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Meet the Instructors

The Elmhurst University Summer Band Camp is instructed by the University’s outstanding music faculty. Read more about them below.


  • Peter J. Griffin is music department chair and professor of music at Elmhurst University. A member of the conducting faculty, he is also responsible for all areas of the music department. Prior to joining the faculty at Elmhurst University, he was Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was Director of Athletic Bands and conducted concert bands, the British Brass Band and the Marching Illini. Griffin is very active as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator across the state of Illinois and throughout the United States.
  • James Hile is director of bands at Elmhurst University, where his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble, teaching classes in music education, and administering all aspects of the band program. Hile has served as Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and as Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Illinois and Eastern Illinois University, and as a high school teacher for 25 years. Hile has a national reputation as a band arranger with performances by high school, collegiate and military bands, the Interlochen Music Academy Bands, the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic Winds. Hile has received numerous awards for teaching excellence at both the public school and collegiate levels. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, arranger, clinician and adjudicator.
  • John Heath is assistant director of bands at Elmhurst University, having retired as Director of Bands at Batavia High School after 22 years. He taught at Highland High School and served as conductor of the Highland Municipal Concert Band and performed in the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra playing tuba and string bass. Heath has received numerous honors including ILMEA Distinguished Service Award, “Mr. Holland’s Opus” Award, and the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator. He is also a recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, arranger, clinician and adjudicator.


  • Jennie Brown is professor of flute at Elmhurst University and is an active performer throughout the Chicago area. A member of the Picosa and MAVerick New Music ensembles and the Chicago New Arts Trio, she records on Albany Records. A featured performer at the National Flute Association’s annual convention in 2005, Brown adjudicated the Young Artists’ Competition at the association’s 2010 convention and will perform at the 2012 convention in Las Vegas. She has served as chair, president and vice president of the Chicago Flute Club and is a member of the Musicians Club of Women and the National Flute Association.


  • Julie Popplewell is professor of oboe at Elmhurst University and has studied with many renowned oboists. She is an active freelance oboist and teacher in the Chicago area and performs regularly with the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago Camerata.


  • Dianne Ryan is professor of bassoon at Elmhurst University and performs regularly with Chicago area orchestras such as the Elmhurst Symphony, New Philharmonic and Light Opera Works and is a member of several chamber ensembles. She has toured Europe and Asia with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and Chicago Symphonic Pops and has performed with pop artists such as Mel Torme, the Moody Blues, Ray Charles, the Beach Boys and Final Fantasy. She can be heard on numerous recordings and has appeared as a featured soloist with New Philharmonic and Elmhurst Symphony.


  • Andrea R. DiOrio is professor of clarinet at Elmhurst University and is among Chicago’s most sought-after clarinetists. DiOrio has performed in more than 15 operas with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Additionally, she has performed with numerous local orchestras, including the Grant Park, Elgin, Quad Cities, Illinois Philharmonic, Elmhurst and South Bend Symphony Orchestras. As a chamber musician, she is the Director of Operations and clarinetist of Picosa, a Chicago-based chamber ensemble a group committed to performing virtuosic chamber music while showcasing Chicago composers and rising musicians.


  • Roger Birkeland is professor of saxophone at Elmhurst University and has performed as orchestral saxophonist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Lyric Opera, and as saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Grant Park Orchestra. As tenor saxophonist for 15 years with the Chicago Saxophone Quartet, he performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Taiwan, Japan and Italy. He has also appeared as soloist throughout Serbia. Specializing also in other woodwinds, Birkeland has performed in the orchestra pit of nearly every theatre in the Chicago area. He has performed with jazz artists Clark Terry, Sonny Stitt, Bill Watrous, Rufus Reid and Marcus Roberts, as well as with Lou Rawls, Mel Torme, Crystal Gayle, Engelbert Humperdink, The Mills Brothers, Red Skelton and The Lettermen. He has performed many times with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Band.


  • Chris O’Hara is an internationally renowned trumpet soloist, chamber musician, and educator. His playing is described as “virtuosic and impressive in every way” (Chicago Music Examiner), and “a treat beyond measure” (Arlington Advocate), and the International Trumpet Guild Journal hails him as a “true master of [the] instrument.” Already in his young career, Chris has performed over 3,000 featured artist events covering 48 states and 12 countries across North America, Europe, Great Britain, and Asia. His performance schedule has taken him to notable venues such as the Italian Brass Week, Ravinia Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Bethlehem Musikfest, the Festival de Camara de Musica in Aguascalientes Mexico, the Nagoya Conservatory of Music, the Newport Music Festival and Millennium Hall in Japan.


  • Anna Mayne is professor of horn at Elmhurst University and is member of the South Bend and Illinois symphonies. She freelances throughout the tri-state area and has performed with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony, New Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, Marin Symphony, El Paso Symphony, El Paso Opera, Southwest Symphony (NM), Chicago Arts Orchestra and the Oistrach Orchestra.


  • Thomas Stark is professor of trombone at Elmhurst University. He is principal trombonist with the Northwest Indiana Symphony, New Philharmonic, Camerata di Chicago, Elmhurst Symphony, and trombonist with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Stark is a member of the Chicago Trombone Quartet, Chicago Trombone Consort, Lincoln Park Brass, the Windy City Brass and has performed with prominent US orchestras such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Opera Theater, Kansas City Symphony and Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Elgin Symphony, Lake Forest Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Boulder Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony (Denver), and the symphonies of Madison (WI), Rockford, and Peoria. He was recently the featured soloist with the Festival Orchestra at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center.


  • Josh Wirt is professor of tuba and euphonium at Elmhurst University and has maintained an active professional career on the tuba, euphonium and bass trombone over the past 25 years. He is currently Principal Tuba with the Elmhurst Symphony and regularly performs as an extra/sub with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Rockford Symphony, and New Philharmonic orchestras as well as being tubist with the New Chicago Brass. Before moving to Chicago in 2009, Josh held Acting Principal Tuba positions with the Roanoke Symphony and Opera Roanoke as well as extensive chamber work with the Roanoke Chamber Brass, the Roanoke Jazz Orchestra, and Opera-on-the-James. He maintains a large private studio of students from around the Chicagoland area.


  • Bob Rummage is director of percussion at Elmhurst and one of the busiest musicians in Chicago. He maintains a versatile schedule of performances with a variety of Chicago ensembles ranging from Rob Parton’s Jazz Tech Big Band to the Mark Colby Quartet to the eclectic styles of Howard Levy. He has performed with many internationally known musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderly, Benny Golson, Buddy DeFranco and Bela Fleck. A highly sought-after clinician, Rummage has made appearances at high schools and colleges throughout the Midwest.


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