<div>Annie Andrejek grew up in Joliet, Illinois with a musical family, and had been inspired to learn music on her own. Throughout high school and college she had done many recitals and concerts and taught private lessons for six years.</div>
<div>In 2016, Annie received her Bachelors of Arts in Music from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and is now currently living in Orlando, Florida working in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Annie believes that music education encourages creativity, team work, and patience in students and enjoys sharing her love of music with others.</div>
Paul Barton serves as a band director, piano instructor, and new teacher mentor with Band For Today. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Millersville University (PA) and Master of Music in Performance (trombone) from Ithaca College. One of Mr. Barton's goals is to create an energetic classroom where children are engaged and challenged to grow in creativity, leadership, and musicianship; using these attributes to better their educational experience and develop them into the next generation of productive members of society.
National Education DirectorCampbell@bandfortoday.com
Mrs. Campbell has had a long and successful career as a public school band and chorus teacher in Fulton County, Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from Illinois State University, and her Master of Education from Western Illinois University. After retiring from teaching in Illinois, she relocated to Orlando, Florida, where she continues to be involved in music education. In addition to years spent as a music teacher, she also taught in 5th and 6th grade self-contained classrooms which gives her extra insight into the teaching and learning processes of her students.
National Education Director
Chris Celiz is a 27 year old teaching artist, musician and community leader. Growing up in New York City has given him a unique perspective in interacting with a wide array of people. His most notable accomplishment is founding the award-winning collective "The Beatbox House" which tours both nationally and internationally. He earned his Bachelors of Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia where he studied clarinet and saxophone.
Danica Dagg teaches band and piano with Band for Today. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Danica strives to see that all of her students come into a safe, loving, challenging and fun classroom and leave with not only skills in music but skills they can keep for life. She believes every student deserves the opportunity to benefit from a fine arts education.
<span style="font-weight: 400">John began his career as a musician at age 13 while attending The Honsinger Conservatory of Music with a full scholarship for Advanced Saxophone Studies. In addition to holding First Chair Alto Saxophone with The Honsinger Symphonic Wind Ensemble, John has shared the stage with many industry headliners such as James Brown, Doc Severinsen, Rufus Featuring Chaka Kahn, The Radio City Rockettes, Harold Land, Ron Banks and the Dramatics, L.J. Reynolds, Florence Henderson, Cuba Gooding Sr. and much more. As a Grammy Nominated Music Educator, John has a become a leader in his field by creating innovative concepts and solutions that create confidence, self-esteem and rapid progress for all of his students in a fun and methodical way. Currently John Linnon Ellis has Music Education endorsement agreements with D’Addario &amp; Company and with Yamaha Band Instruments of America while teaching: Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Guitar, Theory, Ear Training, Music Business and more, throughout Southern California and beyond. A proud father of 4 and grandfather of 4, John’s interests include: Chess, Archery, Fencing (Foil), Martial Arts, Astronomy, Quantum Physics, Science Fiction, Geology and Self-Help Books.</span>
Cindy Graeler is an accomplished pianist and teacher with experience both as a private piano and bassoon teacher as well as a classroom music teacher. She received her BME in Music Education from the University of Missouri in 2013 and recently graduated with a Masters of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. Since moving to St. Louis, Cindy continues to put her love of music to use in a variety of ways; maintaining a private studio, teaching adjunct group lessons at St. Louis Community College, and performing each Sunday at Kirkwood Baptist Church. She enjoys the opportunity to teach and instill the love of music in children of all ages and levels.
Jake has been playing the piano since he was four years old and has been playing ever since. He then got hired to work at the studio where he learned piano and has been teaching piano and voice lessons to kids for 4 years. His strong love for musical theatre has made him pursue a Piano Performance degree from Columbia College Chicago, where he is in his last year of study. At Columbia, he’s co-founded a theatre company dedicated to gender-swapping roles of traditional theatre, as well as give an opportunity to members of the LGBTQ+ community who might feel as if they don’t fit into traditional roles. He’s written song cycles, as well as stand-alone musical theatre songs. As a teacher, he loves to teach students that after the fundamentals of music are implanted, it’s okay to follow a non-traditional path to learning piano. He’s found that students who play songs they enjoy as well as the standards books are a lot more motivated and encouraged to continue their music education.
This is Bonnie McAlvin's first year teaching for Band for Today. She is always excited to teach students to be creative with sound, and is excited to meet her new students for the year! Bonnie is a composer in New York City and lives near the beach with her cat Sammy. Her music has been performed by members of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the award-winning Delaware-based chamber group Melomanie, and world ragtime piano champion William McNally. Her 2016 film score My First Kiss and the People Involved, which screened at the LA Film Festival this June, was a top pick for CriterionCast and the LA Daily News, and the score received a grade of "excellent" from the Hollywood Reporter.
Christine Otrembiak is a band director and piano teacher with Band for Today. She received her Bachelor of Music in K-12 Music Education from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. One of Miss Otrembiak’s goals is to share her passion of music with her students. She also believes that music education is important in the development of a child’s creativity, confidence, and other skills they can keep for life.
Darian Potempa serves as a music teacher for group piano lessons at Band For Today. She received her bachelors in Music Education from The University of Illinois. She believes that many life lessons can be learned through music such as self confidence, teamwork, and responsibility to name a few. She also believes that piano lessons create a great foundation for other musical endeavors.
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;div&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Matt Primm is excited to join the Band for Today teaching staff. He recently relocated to Chicago from North Carolina, where he worked as a band and orchestra teacher at Pine Lake Preparatory for several years. He received his master of music from the Hartt School in Connecticut, and his bachelor of music from UNC Charlotte. The part of teaching that Matt enjoys most is getting to help students develop their talent and love for music, and to help them reach their musical potential.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
&amp;amp;amp;lt;div&amp;amp;amp;gt;Reyna Rendon received a Bacherlor of Arts in Music with a Piano Concentration and a Masters Degree in Education from International Baptist College in Chandler, Arizona.&amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt;
&amp;amp;amp;lt;div&amp;amp;amp;gt;She is thankful to be involved in what she has a passion for; making and teaching music.&amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt;
&amp;amp;amp;lt;div&amp;amp;amp;gt;Reyna maintains a private piano and voice studio where she teaches various instruments. She truly enjoys the opportunity to share the gift of music with children of all ages and levels. She also believes that music education is a need and a privilege every children should receive.&amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt;
Tim Ryan serves as both a band and piano instructor for Band For Today. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Western Illinois University. Mr. Ryan’s wishes to provide a fun way to learn how to play a musical instrument and stresses that music will stay as a lifelong activity.
Melissa Schwartz is a trumpeter, vocalist, and educator who serves as a band director and piano teacher with Band for Today. She graduated with honors from the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, where she received her Bachelors in Music Education and a Bachelors in Trumpet Performance. She has experience teaching a variety of large ensembles, chamber ensembles, private lessons, as well as varying ages from early childhood singing and movement classes to advanced instrumental and vocal instruction. Melissa is also an active performer within in the NYC area where she plays with several community orchestras and sings as a solo artist. She believes that being able to have a positive music experience is a key element in a students education. One of her greatest joys in being a teacher is watching her students develop musically and as individuals throughout the school year.
<span style="font-weight: 400">Flutist Melinda Wade-English holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Flute Performance degree from Texas Tech University. She has taught on the Woodwind Faculty at Texas A&M at Tarleton University, Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Division of Johns Hopkins University, Salisbury University, Anne Arundel Community College, and the United States Naval Academy. She has played flute and piccolo with Opera Vivente of Baltimore, the Maryland Philharmonic, the Annapolis Chorale Orchestra, the Annapolis Opera Orchestra, the Atlantic Winds Woodwind Quintet, the Arundel Winds, the United States Army Field Band, the Mid- Atlantic Symphony, the Salisbury Symphony, the Roswell Symphony, the Lubbock Ballet Orchestra, the Symphony of the Hills, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Wade-English has given solo flute performances throughout the United States and internationally. </span>
Gregg Wramage serves as a teacher for Band for Today. He received his BM and MM from Manhattan School of Music and his DMA from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Mr. Wramage’s classroom goal is to provide a fun, creative, and intellectually stimulating environment for children to explore their musical interests, while they also develop important personal and social skills, experience a sense of pride in their accomplishments, and create friendships that will enrich their time both in and outside of the classroom.
Head of EducationYanong@bandfortoday.com
Gayle Yanong serves as teacher and Regional Head of Education with Band for Today. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Her classroom goal is to provide an opportunity for all children to be successful and feel a sense of accomplishment while learning and having fun. She believes that the fine arts, specifically music, help students to grow in all areas of their lives, including academics and emotional development.