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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 numerous 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.

David Eccles, Orchestra

Director of String Music Education

Eccles,_David_headshot_2015_REDUCEDDavid Eccles is a native of Norfolk, VA, and the son of a music educator. Eccles comes to VanderCook following conducting and music director positions with the Florida State University Summer Music Camps, Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Jubilate Youth Orchestra, and Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra. Eccles is also a clinician for the Hal Leonard Corporation, and has served as a guest conductor for various state, county, regional and community orchestras. Eccles holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Music and Media degree from Norfolk State University. He is completing his doctoral studies at Florida State University. His principal teachers include Elizabeth Eccles, Laurien Laufman, Ross Harbaugh and Dr. Michael Allen. Eccles is a member of NAfME and serves as President of the Illinois Chapter of American String Teachers Association. He also serves as Administrative Vice President of the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra Board. 

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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