunny, Doodle.

Ms. Goodhall is incredibly excited to become a part of the staff and community at Parker High School. She looks forward to meeting students, families, and becoming a Parker Viking!


 

Robyn Brennan

Robyn Doege-Brennan

is starting her first full year at the Parker Arts Academy as the Academy’s Vocal Instructor.

Robyn is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and a minor in Piano performance. She continues to challenge herself in the field of vocal pedagogy by pursuing advanced certification levels through the Institute for Vocal Advancement, LLC. In addition to teaching, Robyn is a Master Level Adjudicator for WSMA Solo & Ensemble for both Voice and Piano, a National and Regional Judge for NFMC (National Federation of Music Clubs), and the Local Chair and State Co-Chair for the Wisconsin Federation of Music Club Festivals. She is also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and a lifetime member of the Delta Omicron Music Fraternity.

Robyn is the owner of Brennan’s Music Studio located in Janesville. Here she provides vocal training and piano lessons to musicians in south-central Wisconsin and, thanks to virtual platforms, around the country.

When Robyn isn’t teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, working in her vegetable and flower gardens, and training the two newest additions to the family – Rachy and Denver Brennan - Australian Shepherds.  She is so excited to be working with so many talented and hard-working individuals! 

Rock on!!