Aaron Krasting (Bachelor of Music in Music Education, 1993) studied music education at Hartt from 1989 to 1993. He is currently living in West Deptford, New Jersey.
What have you been up to since you graduated from Hartt?
Life has been extremely busy since I graduated from Hartt. My first teaching job was in the Pennsville, New Jersey middle and high schools. I was the choir director there for three years. During that time, I grew up a lot. I can honestly say some tough lessons were learned. Musically speaking, I accomplished a great deal. I had the opportunity to perform with the late Robert Shaw for three special concerts at Carnegie Hall. I can definitely thank Drs. Gerald Mack and Pamela Perry for the high level of preparation for such incredible opportunities. I also became the tenor soloist and section leader at historic Christ Church in Philadelphia, a position held for 5 years (thanks to Jack Zei for the vocal preparation). I lost my job in Pennsville due to a reduction in force.
After a few very short stints in other jobs, I became the choir director and theater producer at Paulsboro High School in Paulsboro, New Jersey -a short 7 minute drive from my childhood home. I am still at Paulsboro. While here, I received the school and district Teacher of the Year honors in 2001 and, in 2010, was selected to conduct the All South Jersey Junior High Honors Chorus. Over the last 20 years, I held other performance positions at churches -including Trinity Episcopal Church in Moorestown, NJ where I currently am- and performed on the stages of area semi-professional theaters, namely the Ritz Theater in Oaklyn, NJ and the Broadway Theater in Pitman, NJ where, most recently, I played the part of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. I also performed with Philadelphia's professional choir, the Philadelphia Singers, as well as the Philadelphia Boyschoir and Chorale with my sons, and directed/vocal directed many productions at the high school and semi-professional level.
Personally speaking, after graduating from Hartt, I married Tina Oslin, whom I was dating while in school. We have 3 great sons (Michael, who is preparing for a career as a tenor, Tyler, who is currently singing with the Philadelphia Boyschoir, and Christopher, who is in the Boyschoir training program) and we successfully built Tina’s Polynesian dance business and our summer theater programs. We have, however, divorced amicably. I am happy and have a new love, Becky, in my life. We’ll see what the next half of my life has in store!
What are you involved with right now?
Right now, I have just completed the coursework for my Masters Degree in School Leadership at Wilmington University. I'm looking forward to the challenges that go with becoming an administrator for the remainder of my career. I have also decided to basically retire from performing to focus on my new profession and life. A performer can’t stay away forever, so I do hope to return to singing and the stage someday. Right now, I’m enjoying watching my sons perform. I’ll actually be bringing my son, Michael, for a visit to Hartford as a possible college choice.
What is one of the most things about your time at Hartt?
There were many memorable things that happened while at Hartt. 1) While at the University of Hartford, I was a Red Cap as part of the Preview Orientation program, serving as the director of the group my senior year. As such, I was involved with helping incoming freshmen select their courses and prepare for their lives as Hartt students. Thanks Joan Glazer for all your help, guidance, and support as I did this. 2) My freshman year, Hartt celebrated the birthday of William Schumann. Preparing for that celebration imbedded music in my head that I find myself humming to this day (On Freedoms Ground). 3) The Hartt Chamber Singers (if memory serves right) performed at the MENC Eastern Division convention in Pittsburgh. 4) I also attended the ACDA National Convention in Phoenix which was an amazing experience (thanks Tom Nerbonne). There were more, but 3 is enough
What did you learn during while at Hartt that you did not appreciate or recognize until after time passed and you had some time to reflect?
It may seem silly, but the thing I learned at Hartt that I didn’t appreciate enough was piano class. I came to Hartt with no piano skills whatsoever. My family didn’t have a piano and I couldn’t play a thing. I worked really hard on my piano skills to become a “survival” piano player for the classroom. Quite honestly, I spent more time on my piano than I did my voice. I also realized recently how important my Kodaly training and solfege are to my life as a musician. I totally took that for granted. Thank you Mr. Babel and Mrs. Smith for the piano and Mr. Farkas and Mrs. Loebell for the Kodaly.
What is next for you?
As I turn 45, I am entering the second half of my life. I am ready to embark on a new relationship and a new career as a school administrator. I am taking a break from my own musical experiences to focus on these and bringing my sons into their futures, my oldest as a music major.
How can people contact you?
I am on Facebook and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.