We are excited to be offering lessons at our new location with some of the area's top educators! Please fill out the form below and we will promptly reply with information regarding scheduling, pricing and availability of lessons.
INQUIRE ABOUT LESSONS!
MEET OUR EDUCATORS...
STRINGS (VIOLIN, VIOLA, CELLO)
Mary Barba is a violist and string pedagogue based in Normal, Illinois. Mary is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Music Education at Illinois State University, and holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire. Mary worked with the University of New Hampshire Youth Orchestra program for four years, and now works with the Illinois State University String Project. Her greatest passion is private teaching, but also has a particular interest in the philosophy of music education, teacher training, and higher education. Mary is an active member of The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and The American String Teachers Association (ASTA). Read more about Mary Barba's string teaching at www.marybarbamusic.com.
Michael Barranco is a New York-based percussionist and educator. He currently resides in Normal, Illinois as an adjunct percussion professor at University of Illinois Springfield. Michael also works full time at Carl’s Pro Band as an instrument repair technician. Michael can be found as a freelance musician, teaching private percussion lessons to students, and conducting various master classes in the Bloomington-Normal area.
Michael’s schooling includes a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance from Illinois State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Notably, Michael has performed with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, The Capital Region Wind Ensemble, and The Saint Rose Camerata.
Michael is an active member in various professional organizations including The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and The Percussive Arts Society. From 2013-2014, he served as the President of the Saint Rose chapter of NAfME. Michael is also an Artifact Percussion performing artist.
ADVANCED MUSICIANSHIP, IMPROVISATION, DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDIVIDUAL SOUND, ADVANCED SAXOPHONE
James Boitos holds the Bachelor of Music Degree from Colorado State University, and a Master’s from Northwestern University, where he studied with the legendary Dr. Frederick Hemke. Mr. Boitos is retired Professor Emeritus of Music at Illinois State University where he taught saxophone and directed the Jazz program. For more than two and a half decades, his jazz groups won individual and group awards at college jazz festivals throughout the country. Boitos’ performance credits are many; he has soloed with the Kurpfalziches Chamber Orchestra of Mannheim, and recorded Alexandre Glazounov’s Concerto and Wolfgang Hofmann’s Concertino, for South German Federal Radio. He was a featured soloist at the 5th World Saxophone Congress, London, the 6th World Saxophone Congress, Evanston, and the 7th World Saxophone Congress, Nuremburg, as well as the 1st and 2nd International Saxophone Symposiums, hosted by the United States Navy Bands, Washington, D.C. and has been a guest soloist with College and University ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Mr. Boitos has also freelanced with Pearl Bailey, Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams, Cab Calloway, Nancy Wilson, Louie Bellson, and many others.
Dr. Anne Dervin pursues an active career as a recitalist, chamber player, and orchestral clarinetist throughout the United States. She has presented solo and chamber recitals at universities and recital series, including: Hope College (MI), University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Bradley University, Wake Forest University (NC), Illinois State University, and East Carolina University (NC).
Dr. Dervin is a current member of the Heartland Festival Orchestra and Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle (North Carolina), Peoria Symphony, Long Bay Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Opera, North Carolina Vocal Ensemble, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, Opera Carolina, Carolina Chamber Symphony, and Jackson Symphony (MI).
In addition to her performance career, she is known for her commitment to clarinet pedagogy and musicology. Dr. Dervin currently serves on the faculties Millikin University and Bradley University. Prior to these appointments, she served on the faculties of Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, East Carolina University and Coastal Carolina University.
She received her DMA while holding research fellowships and a graduate assistantship from Michigan State University. She received her MM with Honors and BM, with Highest University Honors from East Carolina University. She completed coursework at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and was an A.J. Fletcher Opera Fellow. Her major teachers include Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr and Robert Listokin.
Christine Hansen is an active freelance performer and instructor in Central Illinois. She holds positions in the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, is the Solo Tenor Horn of the Chicago Brass Band, and frequently performs with the Heartland Festival Orchestra. An avid supporter of chamber music, Christine is a member of the Twin Cities Brass Quintet and the Lyric Winds Chamber Ensemble. As a soloist, she has been featured with the Brass Band of Central Illinois, most recently joining the ensemble at the 2016 Illinois State Fair, and has had the privilege to perform the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings alongside Dr. Justin Vickers and the ISU Chamber Orchestra at the Red Note New Music Festival. Christine has previously played with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Illinois Orchestra, the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, and the ISU Faculty Brass Quintet, and has performed in Japan, Canada, and at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
Christine earned her BM and MM in Horn Performance from Illinois State University, and has studied under Joe Neisler and Douglas Hill. She currently serves as the Lead Academic Advisor and Assistant to the Director for the Illinois State University School of Music. Christine welcomes students of all ages and abilities.
Improvisation (all instruments)
composition & arranging
David Hoffman, a distinguished trumpeter, pianist, composer and conductor presents his own unique and imaginative music. For 13 years David traveled the world performing as part of the Ray Charles Orchestra. He is currently a founding member of the Tribute to Ray Charles Orchestra. He advocates strongly for the arts and music being essential in the educational system, and for the civil rights of all individuals. As an activist David served as President of Local 26 of the American Federation of Musicians from 2005-2016. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Peoria Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. David currently teaches Jazz Music courses at Bradley University, provides jazz trumpet and piano lessons and conducts jazz ensembles for Knox College and is the music director and resident composer for the Heartland Jazz Orchestra. David works with and advocates for area youth as a cofounder of Gentle Steps Foundation. David Hoffman indeed lives “Calmness of Spirit” in this very busy world.
STRINGS (VIOLIN, VIOLA, CELLO, SUZUKI METHOD)
Guitar & UkUlele
Mrs. McCormack is an Illinois native and grew up in Bloomington. She received her B.S. degree in Music Education from Illinois State University, and has taken various music education courses from ICC in Peoria. She is also a Certified Teacher for the Suzuki Method, having received her certification from the University of Wisconsin. Mrs. McCormack lived in Peoria for many years, where she taught music, mainly violin, to students from Pre-K to upper Elementary, for the Peoria School District. When Mrs. McCormack retired, she continued to share her love of musical instruments to students by opening The Master’s Touch School of Music, where she gave violin, viola, cello, guitar, ukulele, piano and voice lessons to students of all ages. She also played the cello for the Peoria Pops Orchestra for two years. Back in Bloomington/Normal again, Mrs. McCormack is now teaching strings, piano and voice to students of all ages.
Sam Phipps, from Des Plaines, Illinois, is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance from Illinois State University. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. She has experience playing in a variety of ensembles including concert bands, orchestras, jazz bands, musical and opera pit orchestras, brass quintets, and trombone chamber groups of various sizes. Sam has performed in masterclasses led by some of the country’s leading trombonists. She has also performed in the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the ISO Brass Quintet. She currently studies with Mark Babbitt, and previously studied with Tim Pitchford.
Primarily self-taught, Luciano (Lou) Rosado picked-up the trumpet three months before his fifteenth birthday in Chicago, Illinois. A few months later, he was playing in rhythm and blues bands. It was his only job in high school. He then used gig money to take private lessons at The Chicago Conservatory of Music from esteemed Chicago player/teacher Joseph Summerhill for the next three years.
A graduate of ISU’s English and Communication Departments, he has been teaching privately for more than 30 years, specializing in embouchure problems, improvisation, and high-note production.
Tim Schachtschneider has been an active performer and educator in Central Illinois since 2007. Currently, Tim works for Illinois State University as the School of Music’s Auditorium Technical Director. He received his B.S. in Music Business, and M.M. in Tuba performance from Illinois State University, primarily studying under Dr. Andy Rummel. Tim performs frequently with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Millikin-Decatur Symphony, and the Chicago Brass Band. As a soloist, Tim has appeared with the Brass Band of Central Illinois and has been a semi-finalist or finalist at several competitions, most recently winning third place in the Tuba Artist Division of the 2016 Leonard Falcone International Tuba and Euphonium Competition. Tim has also been a finalist at several military band auditions including the Air Force band of the Golden West in San Francisco. Tim is a big fan of ska and reggae, and plays trombone in a few bands in Chicago and Bloomington. Tim believes music is an essential part of life and looks forward to meeting and working with students that have taken interest in low brass.
Saxophone, clarinet, flute
Mrs. Walczyk graduated from Libertyville High School, a northern suburb of Chicago. Up until that time, she took private lessons with Casper Bogosian out of Glenview, Illinois. In 1995, she completed her studies at Illinois State University where she earned her Bachelor of Music (B.S. Music), Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.), and Master of Music degrees (M.M. with Honors). While a member of the ISU Jazz Combo, Walczyk received outstanding musicianship awards from the Aquinas College and Elmhurst College Jazz Festivals. Mrs. Walczyk studied applied saxophone at ISU with Professor James Boitos, and her conducting studies were with Dr. Steven Steele.
Since 1995, Mrs. Walczyk has been with Decatur Public Schools District 61. Her first 18 years were spent at Eisenhower High School (and various elementary assignments) as Director of Instrumental Music which included Marching Band, Pep Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band & Combo, Orchestra, and various small ensembles – all of which earned top honors at many competitions, including the Smoky Mountain Music Festival, Gatlinburg, TN. Other teaching responsibilities included multiple levels of music theory, beginning and second year band at the grade school level, and 6th Grade All-City Honors Band. Her current assignment includes Beginning Band and Second Year Band at four grade schools throughout the district, and she is Chair of the annual Elementary Band Festival.
While the saxophone is Mrs. Walczyk’s main instrument, she is confident and qualified to teach clarinet & flute lessons as well (up to advanced level).