Oct 04, 2023 12:00 PM
Mike Rouse, Director of Choral Music, Ely, H. S.
The Disney Broadway Musical “Frozen”, Performed by Ely Memorial High School Students.


Our presenters this week are Mike and Billie Rouse.  Mike is the Director of Choral Music and Yearbook Advisor for ISD 696 Ely Public Schools. Billie is Mike’s “Partner in Crime”.
Topic:  The Disney Broadway Musical “Frozen” as Performed by Memorial High School Students.  Disney has selected one HS in each state to perform “Frozen” and Ely HS is Minnesota’s representative. What is it like to work with Disney on a Broadway Musical?
Billie is from Indianapolis and bass clarinet was her instrument of choice all through high school and college. She has worked in a museum, as a para-professional in school and as a florist. She now owns a small Inn and is certified as a Lay Pastor.  She has spent some time on stage and yet prefers the behind the scenes work. Family is the most important part of her life and she is grateful for her kids and grandchildren as they make good impressions on this world. Billie and Mike have been married 47 years.
Mike was born in Charleston, South Carolina and spent most of his childhood on the family farm north of Indianapolis. He attended Anderson University as a piano performance major.  He owned a music business in the suburbs of Indianapolis, and moved to the Ely area over 30 years ago. In Ely, he found his way into teaching, or perhaps, “teaching found him“.  Every year he directs a musical for fourth and fifth grade students, a middle school musical and starting last year the high school musical. He’s also played keyboard in the pit for the spring musicals at VCC for many years. In addition, he’s also directed “Scrooge in Love” at VCC, and for several years is also directed “Camp Broadway”, a summer camp for students from several different Northeast Minnesota schools.  
On a personal level, he is a cancer survivor with a very rare form of cancer. In 1972, Indiana University Medical Center estimated that his life expectancy was around five years. His cancer diagnosis has greatly influenced his perspective on life and was also very instrumental in the choice of his life vocation, music! He has been very blessed with a wonderful wife and family.
His philosophy is, “Life is a gift, Music is a gift, and Music is Life!