Ensemble Directors

Fox Valley Youth ORCHESTRA

Using music to enrich the lives of our youth

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Rodney C. Schueller was appointed Director of Bands at West Aurora High School in the fall of 2012. In addition to serving as chief administrator of the Department of Bands, he is Conductor of the Wind Symphony and both Freshman Bands, and co-conducts the Symphonic Winds. He will also serve as Director of Athletic Bands beginning in the fall of 2014, leading the 250-member Blackhawk Marching Band and the basketball pep bands. The West Aurora High School Bands encompass 15 ensembles with over 450 participating students. Prior to his appointment at West Aurora, Dr. Schueller served on the faculties of Texas State University, Western Illinois University, and Northern Illinois University. In the spring of 2007, the Texas State University Student Foundation recognized Dr. Schueller as a Texas State University Distinguished Educator.

Ensembles under his leadership have received praise from composers Charles Booker, Steven Bryant, Mark Camphouse, Rob Deemer, Donald Grantham, Timothy Kramer, John Mackey, Timothy Mahr, Scott McAllister, Jonathan Newman, Jack Stamp, and Frank Ticheli among others. Dr. Schueller led the

Ralph J. Petrella is in his first year as Director of Bands at Old Orchard Junior High School in Skokie, IL, where he is responsible for all wind and percussion instruction. Prior to his appointment to this position, he served as Director of Bands at East Richland High School in Olney, IL, where a he grew the band program of 38 students in one ensemble to over 100 students participating in two concert bands, two jazz bands and an increasingly successful competitive marching band. He has also held positions at Aurora University as Band Director and Applied Brass Instructor, and as Beginning Band Director in the Carol Stream, IL public schools.

Ralph holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was a participant in ensembles including Symphonic Bands, Jazz Band, Illini Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, The Marching Illini, and his favorite, the Illinois British Brass Band. While earning his masters degree, he held teaching assistantships with the student teaching program, choral conducting classes, and the Marching Illini and British Brass Band. He looks forward to bringing these experiences to the students of the Fox Valley Youth Brass Band.

Ralph has performed as trombonist and bass trombonist in a variety of ensembles including the Fox Valley Orchestra, Wheaton Municipal Band, Cummins Municipal Band (Olney, IL), Olney Central College Community Band, West Suburban Concert Band, Elgin Community College Pit Orchestra, and the Des Plaines Community Band.

John Fitchuk is an active violist in the Chicago area and has taught all levels and areas of music in Illinois for thirty-six years. For twenty-two years, he was Director of Orchestras at both Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville High Schools. Mr. Fitchuk has served as Organizational Chair of the All-State Honors Orchestra and President of the Chicago American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and he has been the Director of the Fox Valley and West Suburban Youth Symphonies. In 1996 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Music Educators Association. Mr. Fitchuk has been a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Hinsdale Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Chorus, and the Dubuque Symphony and also serves on the music staff of Christ Church of Oakbrook.

Texas State University Wind Ensemble in performances for the 2011 National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Seattle, Washington, and the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic and Convention in February of 2011. Additionally, the ensemble performed for the 2008 Southwestern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Kansas City, the 2007 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic and Convention, and the South Central Chapter Conference of the College Music Society in 2006. In a joint venture with the Bobcat Marching Band, the Texas State University Wind Ensemble released Fanfare!, a compact disc of live concert selections from 2008 and 2009. Under his leadership, the 2006 Bobcat Marching Band was selected for the first ever marching band video breakout session at the 2007 National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dr. Schueller earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance and Music Education from the University of Iowa, a Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University where he was the Kenneth G. Bloomquist Conducting Fellow. He studied wind conducting with Ray E. Cramer and John L. Whitwell, with additional studies in orchestral conducting with James Dixon and Leon Gregorian.

Dr. Schueller is a contributing author to seven volumes in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series published by GIA, producing a total of fourteen teacher resource guides as well as work for the volume for solo instruments with band accompaniment. Additionally, he has published articles in the Bandmasters Review (the official publication of the Texas Bandmasters Association), The Instrumentalist, and the MBM Times. He co-presented a clinic session at the 2007 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic with Frank Ticheli, and co-presented at the 2005 Texas Bandmasters Association Clinic and Convention. Dr. Schueller is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor across the United States, recently serving as Conductor-in-Residence at California State University-Northridge and as guest conductor with the Fox Valley Concert Band. He is currently a member of the Illinois Music Education Association, the National Association for Music Education and holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

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