John Zirkle, Director, Musician, and Music Teacher for The Big Sky School District, Montana, discusses his involvement in the Hatch Ostinato Project. Zirkle points to the incredible results displayed in his classroom since his students became involved in the creative collaboration with professional composers. By taking ownership of the process, the students in Zirkle’s class have gained confidence, enthusiasm and drive toward composing, instrumentation and technological production. Among many positive outcomes of the ongoing music project, Zirkle highlights how true agency can be obtained through wonderfully produced creative endeavors.

Since 2010, John has been an active force in the Big Sky arts scene, directing and producing over 40 theatrical and music performances with multiple organizations, several of which he has helped found from the ground up, and he is currently the K-12 music teacher at the Big Sky School District.

On top of his work as an educator, he is also the founding Artistic Director of the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, and he has been a key figure in the development of one of Montana’s most innovative new arts institutions. He has helped raise nearly $3 million dollars for the arts in Big Sky through various initiatives including, among many, a world-class winter series and a summer arts conservatory.