Meet the Klenks- North Penn’s music trio


(From left to right) Matthew Klenk, Jennifer Klenk, and Michael Klenk at the NPHS choral showcase on January 14th, 2020

TOWAMENCIN – When it comes to elementary, middle, and high school at North Penn, don’t worry, the Klenks have it all covered.  This music trio is teaching kids music all throughout North Penn School District. 

Starting off at Bridle Path Elementary School, there is Mr. Michael Klenk. He has been a music teacher in the North Penn School District since 2008. He started his teaching career at York Avenue Elementary with a year and a half there, half a year at Inglewood Elementary, a two-year span at a different district, and finally, in 2013, he took the job at Bridle Path. 

“My favorite part about my job is when you see a kid who is not normally into a certain type of music, but then it starts when they heard it in class. It opens up a doorway where they join chorus or do the musical in middle school,” Michael Klenk remarked. 

Onto the next level would be Mrs. Jennifer Klenk at Penndale Middle School. She is the choir teacher at the middle school. Mrs. Jennifer Klenk started her tenure at North Penn as the last of the trio in 2013. She took one year off in 2016 to care for her newborn twin sons.

“You are just trying to see success. You are trying to have kids that are motivated and engaged in the music. That’s the most important thing and that doesn’t matter what grade you are in. That’s the goal, that they want to be music makers,” Jennifer Klenk commented.

Finally, the last level is North Penn High School with Mr. Matthew Klenk. He is the choral director of North Penn High School and the head of the music department. He was also the first of the Klenks to start teaching at North Penn when he started in 2009, taking over for the long-standing Dr. Giersch. 

Ironically enough, the trio all attended Duquesne University. Matthew Klenk and Jennifer Klenk both got their undergraduate degree in piano performance. This is where the couple would end up meeting and falling in love to eventual marriage. Michael Klenk, who attended the school a few years prior to the other two, did his undergraduate with a summer program different than the other Klenks. Clearly all in the same musical mind, the trio all went to graduate school at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. 

It’s been interesting, my closest musical comrade has always been my brother. We would always play together. Where other people would get together and do something, we would get together and make music.”

— Mr. Matt Klenk - NPHS Chorus teacher

“It’s been interesting, my closest musical comrade has always been my brother. We would always play together. Where other people would get together and do something, we would get together and make music. With my wife, we were both piano performance majors. We had the same classes, same major, same degree. Then I got hired here and it’s cool when I get to recruit new singers I get to see her at Penndale Middle School,” Matthew Klenk expressed.

Having their family so close to home and in the same profession has not only made the Klenk family closely knit in the community but also above and beyond musically. Matthew Klenk impacts the next generation of kids every day and does his best to inspire each kid to learn music and the multiple aspects of another language. 

“Every lesson we do has the basic elements of music. Each lesson has rhythm, melody, and harmony. For me, if students leave here with a strong understanding of all those aspects, I feel like I was able to be successful for them. A couple years ago, we got a grant for Ukuleles. With these, I can get them singing it while playing the chords. It’s a whole other level of understanding,” Michael Klenk commented.

If kids enjoyed their musical experience at the elementary school level, they have the ability to take chorus as an elective during class time in middle school. Here, they would be taught by the wonderful Mrs. Jennifer Klenk. 

“The continuity from seeing the development of kids is nice, but it’s also nice to see kids jump in who may not have taken chorus. When your core group of students is so good, it encourages peripheral students that maybe would not have joined the program otherwise but since the program is so good they would join,” Jennifer Klenk commented. 

Success can come in many ways in music, especially with the Klenks. It could be winning a 101.1 FM contest to performing the national anthem or performing at the ACDA national conference. The Klenk family always has, and will continue to inspire kids to reach for the stars and to never settle. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 4th-grade beginner in elementary school or a senior chambers singer at North Penn, the chorus programs under the Klenk family have always succeeded in many ways. 

As the years move on and the alumni under the Klenk family grows, the tradition of making kids like myself love music will live on. At the end of the day, the trio will get to make music together for many more years to come, and the Hallelujah chorus will continue to be getting larger and larger at each winter concert.

Matthew Klenk puts it best: “Music-making is a special thing, the best music-making is when you trust the people it’s with, for that it’s with family.”