The Music Academy at College of DuPage offers private, non-credit music instruction and vocal performance
for community members. Instructors have the experience, the knowledge and the passion
to take your skills to the next level. See below for biographies of our Music Academy
faculty. To register for lessons, contact Continuing Education at (630) 942-2208 or
As a jazz bassist, Richard Armandi has performed with such luminaries as Marion McPartland,
Barry Harris, Bobby Shew, David Baker, Jamey Aebersold, Dick Hyman, Scott Hamilton,
Carl Fontana and many others, and has performed with such stars as Rosemary Clooney,
Bob Newhart, Martin Short, Phyllis Diller and Rich Little. As a tubist, he has performed
with the Lyric Opera, American Ballet Theater, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Brass
Quintet, and as a featured soloist with the New Philharmonic, Ethos Chamber Orchestra,
Concordia University Wind Ensemble and at the 1992 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference.
Jennifer Barnickel-Fitch completed her doctorate degree in vocal performance at the
University of Michigan. Since moving to Chicago, she has performed with Lyric Opera
Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, da Corneto Opera and Fox Valley Orchestra, and has
also been broadcast on WMFT radio. Dr. Barnickel-Fitch has been providing vocal instruction
at the College of DuPage since 2002.
Daniela Folker is the principal second violinist for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
Additionally, she is violinist with the Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta,
Ravinia Festival Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater. Daniela has performed with the
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as performed for
numerous televised programs including Oprah, Late Night with David Letterman, Soundstage
and with Celine Dion for an NBC Special. She has performed with such artists as Luciano
Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Seal, Natalie Cole and many others.
Chicago native David Govertsen has been active as a professional singer for fifteen
years, portraying a wide variety of opera's low-voiced heroes, villains, and buffoons.
He has performed as a soloist with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater,
Santa Fe Opera, Tulsa Opera and Central City Opera. As a concert soloist, Mr. Govertsen
has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Madison
Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Santa Fe
Symphony and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival among many others. He made his Carnegie
Hall debut in 2011 as the Herald in Otello with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted
by Riccardo Muti. He is an alumnus of both the Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera
apprentice programs and holds degrees from Northwestern University, Northern Illinois
University and the College of DuPage.
Ms. Griffin is a founding member of the Chicago Sinfonietta and in 1992 was appointed
to the position of principal cello by Maestro Paul Freeman. She completed her Masters
of Music in Cello Performance at Roosevelt University as a student of Karl Fruh. As
principal of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Ms. Griffin has performed at the Chicago
Jazz Festival, recorded for its Collective Creativity CD and is featured on the Emmy-Award
winning soundtrack and DVD for DuSable to Obama: Chicago's Black Metropolis. Ms. Griffin
has served as principal cello for the Joffrey Ballet Chicago, San Francisco Ballet,
American Ballet Theater, and Ballet West.
Dr. Steven Havens is currently a member of the piano faculty at College of DuPage
in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he was named one of the outstanding faculty members
in 2005. He has served on the piano faculty of the University of Iowa All-State Music
Camp and has been affiliated with Wheaton College Conservatory of Music as well as
the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan.
Mr. LeMahieu currently serves as Organist and Co-Music Director at St. John Lutheran
Church in Wheaton, Illinois. Nathan holds the Master of Divinity degree from Trinity
Evangelical Divinity School and the Master of Sacred Music degree from Notre Dame.
He is also a graduate of Northwestern University with degrees in both organ performance
and political science. He has studied with American organists Craig Cramer, Margaret
Kemper, and Douglas Cleveland and also with Michael Radulescu and Ullrich Böhme at
the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig, Germany.
Carolyn May has been the principal flutist in New Philharmonic, a professional orchestra
that performs at the McAninch Art Center, since its inception in 1977. Also an accomplished
pianist and accompanist, Carolyn is a band director in School District 102 (LaGrange).
Mrs. May has taught flute at the College of DuPage since 1980 to students from age
7 to 70.
Marlene Meyer earned a Master of Music in vocal performance from Northwestern University
in Evanston, Illinois. She is a past winner of the Rose Fae Thomas Competition, the
American Opera Society of Chicago Competition, the Union League Emma Roe Competition,
and both district and regional Metropolitan Opera auditions. She has been a soloist
with the Chicago Symphony, the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, and the Cleveland
Orchestra at the Blossom Festival. Marlene enjoys working with students of all ages
and abilities believing there should be no barriers to studying voice.
Emi Murata, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), has over 30 years' experience
teaching piano, theory, sight singing and ear training to all ages from beginner through
college level, and has taught at College of DuPage since 1991. Ms. Murata is an experienced
clinician, has published articles, and enjoys presenting master classes throughout
Illinois. In addition to performing as a soloist, Emi co-organizes the Glorious Grands:
A Piano Extravaganza!!!, an 8 Steinway grand piano concert held here at COD.
Elizabeth Murphy holds a master's degree in music from Northwestern University. She
joined the College of DuPage music faculty in 1995 and was recently named as an Outstanding
Faculty Award winner. Her performance experience includes The Britten Pears Festival,
Aldeburgh, England; Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York; and the Blossom
Festival, Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to solo work with local orchestras and ensembles,
Elizabeth's Chicago-area performing includes work with Chicago Opera Theater, DuPage
Opera, Illinois Opera for the Young and Light Opera Works.
Timothy Omerod earned a Master of Music in bassoon performance from Northwestern University
in 1979. He is a freelance woodwind musician, having performed in shows, jazz, top-40
bands, classical ensembles and various jobbing dates throughout Chicago and the Midwest.
He has studied the bassoon, sax, flute, clarinet and oboe with professional players
from the Chicago area. He enjoys teaching all age levels, regardless of abilities,
and continues as a teacher, composer and performer throughout the Chicago area.
Stephen Ramsdell performs guitar professionally in a myriad of styles, from solo classical
to original, jazz and pop music. He has taught a wide range of ages and levels at
Wheaton College, Benedictine University, Merit Music Program, Northwestern University
Summer Institute, and at the College of DuPage since 1994.
Karol Sue Reddington has performed and held faculty and administrative positions in
Hong Kong, Bermuda, the Midwest and area colleges and universities and also performed
in Paris, Fontainebleau, Zurich, Moscow, Prague, Reykjavik and Tokyo. Dr. Reddington's
2002 Carnegie Hall debut (NYC), was shared with colleague, Mathias Boegner. As COD
piano faculty member of seven years, Karol Sue was awarded the most recent Liberal
Arts Faculty Lecture/Performance Grant, which was subsequently invited for presentation
at the 2010 Bangkok Fine Arts International Conference, Srinakharinwirot University—the
only American submission accepted. Always sincerely committed to the musical development
of young pianists, Dr. Reddington loves teaching all levels of interested students,
is the director of Chicago's west suburban Berkley-Pendell Piano Competition, and
is an international examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada.
David Rice has played professionally since age 16. He began studying piano at age
6. After playing in bands and singing in choir and music productions through school,
he received a BA in music education from SIU Carbondale and a master's in Music Education
at VanderCook College of Music. He has toured Europe, Asia, North America and South
America with Otis Rush. He has warmed up for artists such as George Benson, Buddy
Guy, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. He also has played with Donna Lori, the
Cryan Shames, Gloria Newlun, Bobbi Wilsyn, Carlos Johnson, Pistol Pete, Dan Hayes
Orchestra, Buddy Rich Band and many others. Dave has written a book Improvisation
on the ii-V-I and Blues progressions. Dave teaches in the Valley View School District
in Bolingbrook/ Romeoville and at College of DuPage and is a full-time musician.
Dr. Rozsa has performed as a substitute with the Des Moines Symphony, Orchestra Iowa,
Montreal Symphony, Thunder Bay (Ontario) Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Northwest Indiana
Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, New Philharmonic Orchestra, Rockford
Symphony, Elmhurst Symphony, Kenosha Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, and the Lira Ensemble.
He has also been a member of the Ohio Light Opera orchestra and the American Wind
Symphony Orchestra. As a composer, his works have been premiered by the Cleveland
Chamber Symphony and the Albuquerque City Schools string program, among others. Dr.
Rozsa also holds performance degrees from McGill University, DePaul University, and
the Cleveland Institute of Music; he also holds a composition/theory degree from Baldwin-Wallace
College-Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Sergey teaches students of all ages and skill levels and in all guitar styles.
He is as passionate teaching beginners as he is working with advanced musicians. Dr.
Sergey has years of professional music experience. As a performer, he has concertized
nationally and worldwide, both as a classical and jazz guitarist, and his experience
as a music educator includes teaching at McHenry College, Roosevelt University, and
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as the College of DuPage. Dr.
Sergey has also served as a clinician and music competition adjudicator, and as a
composer his music is regularly performed at guitar and contemporary music conferences
and festivals.Dr. Sergey holds music degrees from Northern Illinois University, the
University of Miami, and Boston University, where he earned his doctorate. He is also
trained in the Suzuki method of music teaching and curriculum. Dr. Sergey is a Nationally
Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) by the Music Teachers National Association and a
nationally recognized guitar teacher by the Guitar Foundation of America.
Julie Spring has performed internationally as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral
harpist. As the newest member of the Chicago Harp Quartet, she is busy performing
and teaching throughout Chicagoland. She is also Principal Harp of the Hartford Symphony
Orchestra and has held the same position with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the
Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as substitute principal with the Chicago Symphony,
Baltimore Symphony, and Lyric Opera Orchestras. . Julie received her Bachelor of Music
degree in both Harp Performance and Instrumental Music Education, in addition to a
Performer's Certificate from Eastman School of Music. She received her Masters degree
in Orchestral Studies from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University.
Her solo and chamber music appearances have taken her to stages throughout the United
States and Canada. In addition to her performing schedule, she is a passionate teacher
and maintains a studio of private students.
Dr. Steward holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina
in Columbia, SC. Dr. Stewart maintains a busy schedule as a private teacher, performer,
recording artist, director, author, composer and arranger. He has taught trumpet in
numerous Chicago-area high schools for over twenty years. Over 30 of his trumpet books
are available in Kindle or iBook formats, and over 100 of his compositions or arrangements
have been published in the United States and Europe. He has led or performed with
the Chicago Grandstand Big Band, the Shout Section Big Band, the Gold Coast Orchestra,
the Dana Legg Jazz Band, the Deep Blue Big Band, and the Chicago Brass Choir. He has
released three recordings of trumpet solos. More information about Dr. Stewart is
available online at www.stewmuse.com.
Cynthia Trowbridge enjoys teaching piano to students of all ages and abilities. She
earned a Master of Music from Indiana University, where she was a student of Menahem
Pressler, and a Bachelor of Music from DePauw University. Cynthia is a staff accompanist
at College of DuPage, and performs as a collaborative pianist in recitals and competitions
throughout the Chicago area.
Paulette Velazquez holds a master's degree in horn performance from the San Francisco
Conservatory of Music and a bachelor's degree in horn performance from the University
of Illinois. Paulette is an active freelance musician playing regularly with Elgin
Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Joffery Ballet, the New Philharmonic and at various
theaters in Chicago. Paulette was principal horn of La Filarmonica de Jalisco for
two years, located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Paulette's principal teachers
include A. David Krehbiel, former principal horn San Francisco Symphony, and Dan Gingrich,
principal Chicago Symphony.
Ben Wahlund is a Grammy nominated, award-winning music educator, composer, and performer
who lives in the Chicago area. Wahlund serves as the director of percussion at the
College of DuPage and is a full-time instructor at the Northern Illinois University
School of Music. He performs in ¡The Screaming Norwegians! Percussion Duo, the Naper
Chamber Players, is a member of the Yamaha Performing Artist roster, the Zildjian
Artist Program and endorses Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets. Mr. Wahlund's
musical compositions have won numerous awards and are performed around the world.
An accomplished performer and passionate advocate of art song, Ann Field Williams
is active in recital, chamber and church music. She earned a Master of Music in vocal
performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and is a member of the National
Association of Teachers of Singing. She has been a featured soloist with regional
choruses and opera companies, as well as performances with Opera North, Dallas Lyric
Opera, Blossom School of Music at Kent State and Applehill Center for Chamber Players.
She integrates her vocal pedagogy knowledge and singing experience while encouraging
and challenging her students, whether beginning vocal studies or building upon an
established vocal foundation. Ann believes in rooting her students in a healthy, classical
vocal technique that can be applied to almost every genre of music.
Dottie Williames earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University
with vocal performance and piano as minors. Ms. Williames has been an adjunct faculty
member at COD since 2003, teaching Class Piano, Class Voice and Voice. Mrs. Williames
has been active in chamber, church and professional choirs and has been a featured
soloist with Robert Shaw Conductors Choir, DuPage Chorale, New Classic Singers and
Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale. From 1992 to 2006, Ms. Williames worked with Young Naperville
Singers and Anima (formerly known as Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus) in various teaching
capacities. She has a passion for understanding the student's needs both vocally and
in repertoire choices. Her years of performing have enabled her to aid her students
in their confidence, self-esteem and professionalism.
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Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110, (630) 942-2208
Fax: (630) 942-3785
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