Past Presidents


Chronology of VanderCook College's Presidents




JAMES GILWORTH, 1981 - 1989


HUBERT E. NUTT, 1966 -1974

JOHN H. BECKERMAN, 1950 - 1966



Menghini,_Charles_headshot_2013(2004-present)  CHARLES T. MENGHINI is President, Professor of Music and Director of Bands at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to his appointment as President in August of 2004, Charlie served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Bands. He began his teaching at VanderCook College in 1994 and his teaching has included conducting, organization and administration, curriculum and supervision, brass methods and rehearsal techniques classes.

Charlie brought with his appointment to VanderCook 18 years of successful high school band experience in Missouri and Kansas. Bands under his direction received consistent Division I ratings in regional, state and national music festivals, performed at various state music educator conventions and performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Orange Bowl Parade, Bands of America International Festival and the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Originally from Iron Mountain, Michigan, Menghini attended Northern Michigan University and the University of Missouri – Columbia where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. He also holds a Master degree in Education from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a Doctorate of Arts in Wind Conducting from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music where he studied with Gary Hill. In addition to Hill, Menghini recognizes Tim Lautzenheiser and Gary Green as being most-influential teachers in his growth and development.

Charles Menghini has written for professional journals and magazines including the “Instrumentalist” where he serves as a member of the Board of Advisors. He is also co-author of the Essential Elements 2000 Band Method, published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.

Charlie frequently serves as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and has actively worked with over 350 school and community ensembles from 20 states as well as Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia and Australia. He has conducted all –state ensembles in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Georgia, South Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Virginia, and Minnesota, and has presented numerous clinics at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago and state and regional music educators in-services throughout the world.

Menghini is a Lowell Mason Fellow and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, and Phi Beta Mu. He was inducted into the Alpha Psi Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society for Music - the highest honor a conservatory faculty can bestow on a student in recognition of outstanding musicianship and scholarly achievement, and is an honorary member of the Xi Kappa (VanderCook College) Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Charlie is an educational consultant for the Hal Leonard Corporation of Milwaukee, WI, and is an educational member of the Music Achievement Council of the NAMM Foundation.  An active performer, Charlie played lead trumpet in the Kansas City Chiefs Professional Football Band for fifteen seasons.

Menghini is a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago Near South and is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.  He is Past President of the First Friday Club of Chicago and is the official trumpeter for the City Club of Chicago.


Rosenthal,_Roseanne_headshot_2012(1989-2004) ROSEANNE ROSENTHAL joined the VanderCook faculty in 1980 as Director of Academic and Professional Education and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, methods of teaching, music and special education and research in music.  In 1989 she became president and guided the college through the period of transition from our old home on Michigan Ave. to our current buildings on Federal Street.  She is also credited with stabilizing the college both academically and financially. In a 1990 interview she stated "I want us to be the best music education school in the country for both instrumental and choral music. I want to have the same name recognition for our school as Juilliard or Eastman.  People instantly know these names. I want us to be perceived as an institution that fills a very important need in society." Since 2004 Dr. Rosenthal has continued to guide the research studies of our graduate students.  In 2011 Dr. Rosenthal began her two-year term as president of the Illinois Music Educators' Association (IMEA).



0-1(1981-1989)  Gilworth's term spanned a difficult period of the College's history in which many of the original faculty died or retired, competition from colleges offering a degree in music education increased, and state accreditation requirements forced changes in the College's curriculum.  His greatest success at the College was the expansion of the summer workshop program which allows music educators to return to school for practical training while earning graduate credit.






0-2(1975-1980)  His career at VanderCook spanned 52 years, beginning when he was a high school student attending summer camp.  He began teaching at the Chicago Boys Clubs, and ended up Full Professor at VCM, directing the Symphonic Concert Band, teaching woodwinds, theory, organization and giving private lessons on all instruments.


Nutt(1966-1974)  The "adopted son" of Hale VanderCook, H.E. was the person responsible for establishing the College's 4-year curriculum in undergraduate music teacher education, and the 4-summer graduate curriculum.  "H.E. never took a salary for his work and at one point donated over twenty thousand dollars from the sale of a farm he owned near Aurora, Illinois." (from The Lives of Howard Raymond Lyons and H.E. Nutt, by G.R. Borich, p. 116)






0(1950-1966)  B.S., Lewis Institute, B.M. Ed., VanderCook College of Music, and Ed. M, DePaul University.   A veteran of World War II with the United States Navy, Mr. Beckerman served a total of 37 years in music and general education in the Chicago Public Schools, as well as at VanderCook College.  He taught courses at VanderCook in Methods of Teaching Woodwinds, Double Reeds, Flute, Music History, and Principles of Guidance and Counseling.


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