Junior High Bands

July 9 - 15, 2017

July 16 - 22, 2017

For students completing grades 5 – 8

Designed for junior high students who play wind, brass and percussion instruments, the primary focus of this program is developing individual musicianship through a large ensemble setting. During the week of July 9-15, students who express an interest in orchestra will be considered for placement in the Junior Orchestra instead of band. Classes include full ensemble and sectional rehearsals, master classes, and elective courses.

Here is what a typical day in the Junior Bands program will look like:

  • 8:15- 10:30 am: Full Band Rehearsal
  • 10:45- 11:45 am: Sectionals
  • Noon- 1:15 pm: Lunch
  • 1:15- 2:15 pm: Full Band Rehearsal
  • 2:30-3:30 pm: Technique Class
  • 3:45- 4:45 pm: Electives
  • 5:15 pm: Dinner and evening activities
  • 10:30: Lights out
  • Click for Program Cost.



    July 9-15

    Junior Symphonic Band - Wayne Gordon, Wood Oaks Junior High, Northbrook, IL

    Wayne Gordon is currently in his 17th year as band director at Northbrook School District 27’s Wood Oaks Jr. High School where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Jazz Band.  Under his direction the Wood Oaks Bands have made numerous appearances at the University of Illinois SuperState Festival. They have performed at the ILMEA All-State Conference, State of Illinois Concert Band Festival, Lake County Live Festival, Northshore Jazz Festival, and IGSMA District and State Festivals.

    A native of the Chicago area, Mr. Gordon taught in Maryland prior to his appointment as Conductor of The University of Chicago Wind Ensemble (1990-2010).  A graduate of Northwestern University and student of the legendary John P. Paynter, Mr. Gordon earned degrees in both music education and wind conducting. He has served his alma mater in a number of capacities including Director of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid for NU’s Bienen School of Music.  Mr. Gordon is a National Board Certified teacher and has earned numerous honors including the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award and eight Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association.  Mr. Gordon is an active adjudicator and clinician, has taught on the campuses of Northwestern University (NHSMI), the University of Illinois (ISYM), and Illinois State University (ISSA). He has guest conducted a number of festival bands throughout the State of Illinois, and is an active performer on French Horn with the North Suburban Wind Ensemble.  A former chair of the ILMEA District VII Junior Band, Mr. Gordon is the co-founder of the All-Illinois Junior Band (AIJB), and serves as the Illinois State Chair for the National Band Association.

    Junior Concert Band - Mike Lehman, Lake Park High School, Roselle, IL

    Mike Lehman was appointed Director of Bands at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois in the summer of 2016. Mr. Lehman earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois under the mentorship of Joe Manfredo and studied saxophone performance with Debra Richtmeyer and Ron Bridgewater.

    Read more about Mike Lehman here.


    July 16-22

    Junior Symphonic Band –Douglas Akey, Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, Mesa, AZ

    Douglas Akey began his musical training in the public schools of Elmhurst, Illinois and attended Arizona State University on a performance scholarship, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Music (1979) and a Master of Music in Solo Performance (1985). One of his most significant learning experiences was studying brass performance for two summers at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts in Alberta, Canada. His mentors on horn were Carroll Simmons – Grant Park Orchestra (Chicago), William Strickland – free-lance hornist (New York), Ralph Lockwood – Arizona State University, and Roland Pandolfi – Principal Horn, St. Louis Symphony.

    Read more about Douglas Akey here.


    Junior Concert Band – Steve Nendza – Jack Hille Middle School, Oak Forest IL

    Steven M. Nendza is the Band Director at Jack Hille Middle School in Oak Forest, IL. During his eight years at Hille student enrollment in the band has nearly tripled to over 220 students. To create more opportunities for students, a second jazz band, a woodwind ensemble, and percussion ensemble were added to the curriculum. Before his arrival at Hille, Mr. Nendza taught for ten years at Deer Path Middle School in Lake Forest, IL.

    In 2016 the Hille 8th Grade Concert Band was honored to perform at the Illinois Music Education Conference, as was the Hille Jazz Band in 2011. At the Midwest Clinic in 2013, the Hille 6th Grade Concert Band was a demonstration ensemble for a clinic presentation. During Mr. Nendza’s tenure Hille band students have earned consistent Division I ratings at the IGSMA band contest and the South Suburban Junior High Conference Band Festival.

    Mr. Nendza is an active clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for concert and jazz bands. He has presented at the Music for All Summer Symposium and The Midwest Clinic: An International Band & Orchestra Conference. At VanderCook College of Music, he has taught countiueing education courses. In 2011, Mr. Nendza was the recipient of The Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award sponsored by Quinlan & Fabish Music Company. He is a graduate of VanderCook College of Music where he received his bachelors and masters in music education. During his time there, he was a band assistant to the college band director Dr. Charles T. Menghini.