Degrees and Certifications:
Ms. Lori Lyford
I was born and raised in Kalispell, Montana. While in high school I was active in choir, band and was a state champion track athlete. I received a bachelor of arts degree from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington with a double major in Music Education and Vocal Performance. In 2007 I earned my Master's Degree in Educational Psychology from NAU.
Though it was my dream to be a high school choir director, my first fifteen years of experience in Washington centered around teaching bands at all levels 5th through 12th grades.
In 1993 I moved to Chandler, Arizona when I was selected to be the director of the Scottsdale Chorus, a world-champion Sweet Adeline International chorus. I accepted a position at Sanborn Elementary teaching K-6 General Music. During the fifteen years I was there I also began teaching 5th and 6th grade band. We even had a jazz band! After thirty years of teaching I finally got to realize my hopes and dreams of becoming a high school choir director when I transferred to CHS in 2008. Better late than never! I enjoy teaching choir very much and feel I have found my calling. I am very honored to have been chosen as one of the Arizona Educational Foundation Ambassadors of Excellence, which means I was names as one of the top five teachers in the AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year competition in 2017. The efforts of my students and the guidance of my administrators factored greatly in this nomination and award.
Outside of school I am very involved in Sweet Adelines International, the leading worldwide organization of barbershop singing for women. I am the director of the five-time International Champion, Scottsdale Chorus and I have sung in internationally competitive quartets, currently singing lead in SpinOff quartet. I serve as a Sweet Adeline Certified International Faculty member and often lead Regional and International schools and seminars. I also get to coach choruses and quartets across the organization.
The international barbershop world is very aware of Chandler High School's choir program. Our Men's Choir has won honors at the Barbershop Harmony Society Midwinter Convention in the Youth Chorus Competition, and the Treblemakers competed for the first time at Midwinter in 2018 and won their age group. They have established themselves as the Sweet Adelines Young Women In Harmony Chorus Competition winners in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and and again are the current 2019 Champions! In 2012 I was honored to be the recipient of the National Association for Music Education, Sweet Adeline Educator of the Year Award for my work with youth singing barbershop. In January, 2019 I was honored to receive the Barbershop Harmony Society/ NAfME award We have experienced a higher degree of excellence in the choral program with the increased exposure to singing barbershop music. Students are becoming more independent singers who are able to sing in tune with expression and confidence.
I am so happy to be here working with the wonderful CHS Choir students. I am proud to be a Wolf!