STUDENTS CLICK HERE to apply to be a part of the All-City Performing Arts Program!
The application deadline EXTENDED!
This program—one of the oldest traditions in CPS, going into its 55th year—attracts students from across all regions at the elementary and high school levels. Students will participate in music, theater and dance ensembles each Saturday during the fall semester, and then go on to perform in a full production at our Regional Showcase on January 27th 2018. Students from the regional ensembles may then be eligible for nomination to the All-City Performing Arts Ensembles which will perform at the Harris Theater for Music & Dance at the Spring Showcase May 20th 2018.
Students can be at a beginning – advanced level in their performing art form and apply for the following ensembles:
Elementary Concert Band (grade 4-8), some instrumental experience recommended
High School Jazz, instrumental experience recommended
Theatre (grade 8-12)
Dance (grade 8-12)
Modern Rock Band (grade 5-12)
Regional Rehearsal Dates
October 7 October 14 October 21 October 28
November 4 November 11 November 18 December 2
December 9 December 16 January 13, 2018 January 20, 2018
Regional Showcase Date: January 27, 2018
Weekly Rehearsal Times (including the first day 10/7)
STARTING OCTOBER 7th for ALL ENSEMBLES:
|North Region Schurz High School||Rehearsal Times|
|Morning Block One|
|Morning Block Two|
|High School Modern Band||
|Morning Block Three|
|Afternoon Block One|
|Elementary Modern Band (This ensemble is FULL)||
|Afternoon Block Two|
|High School Band||
|South Region Curie High School||Rehearsal Times|
|Morning Block One|
|Elementary Band||10:00 am – 12:00 pm|
|Dance||10:00 am – 12:00 pm|
|High School Choir||10:00 am – 12:00 pm|
|Jazz Band||10:00 am – 12:00 pm|
|Elementary Modern Band||10:00 am – 12:00 pm|
|Afternoon Block One|
|New Music Ensemble||12:30 pm – 2:30 pm|
|Theatre||12:30 pm – 2:30 pm|
|High School Modern Band||12:30 pm -2:30 pm|
|Elementary Choir||12:30 pm – 2:30 pm|
|4th-12th Grade Orchestra||12:30 pm -2:30 pm|
|High School Band||12:30 pm – 2:30 pm|
Meet our All-City Regional Directors!
Matt Groters- All-City North Region Orchestra
Matt Groters is a performing violinist, teacher, and conductor in the greater Chicago area, currently serving as Director of Orchestras at Carl Schurz High School on the north side of Chicago for the 2017-2018 school year, his third year on staff with the Chicago Public Schools. A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, holding the Music Education degree, Mr. Groters has taught in the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago, and last year taught for one semester as the Director of Orchestras at Thomas Kelly High School on the near southwest side of Chicago. As a violinist, Mr. Groters has held concertmaster, principal second, and principal viola positions in the Protege Philharmonic, the Classical Symphony Orchestra, and the Northeastern Illinois University Orchestra of Chicago. He has also performed as part of the Green Lake Festival of Music, and performed and conducted in concerts held at Chicago Park District locations for the community as part of his church orchestra. Mr. Groters is married, and has one son and another child on the way! Among other things, he enjoys taking walks with his family, playing and listening to great music of all genres, and eating pizza. About joining the staff for All-City this year, Mr. Groters had this to say, “I’m really excited to be able to work with a diverse group of students who are passionate about playing music and are willing to give up part of their Saturday to commit themselves to grow in artistic and technical excellence with other people they may have never met before. It’s thrilling to have the opportunity to work with students like this, and other colleagues who are confident that the students of Chicago have so much to offer their city as artists and human beings.
David F. Eccles is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and the son of a music educator. He currently serves as Director of String Music Education and Orchestral Activities at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He has held string education positions in Virginia and Florida. An active conductor and cellist, Eccles has held conducting and music director positions with theFlorida State University Summer Music Camps, Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Jubilate Youth Orchestra, and Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has served as a guest conductor for many state, county, regional, and community orchestras. Mr. Eccles is also a clinician and consulting author for the Hal Leonard Corporation. Additionally, he is a Performing Artist for JonPaul Bows.
Mr. Eccles is completing his doctoral studies at Florida State University. He holds a Master of Music Degree in Music Education from University of Miami (Florida) and Bachelor of Music and Media from Norfolk State University. His principal teachers include Elizabeth Eccles, Laurien Laufman, Ross Harbaugh, and Dr. Michael Allen. David is a member of Illinois Music Educators Association, NAfME, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Lambda, and served as President of the Illinois Chapter of American String Teachers Association.
Omar Fong-Bances All-City North Region High School Concert Band
Mr. Fong-Bances holds M.A.Ed. (Concordia University), a B.M.Ed. (VanderCook College of Music) and ESL certification (American College of Education). Mr. Fong-Bances studied clarinet and saxophone with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has participated in several wind conducting symposiums throughout the United States. Mr. Fong-Bances currently is Director of Bands at Roald Amundsen High School (Chicago). Mr. Fong-Bances has extensive experience as teacher, performer, director and fine arts administrator in public, private and parochial schools. Ensembles under Mr. Fong-Bances’ direction have participate in various festivals throughout the mid- west and have consistently been recognized for excellence. They have performed at the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Taste of Chicago, Ravinia and Millennium Park. He currently serves on the Teacher Advisory Council of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and is an active adjudicator, clinician, performer, and guest conductor.
Jimilita Tillman- All-City South Region Theatre
Jimalita, Global Director of Programs and Operations of the Harold Washington Cultural Center, attended DePaul University with studies in Theater Management /International Marketing. Jimalita has received training in theater operation from North Shore Country Day School, Black Ensemble Theater, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and ETA Theater. She is currently studying Board Development at University of Chicago Graham School of Business and Philanthropy and Non Profit at Northwestern University. Jimalita Tillman is a recent recipient of the 40 under 40 game changers award, and was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus for her contribution to live musical theater and performing arts in Chicago. She was also recognized at the Congressional Black Caucus for her dedication and commitment to arts advocacy. Jimalita Tillman is Executive producer of Broadway in Bronzeville. She has one daughter Dorothy Jean, Husband Magnus, and dog Jillian.
Einnaf Smith All-City North Region Dance
Einnaf Smith is the dance teacher at Hamilton Elementary and has been teaching for Chicago Public Schools for the past sixteen years. Ms. Smith has been a teaching artist for The Joffrey Ballet, Forward Momentum Chicago and LaVida Dance. Growing up Ms. Smith took classes in ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, modern and hip-hop but fell in love with ballet and modern. Gaining her a scholarship to attend the University of Michigan in dance. After moving to Chicago Ms. Smith got her masters from Columbia Chicago in Arts Management.
Matthew Jones- All-City North Region Elementary Choir
Mr. Matthew Jones is excited to be a part of All-City for his second year! Mr. Jones is the director of the K-8 Music Program, Elementary Choir, and Middle School Musical at Ebinger Elementary School. Degrees and certifications include: B.M. Music Education (Ithaca College), M.M. Music Education (Ithaca College), and American Orff Schulwerk Association Level 2.
Mr. Jones’s previous music teaching experiences include two years as the 4th-8th grade Choral Director at the Ithaca Waldorf School, two years as the graduate assistant / mentor teacher for junior student teachers at Ithaca College, and two years as the Pre K-12 Vocal Director and Elementary Band Director at Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School District. He has conducted a wide range of vocal ensembles including the Ithaca Children’s Choirs, Ithaca College-Longview Intergenerational Choir, and the Otsego County All-County Elementary Choir in upstate New York.
Rachel Atlas- All-City North Region Orchestra
Rachel Atlas got her Masters degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music with Dr. David Eccles and her Bachelors degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She composed three pieces for her thesis, Bridging the Gap in String Repertoire. Those pieces were premiered and recorded by The All-City Orchestra in the spring of 2017. She has five years of teaching experience. Two of those years include directing the Carl Schurz High School Orchestra where they earned a Division 1 rating at the CPS Music Festival. Atlas is currently directing orchestra in Glenview, Illinois. She plays the piano, oboe, cello, viola, violin, bass, and guitar. Atlas has judged multiple solo and ensemble festivals and was given the honor of guest conducting at the Waukegan Music Festival. This will be her fourth year directing the All-City Orchestra.
Krista Motley- All-City North Region Theatre
Krista Motley received her BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her MFA in Acting from Florida State University Asolo Conservatory, and her MA in Education from Roosevelt University. She’s loved theatre her life and has enjoyed performing in many plays and musicals. Her passion changed from acting to teaching theatre, and Motley has taught Drama at King College Prep High School since Fall 2010. KCP Drama’s Zora Neale Hurston One Acts was featured at the Illinois High School Theatre Festival this past year. Motley’s students have participated in youth ensembles with professional theatres in Chicago such as Lookingglass, the Goodman Theatre, and American Theatre Company. She’s thrilled to join All-City Performing Arts.
Aquil Charlton- All-City New Music Ensemble Director
A bandleader, DJ, rapper, songwriter, and virtuoso electronic musician, Aquil “AyQueue” Charlton draws from a rich artistic background to inspire others. As a teaching artist with Urban Gateways, director of a New Music ensemble with Chicago Public Schools All City Performing Arts, and instructor of DJ Foundations with After School Matters, he applies a dynamic skill set to engaging youth in the arts and education. A nationally-recognized artist, Aquil has been awarded a residency at the University of Chicago, recognized as a Citizen Artist Fellow with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and was invited to present on his art and education work at Yale University’s Civic Leadership Summit, the Kennedy Center’s Arts Summit, and Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas Festival. He has even made impressions overseas through cultural exchanges in Pakistan and Russia, and through the One Beat residency. In his spare time outside of raising his son, Hassan, he sets up in public spaces as the Mobile Music Box, a traveling production studio and DIY music instrument workshop.
Michael Fogarty- All-City South Region High School Band
Michael Fogarty is a band director and professional musician in the Chicagoland area. He is a graduate of both the University of Illinois and the VanderCook College of Music. Though originally an oboe and piano player, Mike has been arranging music for the marching field since he was a teenager, and currently writes wind and percussion arrangements for a number of schools across the country as a partner with Pulse Productions designs. He performed with The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, and has also served on staff for the Americanos and Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps in Wisconsin. Mike currently teaches middle school band in suburban Romeoville, Illinois, and enjoys living in downtown Chicago. Mr. Fogarty’s middle school band has enjoyed great success under his baton, doubling in size and garnering numerous Division One ratings at contests. Mike continues to teach and judge marching band camps and contests throughout the Midwest while also guest conducting and performing with various ensembles on piano and oboe.
Travis Cuckler- All-City South Region High School Band
David Tournoux- All-City South Region Elementary Choir
David S. Tournoux is excited to Co-Direct the Southside Regional Elementary Chorus this year. Mr. Tournoux teaches at Cassell Fine Arts School where he runs K-8 General Music, directs multiple choirs and a concert band, Co-Directs Broadway Jr. Musicals, and works with the Little Kids Rock organization to bring modern band into the music classroom.In, 2008 Mr. Tournoux earned his Bachelor of Music from the Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, Ohio. This is Mr. Tournoux’s tenth year with Chicago Public Schools and his third year working with the All-City Performance program.
Erik Juhl- All-City North Region Jazz and High School Concert Band
Budway Ferris- All-City North Region High School Modern Band
Budway joined the Little Kids Rock team as Chicago Regional Program Coordinator in 2017. Prior to this role, Budway taught in Chicago Public Schools for 4 years. During that time he gained experience teaching in high school classrooms ranging from general music, classroom guitar, and electronic music and sound production.
Budway received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, with saxophone as his primary instrument. Budway has been playing guitar and bass for over 15 years and actively gigs with his band, the Mutual Magic.
Matt Tatlock- All-City North Region Elementary Modern Band
Matt Tatlock is a Wisconsin born percussionist and currently resides in Chicago. He has been playing drum set for 20 years and has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Music with a concentration in Percussive Performance from the University of Wisconsin Parkside. He has been teaching General Music for the past 5 years and currently works for Chicago Public Schools. Matt has been teaching privately over a decade and has given drum set lessons to students of all skill levels and ages. His students have been featured at Summerfest in Milwaukee, and have consistently received high rankings at the state solo and ensemble competitions. While he has an extensive background in drum set, Matt is an accomplished mallet percussionist as well, studying 4-mallet technique for many years. He has studied with many well know Milwaukee and New York based percussionists. He is excited to take on new talent in the Chicago area.
Elizabeth Limon- All-City South Region Elementary Modern Band
Ms. Limon is a native of the South Side of Chicago, where she found and nurtured her love for music. Just like many CPS students, she began playing saxophone in the school band in the third grade. A couple years later, she joined her church choir and learned to play guitar and sing. Before she knew it, she was teaching others how to play guitar and was directing the choir all by herself. Ms. Limon continued to participate in her school bands all through high school and pursued a career in Music Education through VanderCook College of Music. Now, Ms. Limon teaches K-8 General Music and Instrumental Music at Calmeca Academy.
Felix Ponce- All-City South Region Elementary Concert Band
Felix Ponce, trombonist and graduate of Saint Xavier University, is an avid music educator and performer in the Chicagoland area. Currently the Director of Bands at Back of the Yards College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Felix is focusing on building a brand new band program and establishing a rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum. Going into his second year, Felix has established a Beginning Band, Marching Band, Orchestra, and Drumline. Due to his efforts, the instrumental program has tripled since its inception in 2016.
Justin Boyd- All-City South Region Jazz and New Music Ensemble
Born in Chicago, IL drummer, composer and educator Justin Boyd developed an interest in music at a young age. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies (Composition) from Depaul University. In 2013 he founded STEREO GENIUS an alternative-jazz, r&b and hip-hop instrumental ensemble that focuses on original composition and arrangements. He has worked with various artist based out of Chicago such as Animate Objects, Chicago Afrobeat Project, Russoul, Treologic, Ugochi & A.S.E. and Peven Everett. He has also worked with hip-hop luminaries such as Common, Rakim, Ice Cube, Slum Village and Big Daddy Kane. In addition to his work as a performer he is an educator in the Chicagoland area. He currently teaches private lesson and general music.
Fredrick Jackson- All-City South Region Jazz Band
Mr. Fred Jackson Jr has been a music artist, composer and educator. Instruments that he performs on would include the saxophone, clarinet, flute and piano. Currently he is the music instructor at St. Symphorosa school where he teaches choir and general music for pre-k though 8th grade. Jackson has a MA in jazz studies from DePaul University and BA/AA from Southern University in Louisiana. After many years of performance and studying with many master musicians such Alvin Batiste New Orleans Jazz Legend and Chicago Legends Ari Brown and Fred Anderson, he went back to school in 2012 – 14 to receive his MA in Jazz Studies from DePaul University. “I just want to give back what has been giving to me”. The only way was to become an educator.
“I love music, all music. When I was in the 7th grade I had a music teacher, Brian Stanridge who saw that I had an ear for music. He introduced me to Charlie Parker. This music would develop a musical curiosity in me that would lead me to three degrees in music and take me all over the world”.Also having the opportunity to performance and study with some of the greatest musicians on the planet. From 2008 – 13, Jackson would undergo an ethnomusicology study of the music of North America with a focus on the music of Ethiopia. Through the course of this study Jackson would help to pioneer the band Magic Carpet a Chicago based world fusion band. “I enjoy sharing and watching others learn. I am very passionate about music and nothing excites me more than to cultivate the passions of others through music”.
This is why I am excited about All-city. It’s a great opportunity to help motivate and inspire young people to reach there goals”.
Michael Block- All-City North Region Jazz Band
Michael Block is a musician and educator working in and around the Chicago area. Instruments performed on include saxophones, flute, clarinet, bass, drums and keyboards. Michael also holds a K-12 Illinois Teacher’s License specializing in Jazz, Orchestral, Concert Band and Elementary Music Education.
Paul Gilvary- All-City North Region Elementary Modern Band
Paul Gilvary went from being a science teacher who played in rock bands at night, to a music teacher who taught the only way he knew how: rock n roll style! After 33 years of teaching and a Masters Degree from Vandercook College of Music, Paul retired at in 2016. Since then he has been active with Little Kids Rock, teaching after school rock band at Sullivan High School, and working with the All City Elementary Modern Band.
Rebekka Green- All-City South Region Elementary Modern Band
Mrs. Green received her Bachelor of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in 2013 in Chicago. She bases her teaching and pedagogy from her aspiring educators: Mr. Jason Hodac, Mr. James Vidmar, Mr. Ron Korbitz, Mr. David Eccles, and Dr. Robert Sinclair.
Mrs. Green is excited to be one of the South Side Elementary Modern Band directors because she was a student of like ensembles since 2002, attending Regional and even State festivals from 6th grade until her completion of high school! As a student attending regional ensembles, Mrs. Green understands how exceptional of an experience students from all over Chicago will receive by participating. Ensembles are places where people unite, sharing both music and ideas, in a respectful, safe, and fun way! What could be a better way to make friends and have fun, than to participate in All-City and play music for fun!?
Adam Wilson- All-City South Region Elementary Band
Adam Wilson is the music teacher and band director at Tilden Career Community Academy, a local high school in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. While attending undergrad, Mr. Wilson participated in a variety of performing ensembles and musical activities, including performing with the University of Oklahoma Trombone Choir, directed by world renowned trombonist Dr. Irvin Wagner.
Mr. Wilson has been teaching in the Chicago area for five years. During these years, he has worked closely with area programs to revitalize the music programs in the southern region of Chicago. His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Teach for America.
Holly Wysel- All-City South Region Theatre
A native of Houston Texas, Holly has been involved with theatre since the age of 3. She has a B.S in Theatre from Eastern Michigan University and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Loyola in Chicago. After college, Holly moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. While there she worked on numerous productions and became a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. She then decided to pack up and move from the lovely LA weather into the frozen tundra of Chicago. She has studied Improvisation extensively at The Hothouse in LA, IO Chicago, The Annoyance, and the conservatory at Second City. She is currently a Theatre teacher on the Southside at Sawyer Elementary, where she has been teaching for 6 years. This will be her second year with the All City Program. She can’t wait to see what her ensemble will create!
Pamela Swope- All-City North Region Dance
Ms. Swope has always had a passion for dance. She started her dancing career in Michigan at the age of four through dance studios and national and local dance competitions. Ms. Swope went to Hope College in Holland, Michigan where she received her degree in Dance Education. She pursued her dream of teaching dance at an urban public school and moved to Chicago. There, she started teaching in Chicago Public Schools in 2009 in the Pilsen neighborhood. After three years at the same school, she applied to Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy and has remained there ever since. During her years in CPS she has helped write the REACH Performance task for Dance, presented for the National Dance Organization Education program, and has been the All-City Dance Director for four years. Through her years of teaching she loves to see her students express themselves through dance in a way no other art form can do.
Katy Johnson- All-City North Region Theatre
Katy Johnson is thrilled to be returning to All City as a theatre teacher! As a singer and actress, she has worked professionally in the rock, music theatre, theatre, and opera circuits.…and is getting tired of referring to herself in the third person…So let’s try this! I got my Masters of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 2015 and my Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Wisconsin – Parkside in 2015. This is my second year with All City and I am looking forward to meeting new students, helping them build their theatrical skills, and putting together a great final performance! FUN FACT: I had the crazy-stellar-awesome opportunity to sing with THE ROLLING STONES at Summerfest 2015!
Peter Eilrich- All-City South Region High School Modern Band
Sarah Todd- All-City North Region Elementary Band and Choir
Ms. Todd has been teaching at Mary Lyon Elementary School in Chicago for seven years. She received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education (instrumental and vocal) and Music Composition from the University of Idaho, and her Masters of Music in Music Pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University. Ms. Todd has directed Elementary All City Band for five years, and All City Elementary Chorus for two years.
At Mary Lyon, Ms. Todd teachers general music, band, choir, jazz band, guitar ensemble, and rock band. During her tenure at Lyon, Ms. Todd has received the Teacher of the Year award twice, and has been awarded many grants, including the VH1 Save the Music Grant, the Jazz Institute of Chicago Residency program, and an Oppenheimer grant. Ms. Todd is a Little Kids Rock teacher. She has also been named a Conn-Selmer VIP teacher in Chicago. She absolutely LOVES teaching CPS students!
Drumaine Green- All-City North Region Elementary Concert Band
As a Chicago native, Mr, Green attended two CPS schools, Ella Flagg Young Elementary and Lincoln Park High School. During his undergraduate studies at VanderCook College of Music, Mr. Green had taught various ensembles throughout Chicago. As music teacher for Pulaski Internationals School of Chicago, he has taught K-8 music classes, Beginning Band, Advanced Band, Jazz Band, and Marching Band. He has also been the co-director for the CPS All-City High School Band (North Region) and CPS All-City Elementary Band for 2013, 2016, and 2017. Mr. Green has earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education with certification to teach grades K-12 in 2011.
Carmella Berthia- All-City South Region High School Chorus and Modern Band
My name is Carmella Berthia, and I am a choral instructor for All City. I am a pianist and a vocal instructor. I received my bachelor’s degree in music education at Chicago State University where I graduated with honors. While at Chicago State University I received several honors such as being on the Dean’s List, being part of the Honors College cohort, being a part of the Presidential Scholars Program, and receiving several music honors awards from the Department of Music.
This is my third year instructing for All City, and it is my sixth year as a teacher in CPS. I am also a Little Kids Rock trained teacher. I also started a summer arts training program at Kendrick Memorial on the South side of the city.
It is my philosophy as a music instructor that there are no natural born musicians. I believe that progress in any academic area comes from growth and hard work. It is a strategy that I implement with my students and has been very successful in times past.
Lennette Neal- All-City South Region Orchestra
Lennette F. Neal has been a CPS educator for 16 years. Her love of music started when she was just a little girl. She began playing the piano at the age of 4 and the violin at the age of 5. She studied violin under the tutelage of Ms. Tamaki Mizukami for over 10 years. Lennette graduated from Kenwood Academy High School where she was in the band and orchestra. She played violin, viola, and alto saxophone. Ms. Neal graduated from Chicago State University with a BA in Secondary Education, where she majored in Music and minored in Mathematics. She now attends National Louis University where she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Special Education. Lennette has performed throughout the United States and in several countries including Austria and Hungary.
Outside of school, Ms. Neal teaches private lessons in violin at a local south side music school. She is also the youth choir director at her church. This will be Ms. Neal’s fourth year as an All-City orchestra director.