Efficient & Effective Rehearsal Techniques for the MS & HS Orchestra

This course is an opportunity for you to explore new rehearsal techniques and take your students to a new level of performance. We will discuss how to prioritize in a rehearsal and the most efficient way to solve common concerns. This will include, intonation, pulse, rhythm, and phrasing in both rehearsal and warm-up situations. Students will have an opportunity to work with a small ensemble and everyone will have the option of some podium time. You are encouraged to bring scores and parts to use in this situation, but scores and parts will be provided to teach specific concepts. All participants are encouraged to share their own solutions to common rehearsal problems with the rest of the class.

Instructors: Frank Lestina & Gabriel Villasurda

Lestina,_Frank_headshotFrank Lestina received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Roosevelt University and his master’s degree in administration from the University of Illinois. Lestina started his teaching career in Danville, IL, where he taught orchestra at Southview Middle School and Danville High School. In 1986, Lestina accepted the Orchestra Director position at Libertyville High School, where the program grew from one orchestra of 30 students to two orchestras with 90 string players. The orchestra was invited to perform at the Midwest Clinic in 1991 and again in 1996. In addition, the Libertyville orchestras traveled extensively, including three tours to Europe. In the fall of 2000, Lestina accepted the position of Fine Arts Supervisor and Orchestra Director at Vernon Hills High School in Illinois. The string enrollment there grew to 150 students in three orchestras, more than 10% of the total school enrollment.  Lestina and the Vernon Hills orchestras performed at the ILMEA All-State Conference in Peoria in 2004, the Music Educators National Conference in Milwaukee in 2008, and the Midwest Clinic in 2009, in addition to overseas tours to China in 2001, Spain in 2006, Italy in 2008, and Prague/Austria in 2012. Lestina retired from Vernon Hills High School in June of 2013. 
Lestina recently joined the part-time faculty of DePaul University, where he teaches bass pedagogy. He is a member of American String Teachers Association and was very active in the Illinois Music Educators Association where he served on the ILMEA State Board as the District 7 President for two terms. Lestina remains very active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, and has served as guest conductor for many of the ILMEA District Orchestras at both the middle and high school levels. He conducted the ILMEA All-State Orchestra for the 2014 Conference in Peoria, and most recently conducted the Southwest Regional Orchestra in Cincinnati.
VillasurdajpgA native of Detroit, Gabriel Villasurda earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education with high honors from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he  studied violin with Gustave Rosseels and conducting with Elizabeth Green and Theo Alcantara. He later earned a master’s degree in music from UM. He has held teaching posts in Patchogue, NY (3 years), Ann Arbor Public Schools (16 years), the American School in London (5 years), the Park-Tudor School in Indianapolis (3 years), Oberlin College (1 year) and the Punahou School in Honolulu (12 years). He has also taught  at the Interlochen Arts Camp for over 35 years.
Villasurda is a fully certified Suzuki violin teacher, having finished the teacher training course laid down by the British Suzuki Institute, and taught the Suzuki method in England, Holland, Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, Indiana, Texas and Hawaii. In addition to numerous clinics and adjudications in Michigan and Hawaii, he served as an ASTA state officer, chair of the String Committee of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association,  and as president of the Hawaii chapter of the Music Educators National Conference.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288