Private Lesson Teachers

Joyce Oakes - Flute, Studio space off-site in Evanston (for possible on-site lessons please contact Joyce for more information)

Email: flutejoyceoakes@gmail.com
Phone: (847) 610-2219

Joyce Oakes is an active freelance musician, instructor, clinician and flute choir director. Throughout her career she has performed in solo recitals, chamber music and orchestral settings in the United States and Europe. She held a flute position with the BBC-NCOS London orchestra touring Great Britain. Joyce has performed chamber and orchestral music at the Tanglewood, Brevard, New Mexico, Santa Barbara and Hollywood Bowl festivals. Joyce has performed on piccolo, concert flute, alto and bass flutes as a member of the National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir and NFA flute orchestra. Joyce has appeared in concerts throughout the greater Chicago area and in broadcast for WFMT as a founding member of the Arioso flute and strings quartet.


Ms. Oakes is also the founder of the award winning Fresh Aire Flute Choir, H.S. District 219, serving as the director for thirteen years. She has contributed flute pedagogue articles published in Flute Talk and Flute Explorer magazines. She holds affiliations with the National Flute Association, Chicago Flute Club and Mu Phi Epsilon. Joyce has served as an adjudicator, masterclass coach, flute choir director and clinician for those organizations as well as the Society of American Musicians, Festival of Flutes, and other solo and ensemble contests in the greater Chicago area Ms. Oakes has taught flute for 25 years at various north shore schools and maintains a private studio in the Evanston/Skokie area. Students of Ms. Oakes have won local and national competitions sponsored by the Chicago Flute Club, Society of American Musicians, Festival of Flutes, National Flute Association and IMEA District/All State programs. Her students have been accepted at leading music schools including Eastman, Northwestern and DePaul. 

Joyce Oakes was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts-Flute Performance from the California Institute of the Arts, a Master of Music-Flute Performance from Northwestern University and a Graduate Diploma in Orchestral Studies from the University of London Goldsmiths' College. 

Kurt Bjorling - Clarinet, teaches on or off campus

Email: kb@muziker.org
Phone: 847-475-3905

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Clarinetist Kurt Bjorling has wide ranging musical interests and activities. He plays and teaches a number of musical instruments including all the members of the clarinet family plus saxophones, recorders, accordion, and the tsimbl (Yiddish: dulcimer). Activities range from the study and performance of 16th-17th century consort music, ‘old-timey’ jazz, baroque and classical chamber music, the composition of original works for soloists & orchestra, traditional music of several cultures (Greek, Turkish, Romanian…) and the construction and restoration of musical instruments.

Kurt’s personal specialty is the research, performance and teaching of Yiddish instrumental music (popularized as ‘klezmer music’). He has toured and recorded with Brave Old World, Chicago Klezmer Ensemble, Itzhak Perlman, Duo Controverso, the Klezmatics, and has performed and taught at numerous Yiddish music workshops and festivals from Chicago to New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Weimar, Krakow, and beyond. In 2014 Kurt edited, annotated and published the first complete English edition of Jewish Instrumental Folk Music, the Collections and Writings of Moshe Beregovski, a seminal work of research on the klezmer music of Ukraine and Belarus from the late 19th c. to the 1940s.

 

In his teaching, Kurt is noted for developing materials specially suited to each student and for organizing small ensembles for students to play together.

 

“Wherever I perform, I seem to constantly meet people who tell me that they used to play the clarinet (or saxophone, or …) usually with a tone of regret, wishing they had continued, or disappointed that they no longer have a band or orchestra to play with. One of my chief aims as a teacher of young students is to help them learn how to adapt, create, and improvise music for themselves so that they don’t have to rely on others to provide them with material to play or a context in which to play it. Although I enjoy performing music, some of my most satisfying musical experiences have resulted from working with others to explore, adapt, and create music suited to our own style, instruments and interpretations, even if only for our own private consumption. I hope to equip others to do the same to whatever extent they would like.”

 

Kurt studied clarinet with Lloyd Scott in his youth, and with Larry Combs at Northwestern University. He later received further instruction from Lawry Bloom (Chicago Symphony) on bass clarinet, Richard Corpolongo on jazz and improvisation, and Rose Sperrazza (Northeastern Illinois University).

Carol Lee Smith - Clarinet, teaches off-campus

Email: gregory@gregory-smith.com
Phone: (847) 867-1645 (text preferred)

Carolee Smith holds a Masters in Music Performance degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelors in Music Performance from Georgia State University. She has performed and recorded Clarinet, Eb Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet with many of the country's top orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Sacramento Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She has enjoyed a wide variety of experiences as a freelancer including top musicals. She also has wide experience as a chamber musician performing with a multitude of organizations throughout the country.

Her teachers have included Robert Marcellus, Clark Brody, Larry Combs, Alan Balter, and Donald Carroll among others. She taught for The Music Conservatory at Roosevelt University for 29 years and 3 years at DePaul University. She taught clarinet for New Trier HS from 1983 until 1996.  In 1996 she and her husband Greg, who plays with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, began their hand crafted mouthpiece business, which they sell around the world. Carolee has maintained a private home studio teaching since her teens. 

Hunter Bockes - Saxophone, teaches on-campus

Email: chunterbockes@gmail.com
Phone: (703) 987-0856

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Hunter is an American saxophonist, teacher, and chamber musician who thrives on pushing the boundaries of what the saxophone can do. As a soloist, Hunter has performed with the Eastern Music Festival as a guest soloist alongside Midori Gotō for their 2017 season. He has received numerous awards, most notably First Place at the 2016 Rosen-Schaffel Concerto Competition. He has also made appearances with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, Peninsula Music Festival, and the Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. Hunter has shared the stage with Prism Quartet and Rudresh Mahanthappa among others.

 

Outside of his solo career, Hunter is the current alto saxophonist and founding member of the critically acclaimed and highly awarded new music ensemble, ~Nois. ~Nois is in demand as a guest artist and lecturer at universities across the nation with residencies and performances at institutions such as the University of Chicago, University of Colorado - Boulder, the Manhattan School of Music, and Princeton University, among others. The quartet also had the honor of being one of three guest artists for the University of Chicago’s inaugural season of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition. ~Nois is a champion of commissioning music by living composers and loves working closely with them to create new art. To date, ~Nois has premiered over 50 works.

 

Hunter received his Masters of Music from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and his Bachelors of Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC.

Doug Rosenberg - Saxophone, teaches on-campus

Email: doug.rosenberg@gmail.com
Phone: (773) 627-4279

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Doug Rosenberg is a member of the new generation of jazz musicians composing and improvising music for the next century. The Chicago Tribune hails his “fearlessness of spirit and a robustness of tone that seem likely to win him a devoted following in coming years.” Rosenberg’s work on saxophone has an instantly recognizable sound and personal melodic language. He is best known for his work with Eastern Blok and Goran Ivanovic.  Doug Rosenberg has also collaborated with great musicians like Sam Barsh, Maurice Brown, Kelan Phil Cohran, Robert Glasper, Marquis Hill, Robert “Baabe” Irving III, Rakalam Bob Moses, Makaya McCraven, Kendrick Scott, and Matt Ulery.  His debut album, “Better Than TV” is available at www.dougrosenberg.com or anywhere music is sold.

                  As an educator, Rosenberg has taught masterclasses at universities such as Princeton, Cornell, and Michigan, in addition to many, many others. Currently he maintains a busy private lesson studio on Chicago’s North Shore and Western Suburbs. Doug plays all styles of music, improvised and written, including jazz, classical, Motown, Cuban, and Bulgarian, and is proficient on all saxophones, flutes, and clarinets.

Brian Gephart - Jazz Saxophone, teaches off-campus

Email: brian@briangephart.com
Phone: (847) 212-3872

Brian Gephart is a jazz tenor player and composer in the Chicago area.  He has been a member of the ETHS Jazz combo faculty since 2010 and teaches several of our jazz saxophonists.

Peter Roothaan - Jazz Saxophone, teaches on or off campus

Email: proothaan@gmail.com
Phone: (847) 644-3449

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Jazz saxophonist Peter Roothaan is equally comfortable on tenor and alto saxophones.

 

He has performed alongside (and learned from) many of the greats of jazz saxophone, including James Moody, David “Fathead” Newman, Bennie Golson, Jimmy Heath, Hank Crawford, Von Freeman, Bobby Watson, and Donald Harrison.

 

He has performed with legendary jazz singers such as Nancy Wilson and Freddie Cole, guitarist Henry Johnson, organist Chris Foreman, drummer Greg Rockingham, and many others.

Appearances include Ravinia, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Millenium Park, the Ocho Rios Jazz Fest in Jamaica, The Jazz Cruise, and at nationally recognized jazz clubs.

 

In addition to his duties at ETHS as Assistant Jazz Band Director, Mr. Roothaan is the Jazz Band Director at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School in Deerfield Illinois.

 

Mr. Roothaan maintains a private teaching studio in Evanston Illinois. He teaches jazz saxophone, jazz theory and performance, and methods of improvisation. His understanding of teaching and performing jazz is enhanced by his jazz piano skills, allowing him to effectively accompany students when working on musical ideas and skills, and to demonstrate various aspects of the jazz language. He also plays flute, clarinet, drum set, and guitar.

Mark Olen - Trumpet, teaches on-campus

Email: markolen@oakton.edu
Phone: 847-894-9944

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Trumpet faculty member Mark Olen continues to successfully teach and guide aspiring trumpeters in his private studio. A number of his current and past students have been awarded college scholarships and many have secured All-State and All-district honors. Mr. Olen is the current Jazz Ensemble director at Oakton College and has previously served on the Brass faculty at the University of Illinois @ Chicago.

 

As a professional Trumpet Artist, He has performed with many entertainers including: Tony Bennett, Michael McDonald,Al Jarreau, Ce Ce Winans, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, B.B. King, Roger Daltry, & David Foster.

He’s lead trumpet of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic & Chicago Jazz Ensemble.

Jazz luminaries with whom he has appeared include: Jon Faddis, Joe Lovano, Maynard Ferguson, Randy Brecker, Joshua Redman & Kurt Elling.

 

Mr. Olen’s versatility is evidenced by performances with the American Jazz Philharmonic, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Grant Park, Elgin & Rockford Symphonies, Chicago Brass Quintet & BrassWorks (founder). He’s been a featured soloist with Great Lakes Navy Band & Chicago Jazz Ensemble.

 

As a studio artist, he’s contributed to recordings of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Kid Rhino, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, VeggieTales, Robbie Fulks & countless Television/ Radio commercials. Additional credits include Broadway orchestras for Wicked, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot, Frozen, & Emmanuel.

Emma Sepmeir - French Horn, teaches on-campus

Email: emma.sepmeier@gmail.com
Phone: (847) 507-4121

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Emma Sepmeier is a Chicago-based horn player and teacher.  As a performer, Emmahas made appearances with the Lake Forest Symphony, the Illinois Philharmonic, Aether Ensemble, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the City Lights Orchestra, and on FOX’s “Empire.”  She maintains a private studio in addition to having taught for the youth symphonies of Boston and Milwaukee, ChiArts High School, and VH1’s Save the Music. 

 

Emma enjoys working with each student to find their voice on the horn. 

 

Her teachers include Eric Ruske and Greg Flint.  She received the degrees of Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education from Boston University, and the degree of Master of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She and her husband live in Chicago. 

Victor Ribadeneyra - Trombone/Euphonium, teaches on campus

Email: vribaden@gmail.com
Phone: (812) 219-8635

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Victor Ribadeneyra (he/him/his) is a trombonist, euphonium player, music educator, and nonprofit professional specializing in music education and program building. As a music teacher, Victor has taught and developed lessons for students of all ages from 3 years old to retired older adults. He has taught jazz and classical trombone lessons, music theory classes, ear training classes, K-12 general music classes, middle and high school concert band, high school marching band, and high school jazz band. Trombone and euphonium students studying with Victor regularly earn top ratings in both jazz and classical solo competitions at ILMEA, ISSMA, and MYAC events. Groups under his direction have achieved top ratings in jazz and classical ISSMA ensemble competitions and seen multiple trips to ISSMA Class B Marching Band State Finals.

 

As a trombonist, composer, and arranger, Victor has received multiple honors for both his jazz and classical music as a Jazz Fellow at the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, finalist in the United States Air Force Golden Band of the West trombone audition, and finalist in the Indiana University Concerto Competition. Victor also marched with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps as lead baritone, receiving an Individual and Ensemble Champion Award with the Blue Stars Trombone Quartet. Victor’s compositions and arrangements have been performed at live sporting events, music shows, and at the Ravinia Festival’s Bennett-Gordon Hall. Student groups under his direction have achieved successful results at Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) events including two trips to Class B Marching Band State Finals, top ratings in middle school and high school concert band competitions, and top ratings in high school jazz band competitions.

 

Victor holds a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) degree with a Minor in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Victor’s primary classical teachers include M. Dee Stewart, Peter Ellefson, Carl Lenthe, and David Plumb. His jazz teachers include Dr. David N. Baker, Curtis Fuller, Brent Wallarab, and Michael Spiro. Victor has also participated in master classes with Joseph Alessi, Alan Barnhill, and Amanda Stewart.

 

In addition to teaching music lessons, Victor Ribadeneyra also works full-time as Director of Community Engagement for the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC), a nonprofit music school in Chicagoland. He has also held positions as the Orchestra & Chamber Music Program Coordinator with Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, Production Assistant with the Ravinia Festival, and K-12 Band Director & General Music Teacher with the School Town of Munster. Victor also volunteers as a Cat Care Shift Leader with Community Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.), a volunteer led animal shelter in Skokie, Illinois. Victor originally hails from Boston, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas.

Serena Voltz - Tuba, teaches on campus

Email: voltztuba@gmail.com
Phone: (847) 507-8557

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Serena Voltz is an active freelance tuba player and low brass teacher in the Chicagoland area. She draws on her studies at Northwestern University (B.M.) and DePaul University (M.M.), where she learned from some of the most world renowned brass pedagogues including Rex Martin, Floyd Cooley, and Gene Pokorny. Her orchestral experience includes work with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Kenosha Symphony, Racine Symphony, and Festival City Symphony amongst others. She also performs in a variety of chamber and solo settings ranging from baroque to contemporary.

Joan Hickey - Jazz Piano, teaches off-campus

Email: hickey@uiuc.edu
Telephone: 1-847-256-5270

Joan has been teaching and performing in the Chicago area since the 1980's.  She went to school at the University of Illinois in Champaign, and discovered jazz her senior year.  Many outstanding musicians that had graduated were still there postponing a move to a big city.  The result of this was a jazz scene rich with camaraderie and free from economic pressure.

 

"I had no teachers or books, just the recordings.  I learned the most by listening to others.  People would have parties and I picked up a lot from their comments when we would sit around and listen to recordings.  I was drawn to all the unique and sometimes outrageous personal lives of the musicians.  You could hear it in their playing.  They shared a philosophy and aesthetic that taught a deep understanding of the essence of the music.  Our aim was to honor the past masters, know what it was to really swing, and to explore one's own personality.

 

Joan immediately began working as a jazz musician when she moved back to Chicago. She played a number of solo and big band gigs, led a Blakey style sextet, and a group with vocalist Suzanne Palmer (a singer with an enormous voice who's style was a cross between Nancy Wilson and Aretha Franklin).  She played one of the Chicago Jazz Festivals with Cab Calloway, Milt Hinton, J.C. Heard, and Jonah

Jones.

 

There have always been trio gigs, and after many years, she settled into a group with Dennis Carroll, bass and George Fludas, drums.  After George came Dana Hall.  She continues her work to this day with vocalists. "I love the challenge of accompanying a vocalist, and it gives me a chance to be around some female energy!"

 

She has been awarded 2 National Endowment for the Arts grants and an Illinois Arts Council grant in music composition.  Her quintet was a finalist in the Hennessy Jazz Competition.  The C. D., "Soulmates" was nominated for Best jazz C.D. at the Chicago Music Awards.  She performed at the Kennedy Center in May 2006 during the  Women in Jazz Festival.

 

Joan has played with Nat Adderly, Von Freeman, Frank Morgan, Lou Tabakin, Jon Faddis, Clark Terry and Buster Williams. Tours include Italy, Sweden, and Denmark with the Jazz Members Big Band featuring Joe Williams, vocalist.

 

Her CD "Between The Lines,” released in 2006, includes Tito Carrillo trumpet John Wojciechowski, saxophone, Dennis Carroll bass, and Dana Hall drums.  The repertoire includes originals and her own arrangements on Bridge Over Troubled water, Black Magic Woman, The Man I Love, and My Funny Valentine.

 

Teaching has been an important part of Joan's work for many years.  She has taught at Univ. of Illinois, her Alma Mater, since 1994, and Northwestem University with her husband (drummer) Joel Spencer, since 2004.  She still keeps a small studio of talented high school jazz students, and has seen them go on to USC, New School,

UIUC, and Eastman in jazz studies.

Kevin Connelley - Jazz Drum Set, teaches off-campus

Email: kevin@kevinconnelley.com
Telephone: 1-847-679-7070

Kevin took his first formal drum lesson at age nine. Eight years later he was one of three drummers selected to represent the United States in the US Jazz Abroad Tour 1978, which toured seven European countries. He went on to receive a bachelors in percussion performance at Northwestern University and began playing professionally at the age of twenty. Kevin has performed in a wide variety of media, including television, radio and album recordings. He is regarded as one of the finest players and teachers in the Chicago area. Since 1981 Kevin has maintained a busy schedule as a performer and teacher.

Education

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Bachelor's in Percussion Performance, 1983

Studied with:

Joel Spencer (Count Basie, Red Rodney, Barney Kessel)
Terry Applebaum (Northwestern University Percussion Professor)
Tony Caselli (Chicago-area Performer and Educator)
Duane Thamm (Chicago-area Performer and Educator)

Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra)
Graham Lear (Santana, REO Speedwagon, Gino Vanelli)
Steve Houghton (Freddie Hubbard, Toshiko Akioshi)
Joe Porcaro (Founder, Percussion Institute of Technology, Hollywood CA)
Victor Feldman (Steely Dan, L.A. studio percussionist)
Greg Field (Count Basie)
Aaron Serfaty (Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi, Frank Gambale, Don Grusin)
Ralph Humphrey (Frank Zappa, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, American Idol)

Benjy Krauss - Curricular Percussion Instructor, teaches on campus

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Benjy Krauss has been performing and teaching percussion in the greater Chicago area since 2016 and is currently finishing up coursework for his doctorate in percussion performance at Northwestern University.  He frequently performs with the Chicago Civic Orchestra and Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, as well as a number of other national and Chicago-based ensembles.   In addition to orchestral playing, Benjy is an accomplished drum set and steel drum player.  Benjy is the director of percussion at Evanston Township High School, is on the faculty at The People's Music School, Maine West High School, and teaches general music and music education courses at Northwestern University (while also serving as a teachers assistant since 2016).  

 

Benjy has studied privately with an array of world class artists, including She-e Wu (internationally renown soloist/pedagogue), Christopher Lamb (New York Philharmonic), Vadim Karpinos (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Ed Stephan (San Francisco Symphony), and Marc Damoulakis (Cleveland Orchestra).  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BM/BA '15) and Northwestern University (MM '18, DMA '22).