Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Music in Education, minor French, summa cum laude. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Master of Music Education, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Level II Certified in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to teach Music, K-12.
Ms. Ronica Skarphol Brownson
Ms. Brownson comes to us from the upper Midwest. She was born in St. Paul, MN and grew up in Fargo, so now you can say you know someone from North Dakota. As an American of Norwegian descent, she is proud of her Viking genes, has an extensive wool sweater collection, makes killer meatballs and lefse, and occasionally says "uff da".
Ms. Brownson is a clarinet player, teaches studio clarinet at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, and has performed and worked with many school ensembles and pit orchestras, and played with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, the Edgewood Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Wind Ensemble, and the Madison Woodwind Quintet. She has performed both as a player and a conductor with the State College Municipal Band, and has sung with Essence 2 performing music of the African and African American choral tradition. She has sung with the Accidental Chorists, the Trinity Lutheran Joyful Voices, and directed the Angel Choir at Trinity Lutheran in State College for many years. She also enjoys directing pit orchestras for local musical theater productions, and may be remembered for her stick wielding abilities in the shows Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls, and the Musically Blonde part of Legally Blonde: the Musical! The Sondheim may be the most memorable since that was the first (and so far only) time she actually drew blood while conducting.
Ms. Brownson is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Dakota with a degree in Music Education and a minor in French, and finished a Masters in Music Education (Instrumental) through Kent State University in Ohio in May of 2018. She has studied clarinet with Elizabeth Rheude and Alan LaFave, and conducting with Dr. John Climer, Dr. James Rodde, Dr. Gordon Brock and in clinic with James Smith, Capt. Duane Milburne and Eugene Corporon. She has lived and taught in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and in Paris, France, and will always consider herself a Parisienne at heart. She speaks fluent French, so requests for Band lessons en francais will be honored enthusiastically. Ms. B has taught all levels from kindergartners through adults, but is thrilled to be teaching middle school, which is her favorite level. (Yes, really.)
At Park Forest Middle School, Ms. Brownson teaches 7th grade Band, 8th grade Band, Jazz Band, and Symphonic Band, and gives small group instruction to all wind and percussion instruments. Her concert band and jazz band ensembles have earned multiple superior ratings at festivals, and have had the opportunity to perform for many incredible clinicians including Slide Hampton, John Faddis, and Dennis DiBlasio, among many others.
She loves to spend time with her family and friends, her two beautiful daughters and her dog, a Beagle/Bassett named Harry who is grumpy and loveable. She likes to read, study history, and to cook, but also really likes to eat and especially enjoys cinnamon-free (due to allergies) homemade baked goods, especially with a cup of good, strong black coffee.