Fine Arts

Beloved Music Teacher Ms. Meg Ideker Bids Farewell

Over the past 17 years at Concordia, as HS music teacher, Meg has watched this school grow and expand, from the development of the Fine Arts Department and the opening of the Rittmann Theatre, to the first musicals and choir by our young singers. Meg has decided on an early retirement, departing at the end of this school year.  

I think we can all agree, Meg is a wonder woman. She can handle many, many things, all while planning for things that will happen far in the future and reminiscing about what has happened in the past. She helps her students improve, creates a new choir or two, writes articles highlighting the arts, designs concert programs, meets with the AMIS board, helps her coworkers find things, reminds her coworkers of things, and sings in a choir all in the same breath. She is a big-picture person who helps the Fine Arts Department plan and grow. Meg is generous with her time, her talents and her food! She is the ultimate hostess, never hesitating to host in her beautiful home. Meg keeps us on our toes with her sense of humor and the music office is often full of laughter and wheezing. I am honored to call her my friend and I will greatly miss working with her. Happy Retirement, Meg. We love you.” 
Sara Preus,
HS fine Arts Teacher and long-time colleague 

We are blessed to have had such a wonderful teacher, colleague, and friend as Meg. She looked back on her past years at the school.   

Q1: When did you start working at Concordia? 

Our family moved to Shanghai in August 2005. Since our twins were enrolled in Grade 1 that school year, I led an ES-CCA Choir, and an ES-CCA simple mini-musical. I think the musical was called ‘The Little Red Hen’. I also subbed for our music teacher, Ms. Anna Hu, who went on a four-week family adoption leave-of-absence. I started as Concordia’s first full time choir director in the 2006-2007 school year. We had a band and strings teacher at that time, and I was asked to get the choir program up and running. It was a dream come true for me!

Q2: What will you miss the most about the school and the community? 

THE PEOPLE!!!! Our students and parents are the absolute best in the whole entire world! And I couldn’t ask for better colleagues and friends. Our Fine Arts Department is a tight knit group of people who have been here for many, many, many years. We are very close colleagues and dear friends. I have been particularly inspired by our high school teaching faculty. The talent, passion and dedication that has passed through our doors has been extraordinary! Concordia has been richly blessed through the years!

Q3: Could you share some fond/interesting memories of your time with your students or colleagues?

I remember when we only had two buildings on campus - the Phoenix Center and the old temporary elementary school building, which was torn down many, many years ago! It has been wonderful to watch this school grow and expand. I loved being able to open up our Rittmann Theatre in 2007. I love taking singers to our first Choir APAC in 2008 and taking singers to our first AMIS Choir Festival in 2015. I will never-ever forget taking our high school singers ‘on tour’ to New York City in 2014 and 2017. I remember working on our fantastic musicals (my favorite was ‘The Addams Family’ in 2016), I love our concert traditions like singing the Hallelujah Chorus at every Christmas Concert. There are soooooooo many wonderful memories!

Q4: Departing message to your students? 

I have several things to share …

FIRST – Keep singing! Keep performing! It builds character. It builds confidence. It allows you to be creative and it keeps you in touch with your feelings and emotions. Music always touches the heart.

SECOND – Continue to experience live music! Go to rock concerts, Broadway musicals, symphony orchestras, jazz clubs, community choral concerts. Be a good, supportive audience member in any community where you live!

THIRD – Support your local arts organization financially! Cultures and societies are defined by their art museums, symphony orchestras and choral societies! These organizations not only need you to attend their exhibitions and performances, but also to donate money to help support their personnel and programming. Once you are finished with university, please consider donating cash to support your local arts organizations.  

Q5: What will you miss the most about the city?

We have lived in Shanghai throughout a period of tremendous growth and prosperity. Our family can say that we have witnessed the remarkable transformation that has taken place here! I will miss the excitement of new high-rise buildings going up, new restaurants opening, cultural activities and museums sprouting up everywhere, the beautiful parks and gardens, the birds chirping during lockdown, all the wonderful food, the colorful holidays and long lived traditions.   I will miss the kind and thoughtful people of China who have welcomed us so graciously into their home. We have been changed for the better by living here for 17 years.

Q6: What is your plan after leaving Concordia/Shanghai? Where are you planning to go from here or planning to move forward?

My husband, John, and I are moving to our home in the USA in Harbor Springs, Michigan. It’s a small resort community on Lake Michigan about four hours north of Detroit. My husband will continue to work in the USA. His company HQ are in Connecticut – so we will be going back and forth between Michigan and Connecticut.

Our twins, both graduates of Concordia, Class of 2017, will be starting graduate school this fall. Sophie will study for a Master’s in Public Health with a focus in Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City. She will actually be joined by two other Concordia graduates from 2017 and 2016!!!!! (Vivian Tsao and Emily Lu). Concordia’s Epidemiology class – led by Mr. Todd Gordon and Ms. Kathleen Mahoney was her inspiration for this advanced degree. Lysander will be studying for his Doctorate in Audiology at Indiana University. I am looking forward to supporting them in their grad school endeavors.

I also plan to sing in our local community choir and our church choir. I imagine I’ll be pulled into other musical groups in the area, too! Can’t keep me out of the choir for long!!!!

Ms. Ideker will be fondly remembered for the strong foundation she leaves behind. Join us in wishing her and her family all the best in the future. They will always be a part of our Concordia community. Phoenix for Life!