Private Lesson Academy Staff
The McHenry County Music Center & The Academy offers private instruction in violin, viola, cello, bass, clarinet, flute, piano, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, and voice from accomplished faculty. Seven private studios and one larger rehearsal room/classroom are available for lessons. Lessons may be scheduled during the weekday, after school, evenings and on Saturday.
Joanna Bryk-Roberts began playing violin at the age of seven. She studied at Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland, and received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from DePaul University, where she studied with violin professors Joseph Genualdi and Ilya Kaler.
Joanna performed with chamber orchestras in Poland, Switzerland, Germany and even Spanish Court. She has played in the Chicago area with the Lira Ensemble, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Advent Chamber Orchestra, New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago and a variety of other chamber groups.
She teaches in the traditional method using elements of Suzuki training, and her goal as teacher is to work on improving right and left hand techniques, finding the deep, rich sounds of instruments, and discovering great pieces of music so the students can express their talents.
Violin and Viola
Desislava Tantcheva holds both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. Prior to moving to the U.S. in 1996, she was the principal violist for the Sophia Chamber Orchestra, playing more than 200 concerts on five European tours. She also played section viola in the National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria and the Academy Symphony Orchestra sponsored by the Ministry of Culture. “Desi” was a member of the highly regarded European Youth Symphony Orchestra which performed in 1995 in Louxembourg, the cultural capital of Europe for that year. Currently, Desi performs with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra and is the principal violist for the newly founded Lake County Symphony Orchestra. Teaching both traditional and Suzuki methods, Desi is also on the faculty of the People’s School of Music in Chicago and Lake County Music Center in Lindenhurst, IL where she teaches both violin and viola. She is also a member of the Chicago based string quartet, Foglia.
Cello and Piano
Anita Hwang has a Bachelor's degree in Piano from Tainan College of Art and Technology in Taiwan, a Bachelor's Degree in Cello Performance, a Master's Degree in Cello Performance and a Master's Degree in Orchestra Study in Cello from Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL. Ms Hwang has played in orchestras in Taiwan and the United States since 1984, including the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. She was principal cellist of the Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra. She is a soloist and actively performs in recitals and chamber music. She was cellist of Omaha Conservatory of Music Piano Trio and performs at Omaha Chamber Music Society and The Organ Vesper Series. Ms. Hwang has her private cello studio and is the cello instructor at Northwest Indiana Suzuki School, Valparaiso High School, and adjunct faculty at McHenry County College. She also coaches chamber music, and serves as cello sectional coach of public schools and youth orchestras. Her principal teachers include John Sharp, Stephen Balderston, Richard Hirschl, Natalia Khoma, and Kim Scholes. Ms. Hwang has actively taught cello and piano since 1985, and is also an experienced, registered Suzuki teacher and accomplished piano teacher and accompanist.
Cello and Bass
Eric Friel has been playing the cello for thirteen years. He is a graduate of Illinois State University majoring in Music Education and Cello Performance. Mr. Friel has served as principal cellist with several orchestras, including Blue Lake International Youth Orchestra. He was the winner of Lakeview Orchestra’s first annual Young Artists Competition and was a finalist in ISU’s Concerto-Aria Competition. He is very passionate about teaching and has taught privately for seven years. His mission is to use his talents to be a positive force for the whole community and serve as a role model to young students.
Jean Bishop has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University. Ms. Bishop has taught flute privately for over 25 years from beginner children and adults to college-level flute minors. She has studied with Ralph Johnson of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Jean Berkenstock from the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Mardele Combs Marcellus of the Montreal Symphony. She is principal flute with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and principal piccolo with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Clarinet and Saxophone
Bill Olsen has been active in the Chicago area as a private teacher and professional musician for over fifteen years. Mr. Olsen received his B.A. from the University of Missouri - St. Louis and his M.M. in performance from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. He is a member of the South Bend Symphony and Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Olsen has performed with the St. Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin and Erich Leinsdorf, toured Switzerland with the Chicago Sinfonietta, and been featured as a soloist in concerts sponsored by the Chicago Park District. He has also performed with such artists as Jerry Lewis and Manhattan Transfer. Mr. Olsen studied clarinet with George Silfies and Tina Ward, bass clarinet with James Meyer and William Helmers, and saxophone with Fred Baranyai. He currently teaches clarinet, bass clarinet, contra clarinet, and saxophone at Willowbrook High School, Niles North High School, and Maine East High School.
Michelle Hackman has been teaching voice and performing professionally in the Chicagoland area since 2001. Graduates of her studio have gone on to study, and to major in musical-theatre, vocal-performance, music-education, music-business, composition, and vocal-jazz performance at many of the top-ranked colleges for those majors. Many of her students are also award-winning singers receiving acknowledgement from The Schmidt Competition, Classical Singer Vocal Competition, Woodstock Fine Arts Scholarship Winners, as well as many college talent scholarships. She has also had students audition for and participate in some of the most prestigious summer programs in the world including: The High-School Music Theater and Classical Vocalist Programs at Interlochen, ISYM, Broadway Break-Thru, Oberlin Vocal Performance Program, and Tanglewood Young Artist's Program through Boston University. Ms. Hackman is also an award-winning performer herself and enjoys performing opera, concert-work, and musical-theatre. She currently studies with some of top-ranked master teachers and coaches in the field of opera and musical theatre.