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Meet Our Clinicians

Alex Kaminsky, Band

Director of Bands

Kaminsky_p1Alexander Kaminsky was appointed Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at VanderCook College of Music in 2019 after a highly successful tenure at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.  He holds degrees from the University of Florida and Indiana University, is active as an adjudicator, and is in demand as a guest conductor/clinician across the country.  Throughout his 30-year career as a high school band director, Kaminsky’s ensembles consistently earned Superior ratings at all levels of evaluation.  In addition to earning Superior ratings at the FBA State Concert Band Assessment for an unprecedented 23 consecutive years (the last 13 of those years being with both his first and second bands), he is the only director in the history of the Florida Bandmasters Association to have had three concert bands from one school earn straight Superior ratings at State, and he achieved this three times (2009, 2018 and 2019).

Kaminsky’s bands have performed at notable state and national festivals and conferences, including twice at Carnegie Hall (2009 and 2018) and four times at the Midwest Clinic (2005, 2009, 2014, and 2018).  His marching bands consistently placed in the Florida Marching Band State Championship Finals, winning consecutive FMBC State Championships (2013 and 2014, 2017 and 2018) as well as being named a finalist band at BOA regional competitions.

Kaminsky is a ten-time recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence and has been recognized with numerous achievement awards for education including Florida’s 2019 FMEA Secondary Music Educator of the Year Award, FBA Oliver Hobbs Award, FBA Andrew J. Crew Award, National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teacher, Nobel Educator of Distinction, Teacher of the Year, and is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  He is a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician and is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and the American School Band Directors’ Association.

Stacey Larson Dolan, Band

Undergraduate Dean, Associate Director of Bands

Dolan,_Stacey_headshot_2012_cStacey Larson Dolan (MMEd ‘98) is Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Music at VanderCook, where she teaches music education courses, conducting courses and band at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dolan enjoyed success teaching elementary, middle and high school music before joining the faculty at VanderCook in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Millikin University and her master’s from VanderCook. Dolan was on the design and teaching staff for the National Champion Lake Park Marching Band for 12 years and was the creative director and conductor of the Bensenville Young Musicians Mentor Band from 1995 to 2007. She has conducted honor bands and presented workshops at MEAs and festivals in China and throughout the United States. She has taught tens of thousands of middle school and high school students through her work as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor. Her professional affiliations include NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, NBA and CBDNA.

Dr. Robert L. Sinclair, Choir

Graduate Dean, Director of Choral Music Education

Sinclair,_Robert_headshot_2016Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Robert L. Sinclair has served VanderCook as Director of Choral Activities since 2001. His educational background includes three years at Luther College, where he sang in the Nordic Choir under the direction of Weston Noble. After transferring to Sam Houston State University, he completed his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees with B.R. Henson. In December of 2000, Dr. Sinclair completed a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction (music education) at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he worked with Drs. David Rayl and Wendy Sims. Dr. Sinclair has 10 years of public school teaching experience and has presented sessions to the Music Educators Associations of Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and Texas, the Illinois Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), as well as the Southwestern and Southern Divisions of ACDA. He continues to work as an active choral clinician and adjudicator for junior high and high school students from across the nation and abroad, including honor choirs in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, and Japan in addition to all-state choirs in Illinois and Wisconsin. Dr. Sinclair is an active member of ACDA, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Fraternity, and the National Association for Music Education.

Dr. John-Rine Zabanal, Orchestra

Director of String Music Education

IMG_0298John-Rine Zabanal is Assistant Professor and Director of String Music Education at the VanderCook College of Music. His duties at VanderCook include teaching string techniques and methods courses, as well as directing the Philharmonic Orchestra and string ensembles. He previously taught as an adjunct professor at Florida State University where he taught courses in music education and music technology. He also served as the Director of Orchestras at Riverbend High and Ni River Middle Schools in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, where his students consistently earned Superior Ratings at the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA) District Orchestra Assessment.

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Zabanal has maintained involvement with several music programs as a conductor and coach including FSU Summer Orchestra Camp, Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, Rappanahannock Youth Orchestra, and Rappahannock Summer Music Camp. He is also an active adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor. Continuing to serve the string profession, he has held memberships with American String Teacher Association (ASTA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Florida Music Educators Association, Virginia Music Educators Association, VBODA, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity. He previously served as the Media Specialist and Editor for the Florida chapter of American String Teacher ASTA and was also the String Representative for District 15 of VBODA.

Dr. Zabanal’s research interests include string pedagogy, music teacher education, and music perception. He has presented research and pedagogy at national conferences for ASTA, NAfME, the International Research Symposium for Talent Education with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, as well as state music education conferences nationwide. Additionally, he has articles published with Update: Applications for Music Research, String Research Journal, and the American String Teacher. He holds degrees from Florida State University (Ph.D. in Music Education and a Masters of Music Education) and The Ohio State University (Bachelor of Music Education).

Anthony G. Kidonakis, Jazz

Applied Saxophone, Jazz Studies

Kidonakis,_Tony_headshot_2013Anthony G. Kidonakis (MMEd ‘09) joined the faculty of VanderCook College of Music in 2009. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Northern Illinois University, studying saxophone with Steve Duke. Kidonakis toured the U.S. and Europe with the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Ronald Carter, and alongside legends including Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, Ed Thigpen, Frank Foster and Wynton Marsalis. Kidonakis maintains an active performance schedule with numerous local musicians and has worked with recording artists such as The Drifters, Gene “The Duke of Earl” Chandler, and The Cryan’ Shames, including a guest appearance with The Redwalls on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He taught band for five years in Downers Grove Grade School District 58, and is the composer for The Paideia Projects, a series of video documentaries on the contributions of Ancient Greece to Western civilization. In addition to his master’s degree from VanderCook, Kidonakis earned a master’s degree in wind performance and literature from Northwestern University, where he studied saxophone with, and served as teaching assistant for, Dr. Frederick L. Hemke. Kidonakis currently serves as VanderCook’s Director of Jazz Studies and associate professor teaching courses in saxophone, jazz and arranging.

Socorro Perez, Staff

Front Office Receptionist, Clinic Coordinator

Send an email to clinics@vandercook.edu or call 312.225.6288 to inquire about bringing your group to VanderCook.

 

VanderCook College of Music

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

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