6106 Middle School Orchestra Director Symposium: Unlocking the Code


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Recital Highlights

The potential musical, emotional and social growth of the middle school orchestra student is legendary. Spend a week with celebrated and successful middle school orchestra teachers as they discuss their successes in the areas of pedagogy, motivation, recruiting and retention, literature selection, and character development. Each director will share their winning strategies and experiences from their rich personal backgrounds including high string, low string, keyboard, and wind playing.

Instructors: Diane Rosenthal, Joanne Wegscheid, Erin Loescher & Carol Dallstream

IMG_3105Diane Rosenthal (formerly Kowalski) is the orchestra director, music department chair, and fine arts team leader at Clifford Pierce Middle School in Merrillville, Indiana.  She specializes in string pedagogy, recruiting and retention, and relationship- building with students, parents, and administration.  During her 12 years with the Merrillville Schools, the orchestra program has nearly tripled in size, expanding to be the largest in a minority-majority school in the state.  Diane earned her B. Mus Ed from the Oberlin College Conservatory.




Joanne_WegscheidJoanne Wegscheid is currently the orchestra director at Wheaton Warrenville South HS and at Edison Middle School in Wheaton, Il.  She has taught in District #200 for the past 30 years.  Her HS orchestra students just concluded an 11 day performance tour throughout China. Joanne’s orchestras, both HS and MS, enjoy traveling and performing for wide varieties of audiences.    Her philosophy is to make music a fun and exciting experience for all her students.  During the summer months (for the past 20 years), she has kept her students busy with her Garage Orchestra.  Students rehearse weekly and conclude the summer with a “Ravinia-style” concert in her front yard. In 2015, Joanne received the Teacher of Distinction Award from the Golden Apple.  She graduated with her B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Loescher,_Loescher_headshot_2016Erin Loescher is currently enjoying her fifth year of teaching orchestra at Central Middle School in Glencoe. Prior to joining the Music Department there, Erin completed four years of teaching Elementary, Middle, and High School Orchestra in Janesville, Wisconsin.  While there, Erin also conducted the Rock Prairie Youth Orchestra and the Janesville Golden Strings. Erin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago. Miss Loescher is an active member of the Illinois American String Teacher’s Association Board, as she was in Wisconsin as well. She currently plays violin in the Ravenswood Community Orchestra.


Carol Dallstream Carol_Dallstream_publicity_photoCarol Dallstream has been a public school music educator since 1989 and is currently teaching in St. Charles at Thompson Middle School where her honors orchestra, “The Pro Arte Ensemble” has earned Division I Ratings at State Contest for 14 years and Superior Ratings at Regional contests for 12. She has taught both band and orchestra over her career. Her major instrument is French Horn where she received a full scholarship to attend Northern Illinois University, graduating in 1977. She has earned National Board Certification twice and her Master's in Educational Leadership from NIU in 2000, and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University in 1997. She has adjudicated numerous contests and has led string workshops for other districts. She was an adjunct professor in String Methods for Judson University for a number of years. She has wanted to be a music teacher since 7th grade! Helping students create amazing music and discover their own potential is what inspires her most. She has been married to the love of her life, Dave, for 16 years and has six amazing grandkids! You can reach her at






Click to Register for Summer MECA Courses

Course Information

6106 Middle School Orchestra Director Symposium: Unlocking the Code

July 18-22

3 graduate credits
Classroom: TBD

Click HERE for a campus map.

Tuition: $960
A $75 deposit is required at time of registration. Tuition balance is due in full by the first day of class.


Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


VanderCook College of Music

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

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