EMC - Staff
Danelle Larson is the Eastern Music Camp director, and an Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of the Music Education Division at Eastern Illinois University. Prior to her appointment at Eastern Illinois University, she earned a Doctor of Music Arts degree in music education from Arizona State University. Dr. Larson holds a Master's degree in music education from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in music education with an emphasis in flute performance from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Larson has ten years of teaching experience in public school music programs, including instruction with beginning, middle, and high school levels of concert bands, chamber ensembles, marching bands, jazz bands, and orchestras. She has also worked with K-8 general music and advanced placement music theory classes. She taught music in public schools in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Georgia.
Todd M. French is the Eastern Music Camp Co-Director, and the Applied Tuba and Euphonium Instructor at Eastern Illinois University. Dr. French received his Doctor of Music from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He also holds a Master of Music from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. French's performance career includes serving as principal tuba and soloist with the U.S. Seventh Fleet Navy Band (Japan) and Navy Band San Diego. He has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, the Lincoln Symphony, and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Dr. French has performed with Leann Rimes, Marvin Hamlisch, Neal Sadaka, The Celtic Women, and performed on Garrison Keillor's, A Prairie Home Companion. Along with tuba, Dr. French is an accomplished bass trombone player. He has toured with The Jimmy Dorsey Big Band, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, and the Broadway touring show, Rag Time.
Andrew Cheetham is the Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Eastern Illinois University. A native of Columbia, Missouri, Andrew attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Bachelor's in Music Education, Master's in Trumpet Performance, and Performer's Certificate. Andrew also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music, where he received a Certificate of Excellence in Performance, the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, and a minor in Music History. As a classical and jazz trumpeter, Andrew has performed in and conducted various ensembles across the United States and in Europe.
Andrew has experience as a band director in the Austin, TX public schools and has taught trumpet, led jazz ensembles and small groups, and taught various academic courses at all levels for nearly twenty years. Andrew is a former Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies at Oklahoma State University, and has taught at Nazareth College, The University of Rochester, and the University of Texas. Andrew also served as a musician in the U.S. Army for three years, where he received two Army Achievement medals and an Army Commendation medal for his contributions.
Dave "Davey" Mast - Head Dean
Dave "Davey" Mast has been a part of Eastern Music Camp for the past 16 years. He joined the Eastern Music Camp staff as a counselor in the summer of 1999, and has since held the positions of Assistant Dean, Assistant Director, Interim Co-Director and is currently Head Dean of Campers. Prior to being on staff, he attended Eastern Music Camp as a camper from his sixth grade through senior year in high school participating in Jr./Sr. Band Camp and the Midwest Percussion Camp. After being a camper for 7 years and spending one week at EIU summer after summer, it wasn't a hard decision for him to decide which university he would attend to pursue his teaching career. Dave attended Eastern Illinois University where he received his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Elementary Education with the Middle Level Option. Shortly after beginning to teach he returned to Eastern Illinois University and completed his Masters Degree in Educational Administration. Currently, he lives in Champaign with his wife, Amanda and their two children, Tanner and Brynn. He is an employee with the Champaign Unit 4 School District where he is the Associate Principal at Franklin Middle School. Prior to his move into administration, he taught 6th grade science at Franklin Middle School for 9 years. He is truly invested in Eastern Music Camp and returns this summer for his 17th year on staff with a passion to ensure all campers have the same amazing music camp experience he experiences year after year.
Charity Astrouski - Assistant Dean
Charity Astrouski has enjoyed being part of Eastern Music Camps for eight years. Charity joined the camp staff in 2008, serving as a counselor and saxophone instructor. She now serves as Assistant Dean, a position she has held since 2012. From 2009 - 2014, Charity also worked as director of instrumental music in Bement, Ill. Before teaching in Bement, Charity studied saxophone at Eastern Illinois University where she earned Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Performance and Music Education. Last fall she moved to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and got married in September. She has spent the last year substitute teaching in four districts and working with a variety of ages and subjects. She has also gotten the opportunity to work with huge music programs and ensembles including: Orchestra, Choir, Band, and even ukulele classes. She is currently seeking her own program again, either in Wisconsin or back home in Illinois. In her spare time, she enjoys playing on a softball league with her four brothers, spending time with six nieces and nephews, and traveling with her husband. Originally from Flanagan, Illinois, Charity is the product of a small-school music program. For her, the opportunity to study and perform music was a blessing, and she enjoys helping campers at Eastern Music Camp form their own musical memories.
Bryan Chesi - Assistant Dean
Bryan Chesi has been a part of the staff at Eastern Music Camp for the past 12 years. He started as a counselor in the summer of 2004 and has since taught master classes, sectionals, and served as an Assistant Dean, a role he is still serving this summer. Prior to working with the camp, Bryan attended EMC as a jazz camper for four years. As Bryan decided to pursue a degree in Jazz Studies and Music Education, the experiences Bryan had with EIU faculty while attending camp helped him choose to complete his undergraduate degrees at Eastern Illinois University. Upon graduation, Bryan moved to the Chicago suburbs and taught middle school general music and band for five years, most recently in Coal City, Illinois. At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year Bryan chose to return to EIU to pursue a Master's Degree in Wind Conducting. Bryan will graduate in May and plans to teach at a large high school program. Bryan is very invested in Eastern Music Camps and believes strongly in the excellent musical opportunities it offers campers, as well as the personal attention campers receive from EIU Music Department faculty.
Lindsey Alexander will be starting her fourth year at Eastern Music Camp this year. She started working with the Logistics Crew as well as teaching percussion sectionals in 2012 and was a counselor in the summer of 2013. Before she was on staff for Eastern Music Camp, Lindsey attended McKendree University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Percussion Performance). After graduating from McKendree, Lindsey was excited to continue her passion of music by accepting a graduate assistantship at Eastern Illinois University, where she finished her Master of Arts in Music (Percussion Performance) in 2013. Between her time at McKendree and EIU, Lindsey married her husband, Jeremy, in the summer of 2011. They live in Charleston, IL, where Lindsey continues to practice music and work at JCPenney. She spends much of her time at Monticello High School where she is an assistant softball coach and the pit instructor for the Sages. Her love for teaching and instilling the love of music in younger generations grows each year and she is very excited to return to the staff of Eastern Music Camp!
Originally from Kankakee, IL, Andy Baldwin is an alumni of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL and has been involved with Eastern Music Camp since 2009. He has worked as a counselor and an assistant percussion instructor for the camps. It is at E.I.U. that Andy received his degree in Music Education with a concentration in percussion. Andy has been teaching and arranging for marching band, percussion ensemble and competitive drumline for close to 10 years throughout the state of Illinois. Throughout his musical career, Andy has performed with numerous ensembles from the U.S. Some of these groups include; E.I.U. Panther Marching Band, Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Eastern Symphony Orchestra, Danville Symphony Orchestra, Sullivan Show Choir, as well as various community ensembles. Currently, Andy resides in Charleston, IL where he is the Director of Bands and 6-8 Choirs for the Shelbyville Middle School and High School in Shelbyville, IL (2013), as well as the Drumline Instructor for the Eastern Illinois University Panther Marching Band (2013). Andy is excited for another great year working with the faculty, students and counselors for this year's Eastern Music Camp!
Rose Cloud is entering her fourth year as an Instrumental Music Education major with a Spanish minor. She primarily plays saxophone but also performs as a vocalist in jazz and rock and roll groups. At Eastern she has participated in the Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, Saxophone Quartet, Panther Marching Band, and Jazz Combos, and her other interests include Salsa dancing, origami, and reading. She is an instructor for the Community Music Program in Charleston, through which she teaches beginning saxophone lessons. This will be Rose's first year as a counselor at Eastern Music Camp, and she attended the Concert Band Camp and Jazz Camp for 3 years in high school. In 2013 Rose worked for EMC as a member of the Logistics Crew. She is looking forward to a summer of camp counseling and learning with the campers.
Chelsea Duncan is a 2004 graduate of Arcola High School. She attended Lake Land College and is a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician. Chelsea received her Bachelor of Science degree from EIU with a concentration in Kinesiology and Sports Studies and will return for graduate work in the fall. She currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana where she helped coordinate and teach in Marian University's new exercise science lab. Chelsea attended Eastern Music Camp as a choral camper for 6 years and has always had a passion for singing. Chelsea is excited to return for her 11th year as a counselor, and hopes Eastern Music Camp becomes a yearly tradition for every camper.
Jaime "Hi-May" Escatel, a Bridgeview IL native, is experiencing his first year with Eastern Music Camp. He heard about Eastern Music Camp through the students and faculty and is excited to join the staff! Jaime currently attends Eastern Illinois University and is pursuing a degree in Music Education. He has taught private lessons on Trombone, was Brass technician for Red Hill High School, and recently completed his practicum experience at Chrisman High School where he assisted his cooperating teacher with 6th-12thgrade band. Upon completing his degree, he plans to teach for a few years before studying to obtain his masters in Wind Conducting or Music Education so that he may continue to inspire and educate the bright minds of the future.
Christina Farley is spending her second summer here at Eastern Music Camp. She grew up right around the corner from EIU in the small town of Sullivan, Illinois. She started playing the saxophone at the age of 11 and as she went through school, she developed a love for music and a passion for helping others; this influenced her to devote her life to music education. She came to Eastern Illinois University in 2012 and began her journey. She just finished her junior year and spent the first month of her summer working with students from a local middle school and giving individual lessons. She's delighted in the opportunity to work with students one-on-one and develop both their abilities and her own. When she finishes her Bachelor's degree, Christina hopes to go on to further her education and skills to advance her ability to teach her own students. Throughout her two decades of life, Christina's love for teaching and passion for music have led her to Eastern Music Camp. She couldn't be more excited to spend the week helping others experience music in a new way, and she is looking forward to helping students make the most of their camp experience.
Dan Matthews has worked with EMC for 8 summers in a number of roles. He has been an instructor, counselor, and logistics manager. Dan is an alum of the Eastern Illinois Music program graduating with a degree in saxophone performance. After his time at Eastern, he went on to study Music Performance at the Eastman School of Music. Dan recently graduated with a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from Syracuse University. In the fall, Dan will begin a position at Moraine Valley Community College as a Cataloging and Digital Services Librarian.
Danielle McKenzie is a music educator who lives in the Collinsville/Maryville, IL area. She graduated from EIU in 2013 with a major in music education and a minor in German. Danielle received her first band director position in May of 2014 and began teaching that summer. She is the music director of Freeburg Community High School, instructing chorus and band, and teaching music appreciation/guitar. Additionally, she is the music director at Smithton Elementary/Jr. High (a feeder school for Freeburg) which encompasses elementary general music, 5th grade beginning band, and Jr. High band/chorus. Danielle is French horn and oboe player who was brought up in the Collinsville area schools band programs. She is currently a worship leader at her church and enjoys the chance to sing jazz whenever she can. One of Danielle's favorite subjects is the German language and all things Germany. She spent a semester abroad in Germany during her senior year in college hopes to take many trips back someday. Danielle has had many years of experience working with children; these experiences include spending ten years as a private babysitter, eight years as a church nursery/Sunday School worker, four years in college as a private lessons instructor, and she now has a year of experience as a licensed K-12 educator. While Danielle is still a fairly new face on the EMC scene, she looks forward to many more years of being involved with this great camp and feels privileged to be interacting with your talented students!
Willie Morris, originally from Belleville, IL, attended Eastern Music Camp for 4 years prior to choosing to make Eastern Illinois University his home away from home. He is going into his sophomore year at EIU pursuing both a degree in Music Education as well as Saxophone Performance with a Jazz Concentration. Willie continues to volunteer at the YMCA back in his hometown working both the front desk as well as the child day care center. In high school, Willie served as a section leader in multiple ensembles for 3 years and gave lessons to any and everybody who asked. He also played in top bands at many honor band festivals including ILMEA District VI Jazz Festival and the ILMEA District VI Concert Band Festival both of which he held first chair positions. He also held the 1st Tenor Saxophone spot in the Honors Jazz Band at the ILMEA All-State Festival in 2014. Willie believes that Eastern Music Camp has been one of the greatest experiences of his life which has not only helped him become a better musician, but also introduced him to some of the greatest people he has ever met. For this reason, he is ecstatic to return this summer as a counselor, and is ready to pass on a wonderful EMC experience to many campers.
Teresa Richard is entering her senior year at Eastern Illinois University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Music Education with an instrumental concentration in flute. This is Teresa's second year as an Eastern Music Camp counselor and she is excited to be back to work with the campers. Teresa has had experience working with students of all ages. She was a drum major in high school and a section leader for the Panther Marching Band her sophomore year of college. She has also served as a tutor, teaches flute lessons through the EIU Community Music Program, and on several occasions she has volunteered as an assistant to elementary, middle, and high school band directors. Teresa is eager to begin her second year with EMC and hopes to help provide campers with an exciting and memorable week.
Nick Schulze, from Vandalia, IL, has been attending Eastern Music Camp since 2004. During that time he has been a camper, counselor, and assistant trumpet instructor. Nick received his bachelor's degree in music education from Eastern Illinois University in the Fall of 2010. Nick lives in Champaign, IL, and is currently the assistant band director at Champaign Centennial High School. Nick is looking forward to meeting the 2015 music campers and having another great year at Eastern Music Camp.
Maura Shepherd will be enjoying her fourth year as a counselor at Eastern Music Camp. She was originally introduced to the camp in middle school in which she attended for two years. Originally from Charleston, IL, Maura began her studies at EIU in 2010. In her time at EIU she participated in the Eastern Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and Panther Marching Band. Maura graduated in 2014 with her bachelor's degree in music education. Currently Maura resides in Peoria, IL where she serves as the band director at the Pride of the City, Peoria High School. Maura truly looks forward to spending time with the campers and ensuring that they have an amazing camp experience!
Kate Herder, from Frankfort, IL, has been attending Eastern Music Camp since 2010 where she has spent the past five years as a camper. This year she will be attending the camp as an intern. Kate is entering her sophomore year of college at Eastern Illinois University and is pursuing a degree in Music Education with an instrumental concentration in euphonium. She has held leadership positions in her high school band as a low brass section leader for three years and a brass section leader for the Peotone Marching Blue Devils. Kate is excited to return to EMC as an intern to help further students' love of music and performing. Eastern Music Camp has brought Kate many great memories and experiences. She hopes to help other campers enjoy EMC as much as she has in hopes that they too can create great memories and experiences.
Benjamin Ian West is a Junior Music Education major currently attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Prior to his college career, Ben attended Unity High School in Tolono, Illinois and grew up in Sidney. Ben has led small middle school and high school brass sectionals, as well as collegiate marching band trumpet section rehearsals with Eastern's Panther Marching Band. He has also been involved with his church youth group for the past 10 years. Ben attended Eastern Music Camp himself during the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a camper and considers his involvement with this operation to be one of the prime reasons for his choosing to attend Eastern's school of music after graduation from high school. This will be his first season at EMC as an intern, and he is looking forward to being involved with the camp.
Anna Neihart is currently a sophomore at Indiana State University, majoring in Business Administration. She was involved in many bands and organizations throughout high school including giving free after school lessons to 5th through 11th grade students, being active in 4-H, and helping with the church youth. Anna has been to EMC as a camper seven years since 2007, and is very excited to be an intern this summer.