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Music Education


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Cheryl Frazes-Hill, Head of Music Education Program
Wesley Brewer
Mary Jo Ferneding
Judy Moe
Ronald Polancich
John Thomson


Cheryl Frazes Hill
chill@roosevelt.edu

Cheryl Frazes Hill has served as Head of Music Education and Director of Choral Activities at Chicago College of Performing Arts since 2002. Dr. Frazes Hill conducts the Conservatory Chorus, featured in recent performances of major works including Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Orff’s Carmina Burana, along with numerous concert performances and guest appearances. The chorus emphasizes diverse performing styles, including their appearances with the Rolling Stones at the United Center. As Head of Music Education, Dr. Frazes Hill, an award winning educator, teaches, advises and manages the preparation of music education students in coursework for certification in instrumental, choral and general music education grades K-12.

Dr. Frazes Hill holds the position of Associate Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. She served as associate to Margaret Hillis and now assists Chorus Music Director Duain Wolfe. Dr. Frazes Hill has prepared the CSC for Maestros Boulez, Barenboim, Conlon, Levine, Mehta, Previn, Tilson Thomas, and many others, as well as conducting the Chicago Symphony Chorus in concert at Orchestra Hall.

Dr. Frazes Hill received her Doctorate in Conducting and her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois. An accomplished vocalist, she is a featured soloist, nominated for a Grammy Award in the CBS Masterworks release Mozart, Music for Basset Horns. During her 15 years of public school teaching, Dr. Frazes Hill received numerous awards, including the Illinois Governor's Award, the Northwestern University Alumni Merit Award, the Commendation of Excellence in Teaching from the Golden Apple Foundation, the Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Chicago, and the Outstanding Music Educator Award. 

Dr. Frazes Hill is a frequent clinician, guest conductor and guest speaker throughout the country and was recently selected to represent Illinois as board member of the National Collegiate Conductors Organization. She has been nationally published on topics in music education and choral conducting.


Wesley BrewerWesley Brewer
wbrewer@roosevelt.edu

Wesley Brewer serves on the faculty of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University as assistant professor of instrumental music education.  He completed his doctoral studies in music education at Arizona State University (ASU), and holds the Master of Music in Conducting from Southern Oregon University, and the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Brewer is the author of multiple scholarly publications including articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, The Journal of Music Teacher Education, Research and Issues in Music Education, and a book chapter in Issues of Identity in Music Education: Narratives and Practices. He has presented findings from his research at state, national, and international conferences including meetings of the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Music Teacher Education, and the National Association for Music Education, as well as at two International Conferences on Narrative Inquiry in Music Education.  Additionally, he served as a research team member as part of the Sounds of Learning project sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) to examine the outcomes of K-12 music programs. In 2010, Dr. Brewer was named recipient of the national Outstanding Dissertation Award presented by the Council for Research in Music Education.

Prior to his arrival at Roosevelt, he served as a teaching assistant for the music education department at ASU teaching undergraduate courses in music education practicum, conducting, and research methods for music therapy majors, as well as serving as the department coordinator for teaching internships.  Dr. Brewer also served as a conductor for the ASU Concert Band, studying conducting with Gary W. Hill, and as a staff member for the 300-member Sun Devil Marching Band, including a performance at Super Bowl XLII.  He previously taught high school and middle school in southern Arizona where his concert, marching, jazz, and percussion ensembles consistently received high ratings. In 2006 he was selected as the “Outstanding Arizona Jazz Educator of the Year.”


Mary Jo Ferneding
mferneding@roosevelt.edu

Mary Jo Ferneding is a classically trained mezzo-soprano, receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in voice from Northwestern University. Ferneding has taught public school for more than sixteen years, and since 1992 has taught general music in the Winnetka Public Schools. While in Winnetka, Ms. Ferneding has collaborated extensively with outside artists, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Indonesian Consulate, and Augusta Reed Thomas. She has also created several innovative programs, including a young composers concert, artist-in-residence projects, and an original musical production. Her approach to music education emphasizes musical problem solving within the context of culture, diversity, and higher level thinking strategies.


Judy MoeJudy Moe
jmoe@roosevelt.edu

Judy Moe was the head of the music department and served as a choral director at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois for 34 years.  She now teaches part-time at Roosevelt University and Hersey High School. After attending Valparaiso University in Indiana, Judy went on to receive a Bachelors Degree in Voice and Music Education and also a Masters Degree in voice from Roosevelt University.

Her skills as an educator and singer are evident in the many awards and honors that she has received.  These include the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Mary Hoffman Award for Excellence in Teaching awarded by the Illinois Music Educators Association, the Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, the first Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003 from Luther North High School and was twice awarded the Outstanding Service Award at Glenbrook North High School.  Judy has been invited on many occasions to work as a clinician and guest director for various festivals including Guest Director for the Illinois Music Educator’s All-State Choir, the Illinois American Choral Directors Association Honor Choir and numerous district festivals throughout the Midwest.


Ronald PolancichRonald H. Polancich
rpolancich@roosevelt.edu

Mr. Polancich retired as Director of Bands and Music Department Chair at York Community High School, Elmhurst, Illinois. Under Mr. Polancich, the York Symphonic Band enjoyed a long tradition of excellence, and performed at music conferences with distinguished guest clinicians and conductors throughout the United States and Canada. The band commissioned and premiered works by renowned composers including Andrew Boysen, Donald Erb, William Himes and Don Owens. York Band graduates have entered the ranks of the nation's finest music schools and many have gone on to become leading successful professional musicians and teachers.

Mr. Polancich is active as clinician/adjudicator at festivals, and has guest-conducted honor bands throughout the Midwest. Clinics this past year included Northbrook Jr. High School District 28; Wauconda Middle School and Matthews Middle School, Wauconda School District 118; William Fremd High School, Palatine, IL; Woodland Middle School, Gurnee, IL; Bernotas Middle School, Crystal Lake; and Lincoln Middle School, Des Plaines, IL. He adjudicated at the Plainfield Central Band Festival, and guest conducted the Glenbard East High School Wind Ensemble, the Illinois Mid-Suburban Conference Honor Band, and the Township High School District 211 Honor Band. Mr. Polancich has lectured with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Docent Corporation, presented conductor seminars (“Who’s The Man With The Stick”), and has served on faculties at Roosevelt University, DePaul University, Augustana College, Elmhurst College, Harper College, and Northwestern University.

Mr. Polancich holds membership in American School Band Directors Association, College Music Society, Illinois Music Educators' Association, National Association for Music Education, National Band Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. Mr. Polancich has authored articles for national music publications "The Instrumentalist" and "School Band and Orchestra", and coauthored the "Music Resource Manual for Curriculum Planning" for the Illinois State Board of Education. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Music Educator of the Year by the Elmhurst College MENC Collegiate Chapter, Most Influential Teacher Award by Western Illinois University, and the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award sponsored by the Quinlan and Fabish Music Company.

Mr. Polancich lives in Buffalo Grove, IL with his wife Nancy. They have twin sons, Benjamin and Jacob, and two granddaughters, Claire and Molly.


John ThomsonJohn A. Thomson
jathomson@roosevelt.edu

John Thomson served for twenty-five years as Director of Bands at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.  From 1967 to 1981, he was Director of Bands at East Allegheny High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His New Trier and East Allegheny ensembles have performed at numerous state, national and international events including three appearances at the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.  For many summers, he served as a conductor at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, and has conducted the camp’s International Band in Europe.
 
Mr. Thomson received his bachelors and masters degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.  While completing course work towards a PhD in Music Education at Northwestern University, he served for two years as a Teaching Assistant in both the Departments of Conducting and Performing Organizations and Music Education. In addition to his work at Roosevelt University, he also observes student teachers for Northwestern University and serves as a contributing editor and new music reviewer for The Instrumentalist Magazine.  Mr. Thomson remains active as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator.
 
Personal awards include several National Band Association Citations of  Excellence, the American School Band Directors Association Stanbury Award, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Award, the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award, the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award, and the New Trier Outstanding Achievement Award.  He has been elected to the Phi Beta Mu Illinois Band Directors Hall of Fame at Northwestern University. Professional affiliations include the American Bandmasters Association (Goldman Citation Award Committee), National Band Association (Revelli Composition Award Committee), American School Band Directors Association (past State Chair),  National Association for Music Education, Illinois Music Educators Association (past District VII Band Chair), Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha. www.johnathomson.com