|Adrian Dunn, Choir Director |
Adrian Dunn is an accomplished singer, composer and producer. He sang in the CCM Spoleto Opera Festival in Spoleto Italy and was nominated for “Best Music Director” from the Black Theater Alliance Awards for his work with HOPERA- A hip hop opera in 2010. He opened for international hip hop recording artists The Roots at Indiana University Auditorium in 2005 and was a featured solo artist on the Higher Ground Live DVD recording in Finland (2007). Mr. Dunn served as the Artistic Director and principle conductor of the Legacy Black Music Project at Roosevelt University for five years. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music (in progress) in vocal performance from Roosevelt University and additional studies at the Sibelius Academy of Music, Helsinki where he studied with famed Metropolitan Opera Baritone, David Holloway.
|A.J. Wester, Choir Director |
Ms. Wester is a very active Stage Director and Acting/ Voice teacher in the Chicago area. Currently she serves as the Stage Director for the newly created Opera Music Theater Ensemble—a free joint program between the Merit School of Music and Lyric for teens in the Chicagoland area. She is also on the Voice Faculty of the new ChiArts Public High School. Ms. Wester was the Stage Director/Vocal Coach for Chicago Opera Theater’s ‘Chicago Opera Theater for Teens' – a paid apprenticeship program sponsored by the City of Chicago with Chicago Opera Theater. Ms. Wester holds a B.Mus. from Roosevelt University and an M.Mus from DePaul University.
|Jade Maze, Choir Director |
Jade Maze is a Chicago based vocalist /composer known primarily for her original music, as well as jazz and liturgical singing. She received her Masters of Music in vocal performance from Northwestern University in 2008 and is the Instrumental Music Department Chair for voice at the Merit School of Music, where she also heads the Jazz division of the Renee Fleming Solo Voice Initiative in partnership with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Jade recently collaborated with Bradley Williams and the Hawk String Quartet in the premiere of Sojourn Suite at DePaul University in March, 2011. She has also been commissioned to record new settings of the Thomas Merton Freedom Songs, composed by Vaughn Fayle and premiere them live in England, 2012. In early November Jade was one of the soloists for the Urban Dolorosa Initiative concert series, which helped Chicago neighborhoods grieve the loss of children due to violence. She directs children's choirs all over Chicago and has a very active private studio as well.
|Mike Herrero, Director of Songwriting and Production |
Mike Herrero (Mike Hero) received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the School of the Art Institute. Mike works as a producer for Trackforce Productions whose clients include The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tyra Banks Show and MTV. He has also collaborated with the Grammy award winning production team, Track Kingz. He is currently an instructor at the Art Institute, leading a Contemporary Music Seminar, as well as teaching a Hip Hop Production Course.
|David Herrero |
Blues Workshops Coordinator
David Herrero is a professional performing and recording artist and also holds degrees in Arts in Child Care Management, as well as Psychology. He is a founding member of the Austin Blues Society and has performed in Millennium Park at the Chicago Blues Festival as well as toured the world with a variety of blues bands. In 2004, David founded the production company, TrackForce Productions, L.L.C., which has produced music for Harpo Productions, Telepictures (Tyra Banks, TMZ and Extra), and MTV's 'Rob and Big'.
|Herman Hines, Lead Singer|
Herman Hines began his professional blues career as a happy accident in 2001, when he was discovered singing karaoke in a Joliet club. Soon after Herman became the lead singer of the Chicago Blues Angels. The son of sharecroppers who came to the Chicago area in the Great Northern Migration, Herman is especially qualified not only to entertain students, but to answer their questions about the history of Chicago Blues and its cultural relevance to our city.
|John Elmquist - Accompanist |
John Elmquist received his DMA in composition from the University of Memphis, and his Masters of Music in piano performance from Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied with Landon Bilyeu. He serves on the faculties the ChiArts Public High School, the Merit School of Music and the People's Music School. He is also the Music Director at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Chicago and works in and around Chicago as a bass player.
In 1999 Elmquist formed HardArt groop as a vehicle for performing his music. This ad hoc ensemble, ranging in size from 3-20 players, has produced 14 recordings and currently performs at various venues in Chicago. The group has performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the Green Mill and Northeastern Illinois University. Much of the music of the group can be heard at hardartgroop.com. .
|Charlotte Rivard-Hoster, Accomapnist |
Charlotte Rivard-Hoster is a professional accompanist, piano instructor and teaching artist. Charlotte studied Piano Performance at Berklee College of Music. As a Chicagoland accompanist, she regularly performs with theater companies, and has extensive experience as both a pianist and music director. Charlotte currently serves as the accompanist at Rock for Kids partner schools Melody Elementary and Hughes Elementary.