Director of Orchestras at OHS
K-12 Strings Coordinator
B.M. Music Education & Performance, Wayne State University
International Baccalaureate Certification, Level 2 MYP Music
JOINED OXFORD COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Ms. Natalie Frakes is Director of Orchestras at Oxford High School and teaches First Year Orchestra. She graduated cum laude from Wayne State University in Detroit in 2014 and soon after graduating, Ms. Frakes became Interim Director of Orchestras at Berkley High and Norup International Schools. While she served at Berkley, the orchestras earned straight A+'s at MSBOA District Band and Orchestra Festival and went on to earn excellent scores at State Festival.
A passionate educator, Ms. Frakes has served as a string instructor and conductor for numerous projects. Her experiences include positions at Wayne State University's String Project@Wayne, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Youth Ensembles, Detroit's Urban Stringz, the Dearborn Youth Symphony, and the esteemed Sphinx Organization. She was also involved with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's El Sistema-inspired OrchKids program as a summer teaching artist and taught with Costa Rica’s El Sistema program, Sistema de Nacional Educación Musical, in July 2015. Ms. Frakes’ commitment to music education was acknowledged when she was named Michigan 2014 “Teacher of Promise” by the Network of Michigan Educators.
As an experienced performer, Ms. Frakes has performed and recorded with Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians and a diverse roster of musical talent including Trans-Siberian Orchestra and some of Detroit’s best musicians. Ms. Frakes is also violinist for electro-pop violin band NUCLASSICA and award-winning Nouveauté. She continues working the "gigging" circuit with friends in their group, Midtown Strings.
Music and educating aside, other passions of Ms. Frakes’ include playing tennis, volunteering, and traveling the world.