7035 Developing Student Musicianship: Woodwind Techniques, Tips and Tricks


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This course will meet every other Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning October 5th. Each class features a woodwind specialist from VanderCook who will help students develop their personal woodwind pedagogy. Students will discuss and be led through solutions to common problems experienced with beginning as well as advanced students. Students will have hands-on time with the instruments, and be guided through various tone production and technique concepts and exercises.

This course is presented in conjunction with Quinlan and Fabish Music Company. Each section, A and B, is comprised of four sessions at each location. Students should bring instruments that correspond to each class session; reeds and other materials will be provided. Course completion requires attendance at all four sessions at the same location.


7035A - Arlington Heights location:
  • October   5 – Flute with Mary-Christine Stingley

  • October 19 – Saxophone with Anthony Kidonakis

  • November 2 –Clarinet with Ruth A. Rhodes

  • November 16 – Oboe with Deb Stevenson

7035B - Burr Ridge location:
  • October   5 – Saxophone with Anthony Kidonakis

  • October 19 – Flute with Mary-Christine Stingley

  • November 2 – Oboe with Deb Stevenson

  • November 16 – Clarinet with Ruth A. Rhodes



Instructors: Ruth Rhodes, Anthony Kidonakis, Mary-Christine Stingley, Deb Stevenson


Ruth A. Rhodes recently ended her tenure as Dean of Graduate Studies at VanderCook after 19 years, but continues to teach woodwind courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Having earned her B.M.Ed. in 1969, she is very proud to continue serving her alma mater as a faculty member for close to 30 years.

Ms. Rhodes received her Master of Music in Education degree from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University. She is a clarinetist with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra; co-founded and performed with the chamber group Ensemble d’Accord; and has performed with the Opera Theater of Illinois, the Orchestra of Illinois, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She includes performances with the Moody Blues, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, ABBA, Mannheim Steamroller, Cherish the Ladies, Itzhak Perlman, Leon Fleischer, Marilyn Horne, Frank Sinatra Jr., Shirley Jones, Pete Fountain and Tony Bennett among the highlights of her professional career.

As an author, her articles have been published in Bandworld Magazine and The Instrumentalist, and she consulted on the woodwind component of the Essential Elements Band Method DVD for the Hal Leonard Publishing Company. In addition, she has served as an adjudicator for the Boosey & Hawkes Buffet-Crampon Clarinet Competition and numerous state and district competitions.



Kidonakis,_Tony_headshot_2013Anthony Kidonakis joined the faculty of VanderCook in the Fall of 2009. He earned his bachelor of music education from Northern Illinois University, studying saxophone with distinguished research professor Steve Duke. Mr. Kidonakis performed and recorded with the NIU Wind Ensemble under the direction of Stephen Squires, and toured the United States and Europe with the world-renown NIU Jazz Ensemble and legends such as Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, Ed Thigpen, Frank Foster, and Wynton Marsalis under the direction of Ronald Carter. Mr. Kidonakis maintains an active performance schedule with numerous local musicians and has worked with recording artists such as The Drifters, Gene "Duke of Earl" Chandler, and The Cryan Shames, including a guest appearance with The Redwalls on NBC's 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. Mr. Kidonakis earned his master of music education from VanderCook College of Music in 2009, and a Master of Wind Performance and Literature from Northwestern University in 2012, studying saxophone with and serving as a teaching assistant for Dr. Frederick L. Hemke.


Mary_Cropped_Pic_4_(604x800)_(1)An accomplished concert artist, Mary-Christine Stingley has been praised for her tonal opulence and breathtaking musical interpretation.  The Chicago Sun Times wrote "My vote for the best of the evening goes to Mary-Christine Stingley, principal flute.  She projected her music boldly and sensuously when called upon to solo".   Earning a Bachelor of Music Degree from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music, she continued her studies in Paris with a scholarship from the French Government. She received a Master's Degree with first prize honors from the renowned Universität für Musik und Darstellende Künst in Vienna, Austria. Ms. Stingley has received numerous awards and prizes including the Prix de Concours de l’U.F.A.M. in Paris, the prestigious Bourse d’Étude from France, an Artistic Grant from the American Ambassador to Austria, Ronald S. Lauder, twice the Musicians Club of Women’s Farwell Award and twice the Allerton Arts Award.  In recital Ms. Stingley has appeared throughout France, Austria, Germany, Japan, and across the United States.  She was also featured in a live broadcast on Japan National Radio. Her numerous Chicago area solo appearances have included concertos with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Wheaton Symphony, Classical Symphony Orchestra and the West Suburban Chamber Symphony.


Stevenson,_Deborah_headshot_2014_B_WDeb Stevenson studied oboe and English horn at  the University of Louisville, Northern Illinois University, Boston University and Northwestern University, where she received her Master of Music degree.  She has studied with Marion Gibson, Grover Schlitz, Ray Still and Larry Thorstenburg.  Deb is a founder of the Metropolis Quartet.  She has also performed with the Metropolis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Apollo Chorus.  She can be heard on recordings of the Strauss Alpine Symphony and Stravinsky’s complete Firebird with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; I Know Where I’m Going and Christmas in St. Charles with the St. Charles Singers; Messiah with Apollo Chorus; numerous recordings for GIA music publishing company; and Music from the Bolivian Rainforest with the Metropolis Symphony.



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MECA Online Course Details
VanderCook Online is powered by Schoology ( Through this learning management system, you'll be able to interact directly with your instructor, students in your classes, and members of the greater VanderCook Online community.

Spring 2020 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, February 3. Soon after you register, you'll be added as a new Schoology user. Be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you are given credentials, simply visit to login. On the morning of February 3, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

You’ll have the opportunity to work at your own pace each week while completing assignments and posting responses to discussion questions. You’ll constantly be interacting with your instructor and classmates online, and working through new material each week. We know how crazy school schedules can get, so our instructors try to make everything as flexible as possible!

Online grades will be reported by mid-May. If you are in need of a transcript please visit the online transcript request page. If you are in need a quick turn around time for your transcript please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

Course Information

7035 Developing Student Musicianship: Woodwind Techniques, Tips & Tricks


7035A Arlington Heights (Quinlan & Fabish)
7035B Burr Ridge (Quinlan & Fabish)
1 graduate credits
Tuition: $320, due in full with registration.
Dates: October 5th, 19th, November 2nd, 16th
Time: 6pm-9pm
This course is presented in conjunction with Quinlan and Fabish Music Company. Each section, A and B, is comprised of four sessions at each location. Students should bring instruments that correspond to each class session; reeds and other materials will be provided. Course completion requires attendance at all four sessions at the same location.

VanderCook College of Music

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

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