A young, multitalented high school music educator, private instructor, composer, producer, performer, and accompanist. Holds a BA in Jazz Studies, a Master’s in Music Education, and possesses a strong work ethic, attention to detail, indomitable passion, and a creative, flexible approach to Music Education.
Experience in the Field of Music Education
Frederick High School (Frederick, CO)
Director of Orchestras, Co-Band Director, Pit Director, Guitar, Piano & Music Technology Teacher, 2018 – Present
- Generated substantial growth in the Orchestra program, doubling its size and adding a third orchestra within three years despite COVID-19.
- Created the first structured semester-long curriculum for the school’s Music Technology course.
- Piloted a Modern Band course to provide opportunities for popular music education at the high school level.
- Designed a semester-long curriculum for the school’s Piano course that incorporates music technology and popular music learning.
- Brought state-wide recognition to the Orchestra program.
- Won a statewide musical theater competition and performed at the Colorado Statewide Thespian Conference at the Bellco Theatre as Pit Director of Disney’s Newsies in 2018.
Frederick High School (Frederick, CO)
Collaborative Pianist (Paraprofessional Educator), 2017 – 2018
- Daily work in the classroom with choirs of all ability levels, including leading warm-ups and teaching the students their parts.
- Assistance in developing educational materials and practice tracks to further the students’ musical knowledge and song mastery.
- Personal mastery of full accompaniment repertoire for all concerts and competitions.
House Call Music; Maestro Music Institute; Kyle Liss Piano Studios
Piano and Music Production Instructor (Chicago, IL & Denver, CO Area), 2013 – Present
- Engaged in detailed work with students of all ages to identify their goals, and instruct them in a broad variety of musical and music technology topics.
- Received continual positive feedback from students and parents on my ability to develop a unique curriculum for every student.
Caltera School of Music (Berwyn, IL)
General Manager, 2006 – 2008
- Creation and editing of lesson and theory instruction materials in Sibelius.
- Scheduling of lessons and small group rehearsals.
- Communication with parents regarding payment and scheduling.
- Payroll management, bank deposits, and other financial work.
Recent Recording & Performance Experience
- Mixing and mastering for Guerrilla Fanfare Brass Band, a Denver-based group, on their Live at the Bluebird Theater and Haze releases.
- Guest appearances with Guerrilla Fanfare Brass Band on keyboards.
- Studio production collaboration with Justin Canavan, guitarist for Jamila Woods, an internationally touring artist.
- Co-writing, mixing, and mastering seven collaborative songs as part of the Stuck at Home Records web-based project (@stuckathomerecords on IG).
- Part of an invite-only jam session at Cervantes with touring artist Neal Francis in June, 2021.
- Solo piano and solo live lo-fi performances at corporate events, including via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Mardi Gras performance with the Boulder Chorale in March, 2019.
- Release of an original solo piano album (Dreamscapes) and a lo-fi single (Dawn of Eternity) under the artist name KJ Liss, available on all major streaming platforms, with a full-length lo-fi album in production.
Experience in the Field of Music Performance & Engineering/Production
Empowerment Church (Melrose Park, IL)
Musical Director, 2016 – 2017
- Transcription and co-arrangement with Worship Leader of each week’s selection of Gospel & Contemporary Christian songs.
- Lead musician during service and in pre-service rehearsals.
- Leader of weekly rehearsal with Worship Team vocalists.
- Leader of rehearsals with backing band, as needed.
- Management of backing band, including arranging substitutes and payment.
Chicago College of Performing Arts (Chicago, IL)
Contracted Accompanist and Band Leader, 2016 – 2017
- Accompanist in a variety of styles (jazz, Latin jazz, soul, etc.) for the New Deal Vocal Ensemble.
- Creative leadership of the backing band.
IndigoSun, Touring Band (Chicago, IL)
Keyboardist, Composer/Producer, Booking Agent, Manager, 2009 – Present
- Composed and was a lead producer on two studio albums of original music.
- Composed over 25 original songs, including many long-form through-compositions.
- As booking agent, responsible for communication with venues, contract negotiation, and maintaining a professional demeanor with a quick turnaround time.
- As manager, responsible for cultivating brand identity, and promoting the band through social media outlets.
- As producer, fluent in Ableton, VST instruments, Pro Tools, synthesizer programming, sound design, and mixing techniques.
First United Church of Christ (Forest Park, IL)
Choir Director, Pianist/Organist, 2007 – 2012
- Led weekly choir rehearsals, which involved teaching non-formally trained vocalists new material and concepts each week (e.g., pitch, rhythm, ensemble blending, musical markings, etc.).
- Accompanist for choir at weekly services.
- Organist/pianist for weekly services, which included frequent sight reading in services.
Lissin’ Jazz Quartet (Oak Park, IL)
Pianist, Bandleader, Booking Agent, 2006 – 2008
- Two studio albums and one live album of original music.
- Extensive gigging throughout the Chicago area.
- Bandleader role required management of group’s goals and band members’ availability, scheduling of rehearsals, composition, booking, communication with venues, etc.
Professional & Institutional Service
Advisory Curriculum Team Leader (Frederick High School)
2019 – Present
- Oversee the development and revision of the school’s four-year Advisory curriculum, which covers social-emotional learning, post-secondary planning and advising, SAT preparation, and other topics to bolster student success.
District Music Leadership Team Member (St. Vrain Valley School District)
2019 – Present
- Plan and execute District-wide professional development for all music teachers.
- Contribute to the vision and future of music education in the District.
- Personally advocate for an increased commitment to equity within our work.
Gender Sexuality Alliance/Equality Club Co-Leader (Frederick High School)
2020 – Present
- Co-leader of extracurricular clubs dedicated to making Frederick High School a safer and more equitable place for students from marginalized communities.
Fostering Dignity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Music Classroom (Online Professional Development Course)
- Helped to plan, coordinate, and enact a professional development course available to all Colorado teachers that examined multiple aspects of identity, and explored how best to serve a diverse student body in the music classroom.
Honors & Awards
- Selected to present research at the Colorado Music Educator’s Association 2022 Conference – 2021
- Invited to present graduate research at the University of Colorado Boulder Scholarship dinner – 2021
- University of Colorado Boulder scholarship recipient – 2020 & 2021
- St. Vrain Valley School District’s Teacher of the Year Nominee – 2020/2021
- Chicago College of Performing Arts full-tuition scholarship recipient – 2008 – 2011
- Outstanding Soloist, Elmhurst College Jazz Festival – 2010
- Member of the CCPA Jazz Orchestra (highest ensemble) for 3 years – 2008 – 2010
Kadampa Meditation Center Colorado (Denver, CO)
Former Co-webmaster and Volunteer Coordinator, Current Web Designer, 2017 – Present
- Coordination of volunteer base in critical roles at regular classes and special
- Assistance to the Education Program Coordinator.
- Assisted in a re-design and executed continuous updates of our WordPress-based site.
- Currently managing a complete redesign of our WordPress-based site.
Kadampa Meditation Center Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Webmaster and Education Program Coordinator, 2013 – 2017
- Work with our Resident Teacher to create class, workshop, and retreat programming to bring benefit to those interested in meditation.
- Copy creation for all classes, retreats, and workshops.
- Coordination of our volunteer base to assist with classes and special events.
- Executed a total re-vamp of our WordPress based website (www.MeditateInChicago.org) to make it more modern, clean, and functional.
- Creative thinking and problem solving to present information in the best possible way.
Master’s of Music Education, 2021
University of Colorado at Boulder
- 4.0 Cumulative GPA
- Master’s Qualifying Exam Committee: Martina Miranda (Chair), David Rickels, Joel Schut
- Capstone Poster Presentation and Essays available by clicking here
Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies, 2011
Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts
- CCPA Honors
- Member of the CCPA Jazz Orchestra (highest ensemble) for 3 years
- “Outstanding Soloist” award at Elmhurst College Jazz Festival
- 3.6 GPA (4.0 Scale)
- Other Music Education
- 9 years of classical piano instruction
- 2 summers of blues instruction w/ Erwin Helfer, a Chicago blues legend
- 4 years of piano, improvisation, and small ensemble jazz instruction (pre-college)
- 8 years of classical violin instruction and orchestral experience
For references, please contact Kyle directly