The Allegro!!! string performance ensemble presents a multimedia presentation consisting of live musical performance, choreography, costumes, lighting and video visual effects. The Allegro!!! ensemble has been featured at the Illinois All-State Conference, The American Suzuki Institute, The Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference and the American String Teachers Association National Conference. The group was invited to become a member of the League of Astonishing Strings and was featured in their 2013 Concert Tour of China.
Alumni from the school have pursued further education, musical and otherwise, at an impressive list of universities, colleges and conservatories in this country including: Harvard, Yale, Tufts University, California Institute of Technology, The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University Music School, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and Lawrence University.
In January of 1981, Edward Kreitman began teaching Suzuki violin lessons to the children of the Western Suburbs from his home in LaGrange, Illinois. Shortly thereafter, the program moved to the Grand Avenue School in Western Springs, where it operated under the umbrella of the Recreation Department of the Village of Western Springs. During this time, Emile Jurgens and Susan Shields joined the program. In June of 1984, the school became an independent entity and the Western Springs School of Talent Education took up residency on the third floor of the education building of the First Congregational Church of Western Springs. During the early years of the program the school also ...........
operated a piano division, founded by John Reglin, and assisted by Brenda Douay and Mark Self. The cello program began soon after, established by Andrea Bungum, followed by Lisa Valeau, then Wyatt and Monika Sutherland.
In the Fall of 1989, Thomas Wermuth left his position with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and moved to Chicago to join the faculty of the Western Springs School of Talent Education. His presence on the faculty has allowed the school to develop a level of training found only in the finest music schools in the world. Under his direction, the Chicago Consort has earned an international reputation as one of this country’s premier student performance ensembles. It is the only group in the country that has been invited to perform for the National Suzuki Teachers Association Conference six times. The Chicago Consort is the school’s musical ambassador, performing locally, nationally and internationally. The Chicago Consort has performed concert tours in America, Canada, England, France, Italy, Austria, Peru, and Greece.
in 1995, Craig Trompeter took charge of the cello program, and in 1997 he was joined by Karen Brookes Simmons.
In the Fall of 1998, the Western Springs School of Talent Education opened a sister school in Naperville, bringing the experience and expertise of its faculty to the far west suburbs. Initially, the Naperville program was run by Rebecca McFaul and Russel Fallstad. When their string quartet won a National Endowment for the Arts residence in Hickory, N.C., Jennifer Bream and Beth Novak (Carr) continued to lead the Naperville Suzuki School.
In the Fall of 1999, Nancy Jackson left her position as Director of the Suzuki Pedagogy program at Western Illinois University to join our faculty as the Assistant Director of the school.
In the Fall of 2004, Sally Gross left the Suzuki String School of Guelph, where she had been a cello teacher since 1981 and the Artistic Coordinator since 1989, to join our faculty as the Director of our cello program. Under Sally’s direction and with the addition of cello faculty member Alex Revoal, the cello program has grown to include over 60 young cellists. The cello program supports an advanced cello choir, Cellisimo. In 2010 Cellisimo was invited to perform on the International Ensembles Concert at the Suzuki Association of the Americas Biennial conference.
The school has grown to include 15 faculty, many of whom have been teaching at the school for 10 years or more. Our current violin/viola faculty include Thomas Wermuth, Nancy Jackson, Beth Novak, Sarah Torrenga, Sherri DeRoche, Rolando Freitag, Ryan Caparella, Vicki Kuchta Szepaniak, and Maeve O’Hara.
The Western Springs School of Talent Education is also a national training center for Suzuki teachers. The faculty includes five of the country’s leading teacher trainers: Nancy Jackson, Thomas Wermuth, Sally Gross, Rolando Freitag and Edward Kreitman.
In addition to private and group class lessons, students participate in a variety of performance opportunities. Group classes, solo recitals, and performance classes take place regularly throughout the school year.