Longtime director oversees band boom at Ridgewood High
Band director Steve Klaus directs Monday morning's rehearsal at Ridgewood High School in Norridge. The school is getting ready for it's "MusicFest" Saturday, Feb 2. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 2, 2013 6:15AM
NORRIDGE — Steve Klaus has taught music at Ridgewood High School since 1996.
Over the years he has seen the program nearly triple in size. As part of ongoing renovations to the school, which serves students from Norridge and Harwood Heights, the district has expanded the space for the music program.
“It’s just been great,” Klaus said. “Interest (in the music program) has been growing.
“And as a music teacher, this is a great place to work. We really have a strong program.”
Q: How long have you worked in Norridge?
A: Since 1996.
Q: Why did you pick Norridge?
A: I always knew I wanted to teach high school, and I applied for the job.
Q: Family, marriage, kids, their schools?
Q: What is your favorite restaurant or entertainment venue in town?
A: I love Italian food, and this is such a great community for it. If I had to choose, my favorites are Rex (Italian Foods) and Vince’s (Italian Restaurant.)
Q: What has changed at Ridgewood High School in since you’ve been teaching here?
A: A lot. The school has been renovated to the point where it’s pretty much new, especially the band room. Also, the size of the band program has changed. When I started, we had 35 kids. Now we’re up to 110 and looking at 130 next year.
Q: What inspired you to become a music teacher?
A: I’ve been playing an instrument since I was in fourth grade. I’ve always loved music. My mother was a third-grade teacher, and I used to listen to her talk about it, watched her grading papers. I kind of thought it would be neat to combine music and teaching.
Q: What got you interested in music?
A: I had a really, really good clarinet teacher, Lester Werntz.
Q: What is your most memorable moment?
A: I’d say it would have to be the first time I took the band to contest. It was in 2004 and we took first division rating.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “The Shawshank Redemption”
Q: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
A: Anywhere where there’s golf. I’ve been to South Carolina a few times, and San Diego.
Q: What is your favorite Chicago sports team?
A: The Cubs.