Music Academy Bios

The Music Academy at College of DuPage offers private, non-credit music instruction and vocal performance for community members. Instructors have the experience, the knowledge and the passion to take your skills to the next level. See below for biographies of our Music Academy faculty. To register for lessons, contact Continuing Education at (630) 942-2208 or ce@cod.edu

Mr. Richard Armandi, Tuba, Double Bass, Jazz Bass

As a jazz bassist, Richard Armandi has performed with such luminaries as Marion McPartland, Barry Harris, Bobby Shew, David Baker, Jamey Aebersold, Dick Hyman, Scott Hamilton, Carl Fontana and many others, and has performed with such stars as Rosemary Clooney, Bob Newhart, Martin Short, Phyllis Diller and Rich Little. As a tubist, he has performed with the Lyric Opera, American Ballet Theater, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Brass Quintet, and as a featured soloist with the New Philharmonic, Ethos Chamber Orchestra, Concordia University Wind Ensemble and at the 1992 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference.

Dr. Jennifer Barnickel-Fitch, Voice

Jennifer Barnickel-Fitch completed her doctorate degree in vocal performance at the University of Michigan. Since moving to Chicago, she has performed with Lyric Opera Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, da Corneto Opera and Fox Valley Orchestra, and has also been broadcast on WMFT radio. Dr. Barnickel-Fitch has been providing vocal instruction at the College of DuPage since 2002.

Mr. Mark Colby, Jazz Saxophone

Mark Colby has played and toured with Maynard Ferguson, Frank Sinatra, Gerry Mulligan, Bob James and many others. He has been a recording artist on Columbia, Origin, Hallways and his own RCI Records since 1978. He has taught at DePaul University, Elmhurst College and  College of DuPage. He also leads clinics and workshops at middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world.

Mr. Alexander Djordjevic, Piano

Pianist Alexander Djordjevic has taught at the College of DuPage since 1995. Active nationally and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, he received the 2010 Franz Liszt International Grand Prix du Disque by the Hungarian Liszt Society for his recording, Gray Clouds. Alexander earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance and literature from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and completed the performance diploma with distinction from the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, while studying with Vitaly Margulis as a Fulbright Scholar. Djordjevic is a co-founder of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the American Liszt Society and is also on the piano faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago. 

Ms. Daniela Folker, Violin, Viola

Daniela Folker is the principal second violinist for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she is violinist with the Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, Ravinia Festival Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater. Daniela has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as performed for numerous televised programs including Oprah, Late Night with David Letterman, Soundstage and with Celine Dion for an NBC Special. She has performed with such artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Seal, Natalie Cole and many others. 

Mr. Mike Folker, Percussion

Michael Folker is the principal percussionist for the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra and principal timpanist for Chicago Opera Theater. Additionally, Michael is percussionist with the Elgin Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, and Chicago Sinfonietta. He has recorded and toured with the Milwaukee Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Grant Park Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Michael has done recording for both television and radio commercials and televised specials. He is the creator of "The Magic of Music," an educational program designed to teach audiences of the wonders of music. Michael is endorsed by and is an artist for the Sabian Cymbal Company. 

Ms. Marsha Foxgrover, Organ

Marsha Foxgrover is a concert organist who has performed at numerous colleges, churches and American Guild of Organists chapters throughout the country, including the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. In addition to being a church musician throughout her career, she has taught at Azusa-Pacific University and Rockford College, and was artist-in-residence at Aurora University. 

Dr. Steven Havens, Piano

Dr. Steven Havens is currently a member of the piano faculty at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he was named one of the outstanding faculty members in 2005. He has served on the piano faculty of the University of Iowa All-State Music Camp and has been affiliated with Wheaton College Conservatory of Music as well as the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. 

Dr. Svetlana Krasnova, Piano

Svetlana Krasnova has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Russia, Italy, Canada and the United States. She performed as a guest artist in chamber music recitals at Kansas University at Lawrence, Minnesota School of Music, Roosevelt University, Chopin Festival (Chicago), De Paul University and Curtis Institute of Music. Currently, Dr. Krasnova teaches at the College of DuPage, while performing various recitals in the Chicago area. 

Ms. Catherine J. Kuna, Cello

A versatile cellist, Catherine Kuna incorporates improvisation, composition and arranging in her teaching, along with traditional cello repertoire. Ms. Kuna is a dynamic teacher and performer who strives to instill in students a deep understanding and love of music.

Mr. Ronald Lemm, Trombone

Ronald Lemm, a professional trombonist, has performed in various orchestras, brass ensembles, jazz and rock groups, as well as with members of the Chicago Symphony and Chicago Lyric. He has been the brass choir director at Christ Church of Oak Brook and a former middle school band director. Ronald has had numerous students who have been awarded college music scholarships as well as placed in IMEA auditions and top chair placements in their school band programs.

Mrs. Carolyn May, Flute

Carolyn May has been the principal flutist in New Philharmonic, a professional orchestra that performs at the McAninch Art Center, since its inception in 1977. Also an accomplished pianist and accompanist, Carolyn is a band director in School District 102 (LaGrange). Mrs. May has taught flute at the College of DuPage since 1980 to students from age 7 to 70.

Ms. Marlene Meyer, Voice

Marlene Meyer earned a Master of Music in vocal performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is a past winner of the Rose Fae Thomas Competition, the American Opera Society of Chicago Competition, the Union League Emma Roe Competition, and both district and regional Metropolitan Opera auditions. She has been a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, and the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival. Marlene enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities believing there should be no barriers to studying voice.

Ms. Emi Murata, Piano

Emi Murata, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), has over 30 years' experience teaching piano, theory, sight singing and ear training to all ages from beginner through college level, and has taught at College of DuPage since 1991. Ms. Murata is an experienced clinician, has published articles, and enjoys presenting master classes throughout Illinois. In addition to performing as a soloist, Emi co-organizes the Glorious Grands: A Piano Extravaganza!!!, an 8 Steinway grand piano concert held here at COD.

Ms. Elizabeth Murphy

Elizabeth Murphy holds a master's degree in music from Northwestern University. She joined the College of DuPage music faculty in 1995 and was recently named as an Outstanding Faculty Award winner. Her performance experience includes The Britten Pears Festival, Aldeburgh, England; Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York; and the Blossom Festival, Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to solo work with local orchestras and ensembles, Elizabeth's Chicago-area performing includes work with Chicago Opera Theater, DuPage Opera, Illinois Opera for the Young and Light Opera Works.

Mr. Trevor O'Riordan, Clarinet

Trevor O'Riordan currently holds the principal clarinet position at both the South Bend Symphony and the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Eastman School of Music, he was awarded the Performer's Certificate and received the John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music. He currently has an active teaching studio around the Chicago suburban area.

Mr. Timothy Omerod, Saxophone, Oboe

Timothy Omerod earned a Master of Music in bassoon performance from Northwestern University in 1979. He is a freelance woodwind musician, having performed in shows, jazz, top-40 bands, classical ensembles, and various jobbing dates throughout Chicago and the Midwest. He has studied the bassoon, sax, flute, clarinet, and oboe with professional players from the Chicago area. He enjoys teaching all age levels, regardless of abilities, and continues as a teacher, composer and performer throughout the Chicago area.

Mr. Stephen D. Ramsdell, Guitar

Stephen Ramsdell performs guitar professionally in a myriad of styles, from solo classical to original, jazz and pop music. He has taught a wide range of ages and levels at Wheaton College, Benedictine University, Merit Music Program, Northwestern University Summer Institute, and at the College of DuPage since 1994.

Dr. Karol Sue Reddington, Piano

Karol Sue Reddington has performed and held faculty and administrative positions in Hong Kong, Bermuda, the Midwest and area colleges and universities and also performed in Paris, Fontainebleau, Zurich, Moscow, Prague, Reykjavik and Tokyo. Dr. Reddington's 2002 Carnegie Hall debut (NYC), was shared with colleague, Mathias Boegner. As COD piano faculty member of seven years, Karol Sue was awarded the most recent Liberal Arts Faculty Lecture/Performance Grant, which was subsequently invited for presentation at the 2010 Bangkok Fine Arts International Conference, Srinakharinwirot University—the only American submission accepted. Always sincerely committed to the musical development of young pianists, Dr. Reddington loves teaching all levels of interested students, is the director of Chicago's west suburban Berkley-Pendell Piano Competition, and is an international examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada.

Mr. David Rice, Jazz Piano

David Rice has played professionally since age 16. He began studying piano at age 6. After playing in bands and singing in choir and music productions through school, he received a BA in music education from SIU Carbondale and a master's in Music Education at VanderCook College of Music. He has toured Europe, Asia, North America and South America with Otis Rush. He has warmed up for artists such as George Benson, Buddy Guy, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. He also has played with Donna Lori, the Cryan Shames, Gloria Newlun, Bobbi Wilsyn, Carlos Johnson, Pistol Pete, Dan Hayes Orchestra, Buddy Rich Band and many others. Dave has written a book Improvisation on the ii-V-I and Blues progressions. Dave teaches in the Valley View School District in Bolingbrook/ Romeoville and at College of DuPage and is a full-time musician.

Dr. Terry Schwartz, Trumpet

Dr. Terry Schwartz received a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Yale University and a Doctor of Music Arts in Trumpet Performance from the American Conservatory of Music. He has studied trumpet with many renowned artists, including Arnold Jacobs and "Bud" Herseth, legends of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Terry was an associate professor of Music at Wheaton College from 1981 to 2009. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician on numerous occasions, and is affiliated with several professional music organizations such as the International Trumpet Guild and the Music Educators National Conference. Dr. Schwartz has made a number of recordings and performed with prestigious organizations such as the Great Western Rocky Mountain Brass Band, the Notre Dame Symphonic Band and the Russian National Symphony. He was also invited to play the national anthem at the United Center for the opening game of the 2000 Chicago Bulls season.

Mr. Thomas Sergey, Guitar

Tomas teaches students of all ages and skill levels and in all guitar styles. He is as passionate teaching beginners as he is working with advanced musicians. Using traditional, Suzuki and other teaching methods, Tomas adapts his teaching style to the individual goals, skill level, and temperament of each student. His passion for teaching is inspired by seeing his students succeed, whether it is in an individual lesson or on the concert stage.

Ms. Cynthia Trowbridge, Piano

Cynthia Trowbridge enjoys teaching piano to students of all ages and abilities. She earned a Master of Music from Indiana University, where she was a student of Menahem Pressler, and a Bachelor of Music from DePauw University. Cynthia is a staff accompanist at College of DuPage, and performs as a collaborative pianist in recitals and competitions throughout the Chicago area.

Ms. Paulette Velazquez, French Horn

Paulette Velazquez holds a master's degree in horn performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a bachelor's degree in horn performance from the University of Illinois. Paulette is an active freelance musician playing regularly with Elgin Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Joffery Ballet, the New Philharmonic and at various theaters in Chicago. Paulette was principal horn of La Filarmonica de Jalisco for two years, located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Paulette's principal teachers include A. David Krehbiel, former principal horn San Francisco Symphony, and Dan Gingrich, principal Chicago Symphony.

Ms. Ann Field Williams, Voice

An accomplished performer and passionate advocate of art song, Ann Field Williams is active in recital, chamber and church music. She earned a Master of Music in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has been a featured soloist with regional choruses and opera companies, as well as performances with Opera North, Dallas Lyric Opera, Blossom School of Music at Kent State and Applehill Center for Chamber Players. She integrates her vocal pedagogy knowledge and singing experience while encouraging and challenging her students, whether beginning vocal studies or building upon an established vocal foundation. Ann believes in rooting her students in a healthy, classical vocal technique that can be applied to almost every genre of music.
 

Contact Information


Continuing Education
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110, (630) 942-2208
Fax: (630) 942-3785