VanderCook Music News, week of January 7

William Jastrow and the Symphonic Band at the Midwest Clinic
© Jonathan Kirn
Happy New Year to one and all and welcome back to the classroom!… 


The Symphonic Band performed brilliantly at the 72nd annual Midwest Clinic! Congratulations to the band, conductors Stacey Larson Dolan, David Eccles, William Jastrow, Herman Knoll, Dr. Joseph Manfredo and Charles "Chip" Staley, and all guest performers. Be sure to check out the fantastic photos on our Facebook page.

This year's Midwest Clinic also inaugurated an annual "Blue Vest" Scholarship to be awarded to a student worker. The award was named in honor of VanderCook's "Blue Vests" -- the undergraduates who help with set-up and organization at the clinic. We're doubly happy to announce that the first winner of this $1,000 scholarship is our own Olivia Sears, a senior from St. Charles, IL. Congratulations, Olivia!
And congratulations to the following undergrads for making Dean’s List!


January 19
The All-Catholic Honor Band outreach program welcomes top players from Chicago’s Catholic high schools for a day of performances and clinics.
January 23-26
Be sure to stop by VanderCook's booth at this year's IMEC, which features a number of VanderCook alumni and instructors as presenters:
Thursday, January 24
9:00 a.m. Composition in the Elementary Classroom with MECA instructor Roger Sams.
9:00 a.m. Getting Things Done for Music Teachers: Applying the Concepts of David Allen’s ‘Increased Productivity and Greater Life/Work Balance’ with Bob Mecozzi (MMEd ’14).
12:15 p.m. On My Way: Engaging Young Composers with Remix co-presented by MECA instructor William Rank.
1:30 p.m. Put Up Your Dukes: Performing the Music of Duke Ellington with Robert Blazek (MMEd ’88).
1:30 p.m. Production Through Performance: A New Approach to Music Technology with Bob Habersat and Paul Levy (MMEd ’15).
Friday, January 25
9:45 a.m. There’s Actually Nothing in the Water: Ten Takeaways from Texas with MECA instructor Rachel Maxwell.
11:00 a.m. Improvisation in the Elementary Music Classroom with MECA instructor Roger Sams.
11:00 a.m. Put the Needle on the Record: Distilling & Implementing the Roles of the DJ & Producer in the Music Classroom with Leo Park (MMEd ’07).
1:00 p.m. Curricular Change in Music Education: Who Gives in First College of K-12 Schools? with MECA instructor Dr. Scott N. Edgar and Melisa Rutkelis (MMEd ’12).
1:00 p.m. Excellence & the Inclusive Ensemble with MECA instructor Rachel Maxwell.
2:15 p.m. Music Education for Social Transformation with MECA instructor Dr. Scott N. Edgar and Melisa Rutkelis (MMEd ’12).
3:30 p.m. So You Want to Host a Festival… with Christopher Buti (MMEd ’95) and Kevin Carroll (MMEd ’98).
3:30 p.m. Teaching Students in the Music, Band or Choral Classroom with Tourette Syndrome with Sean Newman (MMEd ’17).
Saturday, January 26
8:30 a.m. Purposeful Pathways to Functional Harmony with MECA instructor Roger Sams.
11:00 a.m. Striving Toward Social Justice in Music Teacher Education with MECA instructor Dr. Joyce McCall.
All VanderCook alumni are invited to a reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 25, at Jim's Steakhouse, 110 SW Jefferson St., 3rd Floor, in Peoria. Many thanks to Vanguard Tours, Quinlan & Fabish, and the Illinois Grade School Music Association for co-sponsoring this event. We hope to see you there!
Save These Dates!
Feb. 2, 2019:  Day of Percussion
Feb. 14, 2019:  Chamber Music at VanderCook featuring the remarkable
                          duo Yang & Olivia, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17, 2019:  Alumni Appreciation Concert, 3:00 p.m.
Feb. 19, 2019:  Junior Day of Guitar
Feb. 26, 2019:  Open House Visit Day
Feb. 26, 2019:  Chamber Ensembles Concert, 4:00 p.m.
March 12, 2019:  Premier Ensembles Concert, 7:30 p.m.
April 6, 2019:  A Night at the Pops! Benefit Concert, 7:00 p.m.  
April 16, 2019:  Chorale & Honors Chamber Ensemble, 7:30 p.m.
April 27, 2019:  Student Conductor Concerts, 3:00 & 5:00 p.m.
May 2, 2019:  The George A. Quinlan Sr. Concert Series & Yamaha present
Rex Richardson Master Class (1:00 p.m.) & Concert (7:00 p.m.)
May 10, 2019:  Undergraduate Commencement, 4:00 p.m.
June 13, 2019:  TrusTEE Golf Outing, 12:00 p.m.

VanderCook in the News

David Stedman (MMEd ’94) was recently interviewed about his involvement with the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, found here.
MECA Orff instructor Meg Tietz will present "Planning Programs with Purpose" at the St. Louis AOSA workshop series. The full workshop schedule is available here.

Around Town

A very selective fraction of musical events happening in Chicago this month …
January 10-12
Three chances to experience Bramwell Tovey conducting Elgar’s Enigma Variations and selections from Ives, Copland and others at the CSO. Tickets available here.
January 14
Opera baritone Thomas Hampson will present a master class on American art songs at Galvin Recital Hall at the Bienen School of Music. Details and ticket info here.
January 14-15
Country, rock & folk legend Steve Earle begins a residency at City Winery, with meet-and-greet opportunities available. Details & tickets here.
January 15
Me’shell Ndegeocello brings her unique fusion of jazz, soul and funk to Thalia Hall.
January 19
Erykah Badu performs at the Aragon Ballroom. Tickets available here.

This Week in Music History

Acknowledging the people and events that shaped music as we know it today…
January 7
1899: French composer Francis Poulenc is born.
1955: Marian Anderson became the first black singer to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera today. The celebrated contralto was considered one of the finest classical voices of the 20th century, and though she sang many arias in concert, she declined performing in any formal opera productions – with the sole exception of her performance at the Met today, where she played Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera.  
January 8
1833: The Boston Academy of Music, credited as the first formal music school in the U.S., was established today.
1905: Italian composer and surrealist poet Giacinto Scelsi is born today.
1931: Rock concert promoter and impresario Bill Graham is born today. A stint in concert promoting begat a full-time career, and in the mid-1960s, Graham took over the Fillmore Auditorium, turning it into a legendary rock and pop venue. His aggressive promotion style is considered integral to San Francisco’s reputation as ground zero for the counter-culture movement of the ‘60s. Artists whose careers were launched or catapulted into success by Graham include the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane. Graham was killed in a helicopter crash in 1991. 
1935: One Elvis Aaron Presley is born today.
1937: Shirley Bassey, the singer whose bold and brassy voice popularized the James Bond theme songs “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” is born today.
1946: Robbie Krieger, guitarist for The Doors, is born today.
1947: Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, artist and actor David Bowie is born today.
1969: Singer and producer R. Kelly is born today.
1979: Rush were named official Ambassadors of Music by the Canadian government. Good day, eh?
January 9
1914: Jazz drummer Kenny Clark is born today.
1916: Composer Vic Mizzy, best known for writing the Addams Family theme song, is born today.
1941: Folk legend Joan Baez is born today. Much like her contemporary Bob Dylan (with whom she was once romantically involved), Baez rose to fame by playing in small coffee shops in Manhattan, and throughout the ‘60s became a major counter-cultural voice and activist. 
1944: Happy birthday, Jimmy Page! Prior to forming Led Zeppelin in 1968, Page was a key member of The Yardbirds and in-demand session guitarist in the UK (he actually played lead guitar on The Who’s “Can’t Explain”). Along with Jimi Hendrix, Page is considered one of the most, if not the most, influential rock guitarist of all time.
1963: Charlie Watts officially joined the Rolling Stones today.
1967: Happy birthday, Dave Matthews! Come on down to the Chicago River, Dave, we’ve got a special present for you…
2001: Happy birthday, iTunes! It was today that Apple announced the launch of its new portable music service.
2002: Michael Jackson is named Artist of the Century at the American Music Awards.
January 10
1910: Conductor Jean Martinon is born today.
1917: Jerry Wexler is born today. As a music journalist in the 1940s, Wexler coined the term “rhythm & blues” before becoming a partner of Atlantic Records in 1953. Wexler is credited with signing and/or producing many of the label’s most popular acts, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers. Wexler died in 2008 at age 91.
1943: Singer/songwriter Jim Croce is born today. Croce scored an international hit with “Time in a Bottle” in 1973 shortly before his death in a plane crash later that year.
1945: Happy birthday, Rod Stewart!
1948: Happy birthday, Donald Fagen!
1953: Happy birthday, Pat Benatar!
1955: Happy birthday Michael Schenker!
1956: Having freshly turned 21, Elvis Presley recorded the eternal classic “Heartbreak Hotel” today.
2016: Just two days after his 69th birthday and dropping his final masterpiece Blackstar, David Bowie died of liver cancer in NYC.
January 11
1895: Laurens Hammond, inventor of the organ that bears his name, is born today.
1924: Bluesman Slim Harpo is born today. Harpo was a huge influence on blues-rock bands such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin before his untimely death in 1970 at age 46.
1942: The Big Man of the E Street Band, Clarence Clemons is born today.
1946: Happy birthday, Naomi Judd!
1952: Happy birthday to jazz guitarist Lee Rintenour!
1963: Famed Los Angeles venue The Whiskey-A-Go-Go opened today. The Whiskey helped launch the careers of dozens of artists over the years, including The Doors, Love, Frank Zappa, The Byrds, X, Motley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses and No Doubt, among many others. The nightclub was immortalized in The Miracles’ 1966 hit “Going to a Go-Go” and is one of the few venues to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1971: Happy birthday, Mary J. Blige!
1981: Happy birthday to Kasabian singer Thomas Meighan!
January 12
1904: Country and blues guitarist Mississippi Fred McDowell is born today.
1905: Country and hillbilly legend Tex Ritter is born today.
1926: Composer Morton Feldman is born today. Feldman was an early proponent of indeterminate music, wherein certain aspects of a work are left open to chance or performer interpretation. His music is uniquely characterized by innovative notation, recurring asymmetry and uncommon pitch shadings. Feldman died in 1987.
1928: Ruth Brown, actress and singer who earned the nickname “The Queen of R&B,” is born today.
1951: Singer-songwriter Chris Bell of influential band Big Star, is born today.
1965: Happy birthday, Rob Zombie!
1968: Happy birthday Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan!
1970: Happy birthday Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine!
1993: Happy birthday Zayn Malik from One Direction!
January 13
1884: Sophie Tucker, the singer, comedian and actress whose popularity from comical and risqué songs earned her the nickname “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” is born today.
1929: Virtuoso jazz guitarist Joe Pass is born today.
1938: Australian singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Daevid Allen is born today. Allen would co-found influential ‘70s bands Soft Machine and Gong, and continued performing up until his death in 2015.
1955: Happy birthday Trevor Rabin from Yes!
1961: Happy birthday Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips!
1968: Johnny Cash recorded one of his most famous albums today, a live performance for the inmates of Folsom Prison in California.
1976: Sarah Caldwell became the first woman to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, leading the orchestra in a performance of Verdi’s La Traviata.
1984: The BBC declared “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood unsuitable for airplay today, after DJ Mike Read decried the song and its cover as “obscene.” “Relax” subsequently broke chart and sales records, and has become of the most enduring anthems of the 1980s. 
Have news to share? Send info about your upcoming performances, appearances, publications, etc., to and we'll get the word out.



VanderCook College of Music

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

Stay Connected


Continuing Education  




Powered by Website design and development by, Inc