Instrumental Music Major Faculty

Mary Lou Lim

Vocal Music

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Mary Lou loves being able to teach at a school where her students are passionate about what they are learning.  She has been at Inspire since the school began, enjoying the challenge of developing the vocal music and musical theatre programs.  She is passionate about helping students find their voice—both as singers and as story-tellers.  She is the Vocal Music Director for Inspire’s musical theatre shows, and the annual Musical Theatre Showcase.  She also works with student leaders of the small vocal groups WeBMajor and One Voice, as well as directing The Gents, Inspire’s men’s choir.  Her work in the community includes co-founding and co-directing Synergism, a local women’s choir.  Mary Lou’s roots in teaching go back to her early years as an elementary classroom music and band teacher, which she did for 8 years before she and her husband, optometrist Dr. Edward Lim, raised their family of 4 children.  After 25 years away from teaching, and a Master of Arts in Piano from Chico State, and many hours of work as an accompanist in local schools and churches, she became the Choral Director at Chico High School, which led to the fulfillment of a dream—being a part of the creation of a school for the arts and sciences.  When she is not teaching or music- directing a show, you’ll probably find her playing with a granddaughter—she currently has four, with another on the way!  


Jeff Pershing



Jeff joined the Inspire staff in 2016 and is teaching Guitar 1.  He has also been teaching music at Butte College since 2008, and has been teaching music at The Wright Keys Academy of Musical Arts since 2016.  Jeff has a B.A. in Music with an Education Emphasis, and an M.A. in Music from California State University, Chico.  He also studied music at San Francisco State University and at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.  Jeff started performing professionally in 1976 in San Francisco, and started teaching music in Chico 1980.  The Jeff Pershing Band has received 7 CAMMIE (Chico Area Music Award) nominations and won 3 CAMMIES for Best Funk/Jam Band.  Avery Pound, one of Jeff’s nephews, is an Inspire graduate.

Jim White

Music Teacher
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Jim joined the Inspire staff in 2012 and teaches Orchestra, Pop Band, Music Theory, Piano 1A-1B, Electronic Music Composition and Recording Arts. Jim has a Bachelor of Music Performance from Wheaton Conservatory of Music, Master of Arts in Music and a Master in Education with a Specialization in Educational Technology. Jim has worked as a studio musician, performer, arranger, and conductor. In recent years, he has done extensive work in local community theater as a music director, audio engineer and private music instructor. Jim, his wife Robin and two children, Kevin and Makenzie, made Chico their home in 1993. His wife is a realtor, son is a professional Lighting Designer and daughter graduated from Inspire in 2013 and is pursuing a degree in Theater. All have been very active in the performing arts in Chico. 
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