Alumni Profile: Bill Podolski

2005, Music, BM


Bill Podolski is in his eighth year as Director of Choral Activities at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program where he teaches six middle and high choral ensembles, which collectively involve a quarter of the school’s student population. Under his direction, the choirs perform a wide range of music in the choral tradition representing different time periods, cultures and styles. Each year the high school choirs perform a major work with a professional orchestra recently including Rutter’s Mass of the Children, Fauré’s Requiem Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. Bill also brings together the annual “HBW Community Chorus,” which welcomes parents, alumni, students, teachers, staff, neighbors, etc. to rehearse a few times and perform at the Winter Choral Concert. His choirs are frequent recipients of invitations to perform throughout the country and in major concert halls, and have performed at the Washington National Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Ford’s Theater and with the City Choir of Washington, Jane Franklin Dance Company and Choralis. In November of 2015, HBW Chamber Singers offered a featured performance at the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference.

Bill also produces and directs the annual HBW High School Musical Production. Past shows have included Footloose, Les Misérables, Oklahoma!, and West Side Story. With an average involvement of 100 high school students as actors, pit musicians or techies, the musical production includes 25% of the high school population. Earlier this year, Bill was recognized by the Arlington Chapter of AAUW for Excellence in Arts Education in Arlington Public Schools with his production of Footloose.

In addition to his duties at H-B Woodlawn, Bill serves as Secondary Lead Choral Teacher for Arlington Public Schools. He is also an active adjudicator, conductor and singer, who has conducted several All-District Choirs throughout Virginia, and currently sings with the Voce Chamber Singers.

Prior to H-B Woodlawn, Bill taught at Forest Edge Elementary School, Reston, VA, as general music teacher, drama coach and department chair. In 2007 he was awarded PTA Teacher of the Year and in 2008 his colleagues honored him with the Staff Recognition Award. Bill has also served as the Assistant Conductor for the Choralis Foundation for three seasons, and as Director of Music Ministry for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Sterling.

Bill is an active member of ACDA and NAfME. In 2008 he was awarded the Colleen Kirk Award by the Southern Division of ACDA for dedication and excellence in the first three years of teaching. He has served on the planning committee of the ACDA Voices United Regional Conference for the past 10 years, as well as the 2015 ACDA Southern Division conference. Bill is the former Membership Chair and the current President of the Virginia Chapter of ACDA.