Teacher Appreciation: Mr. Dan Kujala

Mr. Kujala has been the Orchestra Director at Souderton Area School District since 2001.

Mr. Kujala directs the orchestra and chamber ensembles at the High School and I believe he also teaches some of the music electives such as music appreciation. He is a fantastic musician and is a master of his instrument, the cello. He also has a very calm demeanor and dry sense of humor that I particularly enjoyed when I had him as a student.

Mr. Kujala is deserving of recognition for many reasons, not the least of which is his long tenure of faithful service to the SASD community in his position at the high school. He has been there for quite a long time and has always provided a top-notch music education to all of his students. Also, he is deserving of recognition for his uncompromising standards of excellence and deep love of music history. Mr. Kujala does not shy away from introducing difficult pieces from the standard repertoire of rich orchestral music throughout history. These pieces would be seen as unattainable with high school students by many music educators, but Mr. Kujala understands the importance in the development of young musicians of exposing them to seminole works of music history. As a musician, a knowledge of the music of the past is essential to learning and growing into a well-informed performance practice in the present.

~submitted by Matthew Ramage

I personally was exposed to incredible works by Brahms, Stravinsky, Dohnányi, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and countless others in Mr. Kujala's ensembles. In my undergraduate and graduate work as a musician, I was very well-prepared by the great foundation in knowledge of the repertoire that I received in Mr. Kujalas ensembles. For one more personal anecdote: As a horn player at Souderton, I played in the band and orchestra, but Mr. Kujala was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to join the chamber ensemble. This ensemble, traditionally a string orchestra, offered me the ever-challenging opportunity to not only read music in a different clef, but also to transpose at sight into a different key. These skills have been incredibly valuable in my studies and continue to be valuable in my professional career as a music teacher as well! I would not have developed them nearly as fully had it not been for the foundations I began constructing and the experiences I was afforded by Mr. Kujala.

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