Music Department Staff
Julie Nichols, CPRP
Music continues throughout the summer! Practice your skills in voice, violin, guitar and piano and be ready to go for the fall! Click here for registration information.
Canzonetta Youth String Chamber Orchestra
Hilel Kagan, conductor and artistic director, is a founder, conductor, and artistic director of Concertante di Chicago. He is the Principal 2nd violin, 30 years, for the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago and a former professor of violin and chamber music at De Paul University and the Music Institute of Chicago.
Helia Schramm, co-artistic director, is the Concertmistress of the Civic Orchestra, the 1st violinist of Arcturus String Quartet, and the Principal 2nd violin of the Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival. She is on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago and is a founder of the Lincolnwood School of Music.
Emily Glick received a BFA in music from the University of Michigan. Her experience includes work with the Marriott Theatre's productions of La Cage Aux Follies, The Nutcracker and Alice in Wonderland, as well as Timeline Theatre Company, The Public Theatre, Musicals Tonight!, Theaterworks USA and Liz Swados Productions.
Ellen Morris has been singing since the age of 8 and playing piano from the age of 4. She has her degree in Piano Studies and Music Direction from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. At Northwestern, Ellen studied classical voice with Sunny Joy Langton and Richard Drews, musical theater voice with Kelli Morgan and Keven Keys, and piano with Dr. Sylvia Wang. She has sung professionally with several choirs, including Music of the Baroque in Chicago and The Redeemer Choir in Bryn Mawr, PA. Ellen has taught for the Evanston Children's Choir and Camp Encore/Coda, and currently teaches and coaches at the Wilmette Park District, Harper College, and Northwestern University. Her professional theater credits include productions with the Marriott Theatre, BoHo Theatre, The Hypocrites, Lifeline Theatre and upcoming productions in 2017 with Griffin Theater and The Hypocrites.
Violin and Viola Instruction
Paula Eatman currently plays violin and viola in several quartets and also performs with the Chicago String Ensemble. She was a 1st Violinist with the Arcturus Quartet and has played with the Lake Forest Symphony.
Desi Tantchev, viola/violin holds both BM and MM from the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. Prior to moving to the United States in 1996, Desi performed with leading orchestras in Bulgaria and Europe. She teaches both traditional and Suzuki methods and has been on the faculty of the MCMC since 2002. She also teaches at the Des Plaines School of Music, North Shore Music Institute and previously at Glennbrook South and North High Schools. She also teaches in her studio in Northfield and performs regularly with NSO, SVSO and Highland Park Strings.
Dan Chase is a piano and organ player from the Chicago area with over 5 years of experience teaching at music schools in the area, as well as teaching out of students' homes. He has become proficient with a wide range of ages and abilities, and includes styles such as jazz, pop, blues, classical, and Latin. Catering his lesson plans to the individual, with an emphasis on fundamentals, Dan also regularly perform as a sideman and leader on piano and Hammond B3 organ.
Julia Storke has returned to the Chicago area after living in China and the United Arab Emirates where she taught music and drama at Xiamen International School and GEMS World Academy-Dubai and performed as a singer-songwriter and spoken word artist. She studied acting and directing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and is a multi-instrumentalist with an established international career. She has lived, taught and performed music in a wide variety of countries, including China, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina and Kenya. A native of Evanston, Julia received her theatre education at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and her music degree at Mills College in California, where she studied composition with Pauline Oliveros and voice with Faith Winthrop. She is a multiple grant recipient with a background in piano, Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly pedagogies and is a certified k-12 music teacher who has taught in private and public schools across the country and abroad. As an artist, Julia began her career on stage as an actress and director and found her voice as a singer-songwriter and spoken word artist as well as a jazz singer. She hopes to empower her students with her unique approach to piano and voice by creating, composing and applying music principles through a unique blend of movement, body percussion and music literacy.
Kyle Gilbertson has been studying, teaching, and performing on the guitar for over 30 years. He has studied with the classical guitar masters Nicholas Goluses, Stephen Aron, and the composer Dusan Bogdanovic. In 2001, he received his BA in Classical Guitar Performance from Oberlin College. He taught for The Ultimate School of Guitar from 2004 - 2010. In 2009, he received his K-12 teaching certificate from Northeastern Illinois University, with an endorsement in instrumental music. From 2009 - 2016, he taught general music and band at Phoenix Military Academy, a high school in Chicago. As band director, Kyle taught his students to play all the woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. The band played at football games, marched in parades, performed in concerts and went to competitions. In 2015, the band took 2nd place in the city-wide JROTC Drum and Bugle Competition. In the general music classes, he taught guitar, keyboard, bass, drum set, and voice. For many years, Kyle performed regularly around the Chicago area with blues singer Darby Tillis. Passionate about music, he enjoys sharing that passion with his students. Kyle is back teaching at The Ultimate School of Guitar, and we are happy to have such a talented musician rejoin our team.
(a General Recreation program)
Wendy Morgan of the Vocal Gymnasium is a certified Musikgarten instructor and teaches voice at the Music Institute of Chicago. Wendy is also a children's music performer and songwriter on the North Shore. For more information, contact Lindsay Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jen Zias received her BFA in Musical Theater from Penn State University after spending four years touring with the Bun Raku puppeteer group, Kids on the Block, and educating school groups of children with special needs. For almost twenty years, Jen has appeared throughout Chicagoland as a solo performer and featured vocalist for several of the city's finest orchestras. As the lead female singer of The Chicago Rhythm Review from 2000-2012, she appeared at many Chicago landmarks and festivals. From 2005-2013, she was the featured entertainer every weekend at two of the city's most famous music rooms - The Pump Room, and the Palm Court of the Drake Hotel, where she continues to perform as a special guest with windy city favorites, The Flat Cats. She looks forward to introducing children to the joy of music through teaching Musikgarten.