INSTRUCTORS

Lisa Starr-Vocal, Piano

Vocal, Piano Instructor

Lisa is a dynamically entertaining and energetic performer and instructor.  Her background in classical voice provides the basic foundation from which she draws upon for both her performing and teaching disciplines.  She studies music theory, Piano and French Horn, and has performing for over 20 years, both as a solo artist and with various jazz and pop ensembles.  Her energy, enthusiasm and heartfelt soul are evident in both her teaching and performing styles.

Jennifer Klingberg-Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Saxophone, Clarinet, Percussion

Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Saxophone, Clarinet, Percussion Instructor

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in Chicago, her Bachelor of Science degree from Devry University, and is currently enrolled back at Columbia College working on her second Bachelor of Arts degree in Interactice Arts & Media, Game Sound and Music Design. 


Jennifer is a committed and passionate musician, studying privately for a number of years on piano, guitar, percussion, clarinet & saxophone. She has a solid background and knowledge of music theory and ear training, assisting her students in those areas at all levels.  She has been teaching privately for over 10 years, and brings a wealth of enthusiasm, positive encouragement and pure enjoyment to her teaching environment.

Ryan Penman-Piano, Guitar, Vocals

Guitar, Piano, Vocal Instructor

Ryan has received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Psychology from North Central College in Naperville, IL.  While attending North Central College, Ryan was nominated for three consecutive years to perform in the honors piano recital, and has studied with several prominent instructors, including Jon Warfel and Chris White.


Prior to his work at North Central College, Ryan completed his Associates of Arts degree in Music from Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL, where he studied music composition with Dr. Mark Lathan, and composed music for the Waubonsee Chorale.  Additionally, Ryan has accompanied ensembles such as the Naperville Chorus and the St. Patrick's Adult Contemporary Choir.


Ryan's goals as a music educator include cultivating self-confidence in students, helping them to understand and realize their full potential as musicians. 




Grace Politowicz-Piano, Vocal

Grace holds a B.A. in Music from Aurora University in Illinois, summa cum laude, with a concentration in Vocal Performance.  Prior to attending AU, Grace could be found on stage as a concerto soloist, as well as singing with the Young Naperville Singers and the Fox Valley Orchestra Chorus. Having studied voice with Jennifer Helwig and Michelle Areyzaga for many years, Grace is excited to join the Apollo Music faculty and is eager to work with her students.


Grace has continued keyboard studies at AU with Dr. Cristian Pastorello (piano) and Dr. Naomi Rowley (pipe organ).  As a vocalist, Grace prioritizes healthy singing techniques to protect growing voices and develop good habits.  She can also help students learn both solo and choral sound production skills.


Grace has a rich and varied musical background, which provides her with a broad knowledge base from which to reference with her students.



Bruce Nicholson-Piano, Guitar

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Bruce has studied piano at Trinity College of London (Guildhall) and is currently working towards his degree in performance.  He started playing piano at the age of 3, taking private lessons for several years.  Since then he has been playing music for his church, various choirs, competitions, and band performances. He has taught in schools, music institutes and privately to students of all ages and skill levels. Bruce believes that Music is a heavenly art and gives enrichment to the soul.

Kurt Milan-Violin, Cello, Viola, Vocal

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Kurt is working towards his Degree in Vocal and Instrumental Music Education at North Central College in Naperville, IL.

Drew O'Neill-Trumpet, Violin, Viola

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Drew is currently working towards his BA Degree in Music Education at North Central College in Naperville, IL.  He enjoys performing in the Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Cardinal Choir and cheering on the football team in the Cardinal Athletic Band.  He teaches Trumpet, Violin and Viola, and is excited to be teaching at Apollo Music, bringing an enjoyable and educational experience to each and every student.  Drew is planning on teaching high school level band and orchestra after graduation and will continue to play in ensembles as often as he can. 


Joshua Malave-Cello, Violin, Viola, Piano, Guitar

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Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2014 from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently finalizing his Masters in Music Composition and Performance Certificate at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.   He studies cello privately with Professor Cheng-Hou Lee and composition with Professor David Maki at NIU. 


Evangeline Tuohy-Flute, Saxophone, Beginning Vocal, Clarinet, Piano

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Evangeline has earned her BA Degree in Music Education from North Central College in Naperville, IL

Michelle Mock-Piano, Vocal

piano, vocal instructor

  

Michelle is an energetic and dedicated musician and teacher.  She graduated with honors from VanderCook College of Music in 2015 where she received her Bachelors degree in Music Education. She has been singing in choirs and playing piano professionally since she was a senior in high school, and she has been teaching in the Naperville/Aurora area since August of 2017. Michelle has a wide variety of performance experiences such as solo and group recitals, accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists, playing in orchestras, and accompanying choirs.  She uses her experiences to help her students learn, grow, and perform in any context that interests them. 

Mike Bruns-Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele

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Mike received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Performance from North Central College in Naperville, IL.  His primary performance genre is Jazz, although Mike is proficient in many styles, including Contemporary, Rock and Latin.

In addition, Mike is well versed at Bass Guitar, and feels it has helped him form a strong rhythmic foundation in his playing and teaching ability, improving the musical development of his students. 

Mike has a very disciplined approach to music, utilizing music theory to help students build a strong foundation of musical knowledge and develops individual lesson plans for each student based on their specific needs and goals.

Eric Galvan-Drums, Percussion, Piano

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Eric received his BA in Music from North Central College in Naperville, IL.

Ashley Wenzel-Piano

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Ashley received her BA in Music with an emphasis on Piano Performance from Aurora University in Illinois, where she had received the Roger K. Parolini Music Scholarship, and earned the Stanley H. Perry Performance Arts Award in 2014.  She has made appearances in various recitals at AU,  performing as a piano soloist as well as accompanying the University Choirs and undergraduate students in voice and strings.  She has performed multiple times in the American Grands at Elgin Community College, and most recently in the Performing Arts Showcase for the St. Charles Center for the Arts in St. Charles, Illinois.


Studying piano since age six, Ashley strongly believes that learning music can greatly impact a students life, inside and outside of the classroom.  She is very passionate about sharing her musical knowledge and experience with students of all ages and skill levels.

Vera Pelin-Piano

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Vera Pelin is a pianist from the Republic of Moldova. She has been playing piano, harpsichord and organ for 19 years and been teaching for seven. She has a Bachelor of Music from the National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania, in piano performance. She has performed at festivals in Hungary, Romania and her home country, and has played recitals in performance halls in both Romania and Moldova. She participated in national piano and chamber music competitions. She also has been a member of choirs from a young age: choir "Vocile primaverii" R. Moldova, choir "Rapsodia" R. Moldova, music ensemble of folk music "Dor dorulet" R. Moldova and several church choirs.

Here is an example of one of her piano performances.


https://youtu.be/Hj4YL-P-fGo

Gus Gotsis-Drums, Percussion

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Gus received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music in 1979 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.  A constant performer, Gus played in the SIU Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and a variety of jazz ensembles, and was often found performing jazz, blues and R & B in many of the clubs located in the southern Illinois area.  Gus has continued performing in the Chicago area for the last 30+ years and is currently working with The Chicago Kingsnakes.


Gus has been teaching privately for over 30 years, and is very comfortable teaching beginning students as well as students of all levels.  He has a natural passion for working with Special Needs Students and devotes much of his personal teaching time to that.