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Music Education


Wesley BrewerWesley Brewer

Wesley Brewer serves on the faculty of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University as associate professor and Head of 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, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, The Journal of Music Teacher Education, Music Educators Journal, 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 throughout the United States and in Finland and Norway including meetings of the Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), the American Educational Research Association, and the National Association for Music Education. Brewer is conference co-chair for Narrative Soundings: The Fifth International Conference on Narrative Inquiry in Music Education (NIME5) and also serves as the facilitator for the SMTE Teacher Recruitment Area of Strategic Planning and Action. 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.”

Louise DerningLouise Derning

Louise Derning is an educator with nearly four decades of experience in the music classroom. With an emphasis on guided practice and lesson analysis, she prepares students in music education at the Chicago College of Performing Arts with skills necessary to meet the complexities of the K-8 music curriculum.

Louise attended the University of Illinois, Urbana and earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 1976. That fall, she began her teaching career in Orland Park, Illinois as a junior high general music instructor. Two years later, she took the position of director of choral activities at Reavis High School where she remained for ten years.

During that time, Louise became active in the Illinois Music Educators Association and eventually served for two years as district chairman. Her co-curricular activities included forming and training auxiliaries for the marching band program, directing the school musicals, and developing an internationally competitive show choir. Opportunities to serve as a clinician and adjudicator at music camps and contests in Illinois and Wisconsin grew during this time and continue to the present, offering Louise a broader perspective on the needs and abilities of young high school musicians coming from widely diverse backgrounds. She was a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus under the direction of Margaret Hillis and completed her Master of Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Louise has enjoyed the challenges and rewards of working with non-for-profit organizations, particularly the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra Association. While serving on the Board, she was the director of program planning and development and subsequently president. During her tenure as President, Louise developed and implemented a vehicle to underwrite ESO programming through charitable giving.

Louise has taught in the Chicago area, most recently as an elementary music specialist for grades K-5. She enjoys working on curriculum development as well as collaborative efforts supporting best practices for the music classroom.

Cheryl Frazes Hill

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.


Judy MoeJudy Moe

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.


John ThomsonJohn A. Thomson

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.

David Wuersig

David Wuersig started his music education at Lane Tech High School in Chicago. He earned his BM and MM (with Honors) at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He has studied all of the stringed instruments with several acclaimed teachers including Michael Allen, Robert Gillespie, Louis Bergonzi, and Phyllis Young.

David has performed on string bass with several orchestras including the Civic Symphony, Chicago Metropolitan Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, and the Northwest Symphony. He studied string bass from Chicago Symphony members Radivoh Lah, and Stephen Lester. David currently performs regularly with the Wheaton Symphony and the Harper College Symphony. He teaches private students on all stringed instruments at his home studio in Schaumburg.

 In 1974 Mr. Wuersig began what would be a long career in the River Forest Illinois public schools. In those forty years the instrumental music program grew from two performing groups to three orchestras, three bands and two jazz bands. His Senior Orchestra garnered top ratings from its twice-yearly competitive adjudications, and high praise from the music staff at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Interlochen Arts Camp, and the area high school orchestra directors his students attended.

 Over the years several of David's students have gone on to careers in music as performers and teachers.  In 2014, as a salute to David upon his retirement, his former students and community members came together to perform a reunion concert in his honor.