jessi spike gravelle
The Director of Elemental Choir, Jessi has been active as a music educator, choir director and community music school director in the Santa Monica area for over 20 years. Currently, in addition to her work with Elemental Choir, Jessi is a full-time elementary music teacher with SMMUSD. Jessi directs numerous 4th and 5th grade choirs for the district, is the founding director of the SMASH middle school choir, and teaches instrumental classes for the district, primarily flute. Jessi’s previous choral experiences include singing in numerous church, school and youth choirs in Michigan, culminating in her inclusion as a sophomore in the prestigious University Chorale at Michigan State University, where she was a piano pedagogy major. After transferring to UCLA to complete her B.A., Jessi then earned her M.A. in English from California State University Northridge, followed by additional music education studies and two teaching credentials earned at California State University, Los Angeles. During this same time period, she opened the Santa Monica Academy of Music with her husband, Dr. Buzz Gravelle, and proceeded to build her private studio of piano, voice and flute students. In addition to private lessons, Jessi directed the Academy’s youth choir, the Academy Singers. Her current work with SMMUSD affords her the annual privilege of directing the Elementary Honor Choir, and preparing the SMASH middle school choir to perform, at the district’s premier music event, Stairway to the Stars.