Buffalo Grove Music Lessons

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About James P.

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Wheaton, IL

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About James
Early Guitar Studies & Pit Orchestra Performances (1995-2002)

I began taking guitar lessons at the age of 11 with blues/jazz guitarist Tom Castonzo, a frequent performer, bandleader and teacher in and around the Chicago area. My studies with Tom lasted for many years and covered various musical and technical aspects of many different styles ranging from jazz to classical and everything in between. In 2002, I began performing in pit orchestras for various musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserable, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors, and Seussical the Musical.

Original Music Projects (2003-Present)

From 2003-2008, I wrote and performed music for 2 different progressive rock bands: Dream Haven and The Unit Theory. Dream Haven released the EP entitled “Nostalgia is Five Frame” and The Unit Theory released a ful
l-length album entitled “Seed.” Both bands performed all over the greater Chicago-land area and helped me hone my skills as an electric guitarist. Throughout this time, we shared the stage with national touring & recording acts Fear Factory, Mastodon, Enuff Z’nuff, and Algernon, to name a few. I now play lead guitar in the Chicago-based alternative rock band Davenport Ed and am having started an all-instrumental acoustic/rock trio with two percussionists.

Undergraduate Studies (College of Dupage and Northern Illinois University: 2002-2008)

After high school, I attended the College of Dupage (COD) and began studying jazz guitar with Dr. Zvonimir Tot. Towards the end of my studies at COD, I developed an interest in classical guitar and took lessons from Steve Ramsdell. After I received my Associate’s Degree in Music from COD I started teaching private guitar lessons at various suburban Chicagoland locations. I graduated from COD in 2004 with an Associate in Music degree. In the fall of 2005, I started my Bachelor’s studies in Classical Guitar Performance at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with Fareed Haque (Winner of “Best World Guitarist” in Guitar Magazine). While at NIU, I continued to teach & perform up until I graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance.

Graduate Studies (New England Conservatory of Music: 2008-2010)

I started my graduate studies in August 2008 at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, under the tutelage of world-renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk. As an active performer in the greater Boston area, I made it a goal to bring the classical guitar to unorthodox venues such as senior centers, local TV, hospitals, dialysis treatment centers, and even juvenile halls! While at NEC, I started to take an interest in transcription, which is the art of adapting a composition for a voice or instrument other than the original. Eliot Fisk is a master at this, and his guidance was profound. In June 2010, I graduated from NEC with a Master’s in Music (with Academic Honors) for Classical Guitar Performance. My master's recital was a tour-de-force of virtuosic classical, acoustic, and electric guitar pieces with music ranging from J.S. Bach to Joaquin Rodrigo to Steve Vai.

Flamenco Guitar & Ritmo Flamenco (2009-Present)

During my time at NEC, I was fortunate enough to meet Grisha Goryachev, a master flamenco guitarist. Grisha introduced me to the basic principals of flamenco guitar and proved to be a wonderful resource. I continue my flamenco guitar studies by learning historical flamenco recordings entirely by ear. Short of living in Spain for extended periods of time, I have found this to be the purest way of learning. I am now the flamenco guitarist for Ritmo Flamenco, an ensemble that features dancer Diane Campbell.

Professional Musician & Awards (2010 – Present)

I moved back to Chicago in July 2010 and have since had hundreds of performances that include weddings, corporate events, restaurants, recitals, and more. My reputation as a premiere performing guitarist has grown rapidly in the past 2 years, and I earned 2 awards at the end of 2012: “Top Solo Guitarist” on the world’s largest entertainment site which is Gig Master and “Best of Wedding” (the world’s largest wedding-planning site). I am a regular featured performing artist at premiere restaurants in the Chicago suburbs including The Cellar Bistro in Wheaton, Eddie Merlot’s in Warrenville, and Wildwood Steakhouse in Geneva.

*** Lesson Details ***
***Teaching students ages 10+***

My first goal as an instructor is to get an idea of what the student's goals are as a guitarist, and then we start working towards that goal. This means that while the basic concepts are covered (chords, some sight-reading in most cases, scales, etc), no student curriculum is exactly the same. After a few months of studying with me, no matter what style of music, we will have learned notes, chords, and songs that are of interest to the student. Then, we will discuss how all of those elements tie together and map out a practice routine. A goal I have for every student is to create a realistic, efficient, and enjoyable practice routine that produces results.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, guitars (acoustic, electric, classical), cable/amp, appropriate paper materials & books for learning music.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I do not travel to lessons.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical, rock, pop, & music theory.
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Reviews
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LuAnn C. July 9, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
James is knowledgable and gives positive feedback to students
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David June 29, 2017
· Classical Guitar · In home
James is a great teacher able to break down complex music and communicate how to play it.
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Mike McCullough April 5, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Jim is a great instructor, and a great guy. I feel like I am making good progress after only 5 weeks.
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James P.

James P.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(11)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Molly M.

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Schaumburg, IL

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About Molly
I have been teaching for 16 years: kids, teens-even beginner vocalists in their seventies! Rockers, an "Idol" finalist, church musicians, lapsed opera singers, preschoolers. ...these are just a few of singers I have worked with, in person, in the classroom, and ONLINE (I just love teaching singers all over the country and the world!) .

What you get in voice lessons with me: laughter as you learn! I have learned solid classical vocal technique from the very best . I have trained with respected opera singers who have performed with companies such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as leaders in vocal pedagogy. I believe everyone deserves the same useful tools- no matter what it is you like to sing!

I am patient and customize each and every lesson. Need more time on ear training? No problem . How about beginning music theory? I can
help with that,too. Are you feeling more confident, and want to focus more on song polishing and getting into the heart of your songs? Let's do it! Confidence an issue? I am a pro with very shy people. I'll get you out of your shell, relaxed, and having fun right away so we can free that voice of yours! I have worked with many singers who have been diagnosed with anxiety: you're in good hands and you can trust me with your voice.

I am also a drama teacher who has worked with groups as well as individuals. I love working with beginning acting students! I'll assist with monologue prep, improvisation, voice for the stage, body awareness, and more. I love being on stage and want you to see how fun it is to jump in and let go,too!

I am a constant student in the world of theatre. I am currently taking many courses with the Drama Teacher Academy, and just received a certificate for monologue work ! Currently studying more improv and musical theatre techniques. I want my students to have as many skills as possible, no matter where their love for theatre or music takes them.

If you're interested in beginner ear training or music theory, I'd love to help you with that as well. I present it in a no-nonsense and fun manner! I'll provide you with simple worksheets to increase your confidence in learning the language of music, as well as run you through increasingly challenging patterns and sight reading for the ear training. Don't be afraid: I make it easy and customize it all. I used to be scared of theory,too- so I know what works!

I have been singing for over 20 years. Performances with the Lira Ensemble and Opera on Tap Chicago, and in master classes with international opera stars Alan Held and Lorna Haywood. Coaching with Collaborative Works Chicago and Rossini Opera Festival. Additional studies in Rock Vocals, Voice Care, Improvisational Comedy, Holistic Voice, Acting, Foreign languages, Dalcroze, Speaking Voice for Singers, , Commercial Vocal Styles/Belting with Lisa Popeil, teacher mentoring workshop with Maestro David Jones. Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Additional workshops in Vocal Pedagogy with David Sabella-Mills, Dr. Karen Prokop, Melissa Cross (the queen of healthy scream technique!), Sheri Sanders Rock the Audition training), and Chicago Cabaret Professionals.

Certified CoreSinging Instructor- one of only a few in the U.S. trained by Meribeth Dayme, PhD, respected clinician and authority in vocal pedagogy and author of "The Singing Book".

Completed John Henny's New Science of Singing course as well as Nate Plummer's Musical Theater Coaching course. Currently taking Dr. Shannon Coates' "Vocal Instrument 101". I'm a student, too, and want to better serve my students by constant study.

My students do a variety of great things! One was a top 12 "American Idol" finalist. Current students perform in musicals, top rated choirs, and professional rock , jazz,and blues bands. Many have won awards for their singing at competitions such as NATS. Students of mine have also been accepted to prestigious performing arts high schools for both drama and music, as well as undergraduate music programs in the US and Europe.

Proud member of NATS and the Speakeasy Cooperative, a professional group of independent voice teachers.

I think if you can speak, you can sing. Everyone can and should sing! Don't let anything hold you back. I am a people person that is very passionate about music and singing, and want to be the teacher you'll trust with your voice. Come laugh and learn with me!

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach in person (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago) and online via Zoom, FaceTime or TakeLessons Classroom, of course!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Sing and See Software. Additional materials I use: Funky n' Fun Vocal Exercises, Estelle Liebling Vocal Methods, Bona and Dannhauser for sight-reading, Full Voice workbooks for young and serious singers!

*** Specialties ***
Beginner vocalists! Very shy singers. Children, teens. Lapsed singers, and seniors. Experience in working with those with learning disabilities , special needs, and victims of abuse. Have also worked with the LGBTQ community and studied with experts in transgender voice .I also love to give workshops!
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Reviews
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Noemi Q. November 1, 2018
· Singing · Online
Awesome as always! :-)
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Kevin October 23, 2018
· Acting · Online
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Noemi Q. October 18, 2018
· Singing · Online
Just Awesome!
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Molly M.

Molly M.

Schaumburg, IL 60193
(199)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Zarui V.

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Des Plaines, IL
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About Zarui
Zarui Vardanean is an Honored Artist of the Republic of Moldova, the National and International Contests prize winner.
She took her Master of Fine Arts in Music degree from the Academy of Music Republic of Moldova and her BBA from the Institute of the Continuing Education Republic of Moldova.
She started her career at the National Opera and Ballet Theater of the Republic of Moldova as an opera soloist and a voice instructor at the Academy of the Music Republic of Moldova.
She is well-known to audiences in the UK, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Germany etc. and her native country Rep. of Moldova. She made an auspicious debut at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre Republic of Moldova in 1998 when she appeared as Ulrica. After that, she sang about twenty-three leading roles including Carmen, Amneris, Azucena, Adalgi
sa, Lyubasha, Olga, Pauline, etc.
Zarui Vardanean is a welcome guest artist in the leading opera houses in Europe.
She participated at the National and International Festivals. She has about hundreds of recordings at the National Radio and TV broadcast.
In 2013 she immigrated to the USA and opened her Voice Studio for young singers, where she can share her experience and knowledge with pleasure, also she continues her opera career in Europe.
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Zarui V.

Zarui V.

Wheeling, IL 60090
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Grace C.

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Carpentersville, IL
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About Grace
I started piano lessons at the age of 3 and continued through middle school. I played the flute in the high school band and continued to pursue my love of music in college where I joined the Piano Ensemble and received a degree in Music from DePaul University. I graduated in 2015 with high honors. I have been teaching music and piano for several years. I love, enjoy, and welcome students of all ages. I enjoy teaching all styles of piano music and I believe in catering teaching styles, methods, and pieces to the individual student. I strongly believe that music lessons can be happy, fun experiences. Learning an instrument provides academic, mental, physical, and emotional benefits and strength, but it can also be a truly enjoyable experience to anticipate each week! I look forward to meeting you!
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Reviews
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Mikayla S. September 2, 2018
· Piano · In home
My daughter loved her first lesson. Grace is a great instructor. Thank you!
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kathy December 16, 2016
· Piano · In home
Grace has been truly wonderful with both my 5 year old daughter as well as with my own adult lessons. With no music background and hectic schedules, I am satisfied with the progress in both of our cases. Love her professional yet personable demeanor as well. Delightful chemistry with my young daughter which certainly promotes continuous interest in her early age group. Has already been recommended.
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Noah B. June 22, 2016
· Piano · In home
Great with my nearly 5 year old.
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Grace C.

Grace C.

Carpentersville, IL 60110
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Josh G.

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Evanston, IL

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About Josh
I am an avid clarinetist, energetic performer and enthusiastic teacher. My dream career is to be a soloist like Martin Frost, to play in an orchestra, or compose and perform my music.
My passion for teaching is similar to my passion for performing, and I have experience teaching privately since 2013 and in front of large groups, as a staff member for a high school marching band.
My teaching style is all about fundamentals as I try and break down the things you need to know about playing into easy to understand fundamentals that can be applied to all future playing.
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Reviews
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Neeyah November 10, 2018
· Saxophone · Online
Shows patience.
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Bahram October 29, 2018
· Clarinet · In studio
Josh is a wonderful clarinet teacher. He's patient, instructive, and he gives positive and constructive feedbacks. I am an adult beginner on the clarinet and I feel like I've improved a lot during the first three lessons with Josh.
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Carrie S. October 6, 2018
· Saxophone · Online
We have had ongoing lessons with Josh for about a year and we are still very pleased. Easy-going demeanor, very positive with his feedback yet still gets his point across when my son is not doing something correctly. He is teaching him not just how to play the music but also how to improve his style and structure of play. We picked a good one!
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Josh G.

Josh G.

Evanston, IL 60208
(12)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Matt B.

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Chicago, IL

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About Matt
I am a professional singer who has proficiencies in piano, organ, choral directing, musical analysis, and ear training/playing by ear. I currently teach both high school and college students.
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Reviews
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Humberto M. April 18, 2018
· Singing · In studio
He’s an excelent VOICE TEACHER
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Humberto M. October 7, 2017
· Singing · In home
Excellent voice teacher
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Lucy V. July 20, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I reached out to Matt to prepare for a college audition I was preparing for.
What I enjoyed most about Matt was that he had the capability to be super flexible and encouraging. In my first lesson, I was very nervous and unsure of my song choices. He was confident and knowledgable with the capability to provide several great song choices with just a short warm-up with me and listening to my voice. He knew exactly what I needed to work on and by my third lesson, my friends and family were able to hear a difference.
I became more confident and came to lessons more sure of what I wanted and envisioned for my audition. Matt was flexible and not only gave me the freedom to add my own ideas to the music, but encouraged me to be original. He also gave me insight and tips on introduction, stance, and how to be more theatrical on stage.
Matt is very professional, knowledgable, and I will definately come back for more lessons with him. I highly recommend him.
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Matt B.

Matt B.

Chicago, IL 60647
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Mike D.

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Chicago, IL
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About Mike
Things with strings are my specialty! I am a professional performer, educator, and recording artist in the Chicagoland area.

You can catch me all over town playing in a wide variety of different acts and ensembles.
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Mike D.

Mike D.

Chicago, IL 60618
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Oliver H.

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Chicago, IL

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About Oliver
I specialize in upright bass, jazz bass, funk bass, bass technique, and rhythm. I will inspire a positive attitude and good practice habits that will help any student succeed. I’ve extensively studied jazz, latin jazz, funk, rock music, hip hop, bluegrass, folk, and composition.

I can also teach guitar, piano, drums, and voice. As a mulit-instrumentalist, jamming with my students is a priority. Being able to play with other musicians is one of the best feelings you’ll ever experience. I’m happy to take you there!

Recently, I helped one of my bass players get a scholarship to go to Berklee Summer Camp to study music.

I am very excited to continue my teaching on TakeLessons. I look forward to helping new students to become the musician of their dreams.

I've been playing professionally in Chicago for five years where I play up
right for a classical chamber pop group called the Nine Worlds Ensemble and for a jazz group with Frank Catalano, a popular Chicago sax-man. I co-managed, played upright bass, and sang for an ambient-folk band, Sedgewick, based in Chicago. I've played upright bass in the Frank Catalano and Jimmy Chamberlin (drummer for Smashing Pumpkins) super group and Bowmanville.

I am currently dreaming up my own jazz-inspired project called the ohm trio. Working on my debut record under my solo name ohm. Be on the look out!
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Reviews
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Megan October 24, 2018
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Oliver is a wonderful teacher. This is my daughter's second guitar teacher and what a difference from the first. He is enthusiastic, talented, patient and a lovely person. All qualities that truly make him the best instructor. She is learning quickly and really looks forward to her guitar lessons each week. So happy that we found him!
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YC W. October 8, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Would recommend! Oliver tailors classes to your level and goals. He is patient and gets excited about songs that you want to play.
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Jackie L. August 9, 2018
· Guitar · In home
Oliver is very patient with my teenage son. He had a very basic understanding of music when he started with taking lessons with Oliver, and I've seen the upward transition in both passion and skills in a matter of few months.
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Oliver H.

Oliver H.

Chicago, IL 60647
(15)
starting at
$34 / 30-min

About Qixin X.

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Chicago, IL
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About Qixin
I am a Jazz vocalist from UIC, also good at pop, K-pop, indie, funk, R&B, Blues different genre of music. I started singing since I was little, and I stared perform when I was 6. I am an experienced performer. I also have a lot experience of singing competition, and I could give you a lot of competition advise if you need. My biggest joy is that seeing the audiences enjoy my performance. Moreover, I am a songwriter and good at recording, I also could give you advice on writing song and recording, mixing. My major goal of teaching is to help you enjoy singing and express yourself, I believe everybody is unique and their voice as well. People express their personality on their singing. and my job is to help you express yourself better instead of change it. If you feel the same, send me a message and I am really looking forward to meet you
!!
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Reviews
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Cuiwen September 18, 2018
· Singing · Online
Kiki is a positive teacher who have responsible for her student. She have a lot of singing experience and performance experience. She shared her experiences with me when I was taking her class. I don’t feel stressful and nervous if I sing in front of her. I love her class and definitely retake it in the future.
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Cassandra July 22, 2018
· Singing · In home
This was our first lesson. Qixin (Kiki) interacted with my child well. She communicated prior to the lesson and has made herself available for questions afterwards. The worked on vocal warm ups, establishing range, music theory, breath/breathing and then singing songs and coaching on ways to improve.
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Qixin X.

Qixin X.

Chicago, IL 60632
(2)
starting at
$31 / 30-min

About Madeleine W.

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Chicago, IL

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About Madeleine
I am a performer and teacher based in the Chicago area. I recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Flute Performance where my principal teachers were Sarah Frisof and Michael Gordon. I was awarded placement in the University Honors Recital in 2016 and I am accomplished ensemble player. I was selected by the St. Louis Flute Society in 2017 as a performer for their masterclass with Demarre McGill and I am also an alumna of Credo Flute at Elmhurst College.

In 2017, I was principal flutist in the University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. I also served as principal flute of the university’s Wind Ensemble for the 2018 premiere of Kevin Walczyks’ “Symphony #5: Freedom from Fear” at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. I can be heard in
2019 on the album recording of Walczyks’ work to be released by Naxos Records.
...
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Madeleine W.

Madeleine W.

Chicago, IL 60657
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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