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Meet Our Admissions Staff

CINDY TOVAR, Director of Admissions


Cindy Tovar is the Director of Admissions at VanderCook College of Music. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from VanderCook in 2000 and has been serving on staff, devoted to the mission of the college ever since. She began working in the band office as part of a summer student crew and was later assigned to serve as the assistant to the undergraduate dean. In 2004, she became the Director of Outreach and Ensembles Coordinator until becoming Assistant to the President in 2009.
In addition to administrative duties, Tovar serves as the building monitor ensuring a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students. She works closely with student leaders and is the staff advisor for VanderCook's student chapter of NAfME (National Association for Music Education). She proudly serves as the liaison for the college's Alumni Relations and manages the college website. Outside of VanderCook, Tovar serves on the Midwest Clinic conference staff and is an alumni board member at St. Benedict High School. Contact Cindy at 312.788.1122 or


MICHAEL GIBSON, Undergraduate Recruiter

MichaelHeadshot1Michael Gibson (BMEd ‘05) is a graduate of VanderCook and received his master’s degree in music education at Boston University  in 2011. He taught piano, musical theater and choir for 12 years at Curie High School in Chicago. He also founded Musicality, an after-school vocal ensemble that rose to national fame as semi-finalists on NBC's America's Got Talent. He led the group to receive a Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grant and a Young Entertainers Award Scholarship. Gibson now runs his own vocal studio and operates Musicality as a city-wide organization. He is thrilled to be back at VanderCook working in the the school that helped build him into the educator he is today. Contact Michael at

MATTHEW JANUS, Graduate Recruiter

Matthew Janus (MMEd ‘12) earned a BMEd degree at the University of Illinois prior to earning his master’s degree at VanderCook. He has taught for 14 years at Eisenhower Junior High and Gemini Junior High. His bands consistently earned first division ratings at the festivals they attended, been selected to perform at the Illinois Music Educators Conference, and also earned top finishes and soloist recognitions at festivals throughout the midwest and around the country. He has also worked with numerous high school marching bands, WGI drumlines and DCI groups, including the Cavaliers, Colts, Phantom Regiment, the Chicago Bears Drumline, Pioneer Indoor Percussion and Prospect High School Marching Band. He is very excited to be back at VanderCook to help spread the college’s message and mission. Contact Matt at


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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