Our artistic directors are highly skilled visionary leaders in the performing arts. Westport middle school boasts one of the most robust performing arts faculty that exists in any middle school.
Jay Matheney is in his 10th year as the band director at Westport Middle School in Louisville, and in his 14th year of teaching.
Mr. Matheney received his bachelor of music education degree from Morehead State University (MSU) and is currently completing his master of music education degree at MSU. While at MSU, he studied trumpet with Greg Wing and percussion with Brian S. Mason. Mr. Matheney was also a member of the top instrumental and vocal ensembles during his undergraduate studies.
Under his direction, the Westport Band has consistently received high ratings at district festival, has expanded to multiple ensembles (including: multiple concert bands, pep band, percussion ensemble, and “The Ambassadors of Awesome” commercial ensemble), all while growing the program to over 150+ members.
Mr. Matheney’s professional affiliations include NAfME and the KMEA. A native of Sinking Spring, Ohio, he now resides in Louisville with his wife Liz and their two dogs, Charlie and Penny.
Kristin Jones is the Choir Director at Westport Middle School in Louisville, KY. She has taught in the Jefferson County Public School system for over 10 years. This will be her 11th year at Westport. During her time there, the choir program has grown from 50 singers to over 200, making it one of the
largest middle school choral programs around! One of her most successful recruitment tools has been finding new and exciting performance opportunities for her students, stretching beyond the traditional choir concert avenue.
Mrs. Jones received all three of her degrees from the University of Louisville. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Music Education in 2006, and she received her Master of Music in Choral Conducting in 2008.
Outside of school, Mrs. Jones enjoys regular performance opportunities for herself. She makes regular appearances to sing the national anthem at both University of Louisville and men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as regular performances at community events.
Zachary Boone comes to Westport Performing Arts with over 12 years of professional experience as a performer and choreographer. A native of Louisville, Zachary attended the Youth Performing Arts School before obtaining his B.F.A. in Dance from Wright State University. He traveled all over the world for nearly ten years as a dancer with Princess Cruise Line, most recently performing in Magic To Do and Born To Dance (both shows produced by Stephen Schwartz). Zachary has had his choreography presented by multiple organizations including Princess Cruises, the Wright State University Dance Ensemble, Center Stage at the Jewish Community Center, Acting Against Cancer, St. Francis High School, Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade and the Kentuckiana Pride Parade. Zachary and his husband Paul McElroy won a Regional Broadway World award for their choreography for Footloose at Silver Creek High School. Zachary is also proud to serve on the board of Redline Performing Arts, which works to make the arts accessible and affordable for all.
Cory Zilisch is the Director of Orchestras at Westport Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky. He has taught orchestra in the city of Louisville for 7 years. During Cory's tenure at Westport Middle School since 2014, the orchestra program has grown to have over 200 members making it one of the largest middle school orchestra programs in the country.
Mr. Zilisch has been a pioneer in the area of string education. Under his direction, the Westport Orchestra boasts one of the first middle school "Electric Orchestra" programs. Mr. Zilisch has propelled the Westport Orchestra into the 21st century using state of the art instruments and technology. The "Rock N' Warhawks" electric orchestra is a unique performing ensemble that utilizes electric instruments, choreography and improvisation. The electric group performs very often in many community events and functions. Mr. Zilisch has presented sessions on technology in the music classroom at the JCPS music teacher's in-services, American String Teacher's Association National Conference, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Delaware and the KMEA State Conference. Mr. Zilisch has also received numerous awards including a recent selection as a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award. Mr. Zilisch was also selected as the Kentucky Music Educators Association 2017 state Middle school
Mr. Gavin Osborne began his theatre training here in Louisville at the Youth Performing Arts School. After graduating from YPAS with a major in Acting and minor studies in Vocal Music and Dance, he went on to study at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA. His additional training over the years has included improvisational creation and performance at The Second City in Chicago, IL with director Martin DeMatt, a directing internship with Broadway Musical director, Karma Camp, and a directing apprenticeship with Jon Jory at Actors Theatre of Louisville. His theatrical studies abroad led to tours throughout England and France.
With expertise both behind and in front of the curtain, Mr. Osborne has worked across the country as a theatre technician, a stage actor, a casting agent for A&E’s “Biograpgy” series, a stage director, as well as a theatre manager and producer. His favorite acting roles over the years include, Eilert Lovborg in Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler,” Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady,” and Ricky Roma in David Mamet’s “Glen Garry Glenn Ross.”
After some twenty years working in theatre, Mr. Osborne began his current career at JCPS after teaching “Intro to Theatre” and “Intro to Acting” for three years at the University of Louisville. He greatly enjoys introducing his students to all aspects of theatre from playwrighting to acting, directing, and production and everything in between. “I enjoy teaching theatre, especially to enthusiastic students,” says, Mr. Osborne. “Teaching drama to young people keeps one young.”