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VanderCook College of Music

Past Presidents

A History of VanderCook's Leadership

Roseanne K. Rosenthal, 2017 – Present
Charles Menghini, 2004-2017
Roseanne K. Rosenthal, 1989-2004
James Gilworth, 1981-1989
Richard Brittain, 1975-1980
Hubert E. Nutt, 1966-1974
John H. Beckerman, 1950-1966

Roseanne K. Rosenthal (1989-2004, 2017 - present)

Dr. Rosenthal joined the VCM faculty in 1980. Upon accepting the position of president, she said “I’m very optimistic about a future for VCM.” Years later she is able to state with confidence, “Our resources have never been better. The VanderCook circle of friends is committed. We have a wonderful instructional resources, a great location, and a strong infrastructure. Our accreditations are established. Our financial condition is secure.”

Dr. Roseanne Rosenthal is no stranger to the role of president at VanderCook. She previously served as president from 1989 to 2004 and has remained active on the faculty ever since. She currently teaches coursework in methods of music teaching, research, technology and education psychology; supervises student teachers; and coordinates graduate master’s projects for the college’s famed summer master’s degree program.

Dr. Rosenthal received her Bachelor of Music degree from SUNY Fredonia, and Master of Science and Doctor of Education degrees from Syracuse University under the direction of Dr. Cornelia Yarbrough. She is the current chair of the Board of Directors of Ada S. McKinley Community Services, and serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Music Education. She is the former president of the Illinois Music Educators Association, and former chair of the Music Education Research Council for the National Association for Music Education. Dr. Rosenthal previously served on the editorial board of the Journal for Research in Music Education, and has published and presented research articles pertaining to music teacher education and music learning.

Rosenthal Roseanne headshot 2014 CROP RETOUCH1

Charles T. Menghini (2004-2017)

Dr. Menghini became band director and Dean of the Undergraduate program at VanderCook in 1994.  He beacme president in 2004 stating, “it will be my mission to make VanderCook graduates the best prepared candidates to lead our school band, choirs, orchestras and general music programs.”

James Gilworth (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.

Richard Brittain (1975-1980)

His career at VCM 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.

Hubert E. 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)

John H. Beckerman (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.

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2022 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
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