Pitch Perfect: Allison Weitberg Spurling, Lower School Faculty & Class of ’96
“Joining a group or an extracurricular activity creates an opportunity to be part of something.”
Allie Spurling ’96 — alumna and current faculty member (preprimary) — was inspired by music teacher Kim Kredich, who created an a cappella program at MB. “The way she brought us members together was extraordinary and created lasting friendships through music.” Allie made her best friends through this experience and teaches in the lower school at MB today.
“When I signed up for my high school chorus in 1994, I thought I was joining a traditional choral ensemble. I quickly learned that was not the case, and instead had unknowingly embarked on a life-changing experience. Our leader was a young woman with fiery red, curly hair, boundless energy and an infectious smile. Kim Kredich, a Duke University alumna and graduate of the New England Conservatory with a master’s in conducting, arrived at MB and reinvented the school’s choral experience. Having sung in Duke University’s ‘Out of the Blue’ a cappella group, and without a piano accompanist for her program, she used her talents to bring a cappella to MB, creating the co-ed a cappella group ‘Voices.’
“Although it seemed unconventional at the time for a school that only had experience with a formal choral program, we all learned quickly that the music theory, chord structures and composition behind a cappella was the same as the great choral works so many of us had sung before. As we explored this form of singing — experimenting with everything from Stevie Wonder, to Indigo Girls, to the Beatles, to U2 — we soon learned that we were really good! We regularly sang with groups from Brown University, produced an annual album, and took tours down the East Coast to sing with college and high school groups.
“Kim created an experience that was not about one person, it was about the collective, with a focus on what we could achieve together. Everyone added something that made them special. Kim had a way of recognizing each of our strengths and celebrating them while also nurturing the aspects of our teenage selves that needed nurturing. As a group, we protected this experience, loyal to one another and aware we were part of something special. Because of this, the music thrived. Kim was invested in us as people first and musicians second.
“A cappella is about everyone knowing their parts; it does not work if everyone isn’t contributing. It is the epitome of teamwork. The time we all lovingly poured into the group solidified friendships that have lasted well beyond our years at MB — it’s where I made my closest friendships, met my best friend of 20+ years and even got to experience Voices with my brother during our shared time in high school!
“Kim guided so many of us into the professions we have now. It was in a Meeting for Worship during my senior year that Kim spoke about choosing your life’s work. She emphasized how selfish this decision should be, as real happiness is found in doing what you love every day. I knew I wasn’t going to make a career performing a cappella, but I did know I wanted to find something that included its elements of community, friendship and connection. This is what led me to be a teacher.
“I have been lucky enough to keep a cappella as a fun hobby throughout my life. I founded ‘The Overtones,’ the first co-ed a cappella group at James Madison University, founded a high school group at the Flint Hill School in Va., and ran an all-female group at Wheeler for many years. Like Kim, I’ve always emphasized connection and friendship first and music second. I still work as a judge for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and can always tell the groups who have a strong bond versus those who just sing the music.
“Joining a group or an extracurricular activity creates an opportunity to be part of something. It provides the chance to discover passions and form essential connections and from these shared experiences comes the rich opportunity to build strong friendships. We are all forever grateful to Kim for the lasting impression she made on us, the love and dedication she showed us then and still has for us now, and for all the ways she fostered the friendships we have carried through the years.”
Currently Kim Kredich lives in Tennessee with her husband who is the head coach for the women’s swim team at the University of Tennessee. She has three young adult sons who are all thriving, talented musicians and swimmers themselves. Kim is a passionate activist as she has turned her energy towards being a full-time volunteer advocate for students with disabilities.