Music Teacher Education
Kimberly Farris is the Director of Admissions at VanderCook College of Music where she leads a team in recruitment and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in classroom and ensemble settings. She received her Bachelors in Music Education from Illinois State University in Normal, IL and her Masters in Music Education from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, IL. She also holds a Masters of Administrative Leadership from Concordia University in River Forest, IL.
Prior to joining VanderCook, Mrs. 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 theatre. Her responsibilities included creating 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.
Mrs. Farris has 28 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. Mrs. 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, Mrs. 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 experienced 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 Chicago, IL.
In addition to her leadership roles in higher education and instruction, Mrs. 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.
Mrs. Farris is the recipient of numerous National Band Association Citations of Excellence, awarded the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award and elected to the Phi Beta Mu National Band Director’s Honorary Fraternity. She is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Illinois Music Educators Association, and the National Band Association.