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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers


VanderCook College of Music proudly announces the appointment of Ms. Kimberly Farris as their next President. She will begin her appointment on August 1, 2024, following the retirement of Dr. Roseanne Rosenthal.

With a successful career in both music education and administration, Ms. Farris brings a wealth of experience and leadership to this role. As the Director of Admissions for VanderCook, her leadership has shaped the college’s recruitment efforts and fostered strong connections within the music education community. Her innovative strategies and creative marketing for the college have not only expanded VanderCook’s reach but also strengthened its reputation as a premier institution in the field.

Prior to joining VanderCook, Ms. Farris served as the Director of Performing Arts at Roosevelt and Robert Morris Universities, where she administered all facets of a comprehensive arts program, including instrumental music, choir, and theater. Her responsibilities included overseeing all department operations and systems in the areas of curriculum, scheduling, finance and budgets, marketing, branding, and program promotion, as well as leading efforts in recruitment, admissions, and advising.

Ms. Farris has 30 years of public school teaching experience. While in Hinsdale/Clarendon Hills CCSD 181, IL, she taught beginning band students at The Lane and Elm elementary schools. At Wilmette District 39 and Avoca District 37 (IL), she was responsible for directing the concert and jazz bands at Wilmette Junior High School and Marie Murphy Middle School, as well as beginning and second-year band students at Avoca West Elementary School. Ms. Farris also taught at Glenn Westlake Middle School in Lombard, IL, and in New Lenox School District 122, where she was responsible for conducting band, jazz band, and marching band for all students in grades 5-8. In addition, Ms. Farris instructed the summer music program at Maine Township High School District 207 and taught flute methods at Northwestern University. Bands under her direction have received numerous awards at festivals across Illinois and the Midwest, including Division I Superior ratings at all Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) organization contests. The Glenn Westlake Middle School Band made numerous appearances at the University of Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival, including selection as the Junior Division Honor Band. The band was also invited to serve as a clinic band for the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.

In addition to her leadership roles in higher education, Ms. Farris currently serves as District 7 Chairperson and Executive Board member for the Illinois Grade School Music Association. This organization provides high quality performance opportunities for students in the areas of vocal and instrumental music and offers professional support for directors in all areas of music education.

Ms. Farris is the recipient of numerous National Band Association Citations of Excellence, was awarded the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award, and was elected to the Phi Beta Mu National Band Directors’ Honorary Fraternity. She is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Illinois Music Educators Association, and the National Band Association.

Dr. Roseanne Rosenthal shares the excitement of the entire community as we begin a new chapter in the college’s storied history. “Kimberly Farris is the perfect person to lead VanderCook at this time and place in its history. She stands ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century with a clear-eyed vision for the future of the College. I am confident that she will bring VanderCook to the next step in its evolution as the quintessential, world-class college of music education.”

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

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.

© 2024 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
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