Our Staff

Begin Your Journey as a Musician


Jerremiah Smith is a guitarist, composer, and educator with over 20 years of experience. He studied guitar performance and music education at California State University, Chico, where he earned his BA and MA. He taught for 12 years at the Bermuda School of Music. During that time, he also performed and helped to coordinate and […]

Mandy Duran is a recent Choral Music Education graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her studies, she was highly involved in the UI Women’s Glee Club and Girls Next Door a cappella group. Mandy’s love for singing was able to grow and flourish through her participation in musical theatre and choir throughout […]

Nan Lambertz-Schager is a classically trained soprano and pedagogue originally from South Dakota. They hold a Bachelor’s degree in voice performance from the University of South Dakota, and Masters degrees in Voice Performance and Voice Pedagogy from Syracuse University. Their varied performance background includes choral ensembles, operas, musicals, as well as solo work throughout their […]

Emily Liu grew up in a musical family. She was influenced by her father’s flute playing and her mother’s singing when she was a child. A pleasant music environment has cultivated her passion for music, and her enthusiastic and optimistic personality. Emily earned a master’s degree in music education from Illinois State University and a […]

Nick Ortiz

Saxophone, Clarinet

Nick Ortiz is a saxophonist, educator, and improvisor from the Chicagoland area. Nick holds degrees in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Saxophone Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he studied with Debra Richtmeyer and Dr. Nicki Roman. Nick has been a member of several groups such as Illinois […]

Cassandra is violist and violinist from Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the principal violist with the Fox Valley symphony orchestra. She completed her master’s degree in music at Butler University studying viola performance with Richard Auldon Clark, while performing her duties as the Graduate Assistant to the BSO and principal viola. She also composed a string […]

Josh Ruebeck

Voice, Guitar

Josh is a songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist with a love for music in many styles. They hold a BA in Music from Carleton College, where they studied vocal performance and composition. “They currently perform original folk music under the moniker Measuring Marigolds and indie rock with their band Better Odds. In the past, they’ve performed […]

Chris Gu


Chris Gu has recently earned a Master of Music in Piano at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. He is a current student of Gregory Sioles, a graduate of the Jacobs School and a student of the late György Sebők. In addition, Chris has also studied with Evelyne Brancart and Manami Kawamura. In 2016 Chris […]

Carl Hix

Guitar, Bass & Ukulele

Carl Hix has been teaching and training musicians since 1969. He attended Roosevelt University and Northern Illinois University as a double bass major, and was born into an incredibly musical family as 1 of 10 children. Carl’s father John Hix started his own music retail business in 1949 in which he sold instruments and taught […]

Hershyl Edwards

Voice & Drums

Hershyl Edwards is a multi-instrumental musician and songwriter/composer who has been a music lover for life and has studied music since the age of 9. He’s been a music professional since the age of 17 and has been a music teacher for the last 14 years. He was an all-state musician and recipient of the […]