Chip De Stefano

(Photo Copyright 2013 Tom McGrath/TCMcG Photography)


Chip De Stefano received both his Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance and Master of Music Education Degrees from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, he studied conducting with John P. Paynter, Steve Peterson, and Don Owens, trombone with Frank Crisafulli and Art Linsner, and music education with Bennett Reimer, Donald Casey, Jim Kjelland, and Peter Webster. Mr. De Stefano was director of the Northwestern University Basketball Band (1994-1996) and the University Jazz Lab Band (1995-1996). In addition to these responsibilities, he assisted with all the office of band’s performing organizations and had conducting appearances with the wind ensemble, symphonic band, trombone ensemble, and marching band.

Mr. De Stefano is currently in his 18th year as Director of Bands at McCracken Middle School in Skokie, Illinois. Under his direction, the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band has received first division ratings at all district and state organization contests of the Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) and has made multiple appearances at the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) All-State Conference, University of Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival, and NAfME North Central Division Conference. In 2006 and 2013 the Symphonic Band received an invitation to present at concert at the Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference. In the Spring of 2007, the John Philip Sousa Foundation awarded the McCracken Symphonic Band the prestigious Sudler Silver Cup.

Mr. De Stefano also serves as Director of the Wind Ensemble at the University of Chicago, where he prepares the primarily non-music major ensemble for three performances each year.

As a published arranger and composer, Mr. De Stefano has received commissions from the marching bands of Northwestern University, Samford University, the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, the University of Idaho and dozens of high schools from across the United States. His works have been performed on ABCŐs 1996 Rose Bowl Halftime Show, Live! with Regis and Kathy Lee, and WBBM News Radio 780. Mr. De Stefano’s works are available from FJH Music, LudwigMasters Publications, Grand Mesa Music, Kagarice Brass Editions and

Mr. De Stefano’s professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, the Illinois Music Education Association, the National Band Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Mr. De Stefano is active nationally as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator. He’s conducted honor bands in Singapore, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Florida, and throughout Illinois. In addition, he has presented conference sessions at the Midwest Clinic (2008), ILMEA All-State Conference (2003, 2005, 2008), Iowa Bandmasters Conference (2010), Nebraska Music Educators Association State Conference (2011), Arkansas Tech University Band Director Workshop (2013), Illinois State University Band Director Workshop (2012) and DuPage County Music Clinic (2009). Mr. De Stefano is a recipient of fifteen National Band Association Citations of Excellence. He was awarded the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award in 2001, the IGSMA Barbara Buehlmann Young Conductor Award in 2004, and the IGSMA Cloyd Meyers Memorial Award in 2011.

Cesar Mendosa

Cesar Mendoza

Cesar Mendoza is a graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) where he received a degree in Music Education. While at UIUC, Mr. Mendoza studied with world-renowned trombonist, Jim Pugh. Additionally, he studied jazz with Tito Carrillo and Joan Hickey, conducting with Linda Moorehouse and Elizabeth Peterson, and Music Education with Jeananne Nichols, Bridget Sweet, Adam Kruse, and Donna Gallo. Mr. Mendoza performed in multiple groups at UIUC, including the Latin Jazz Band, Wind Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra.

Mr. Mendoza is an active performer, arranger, writer and band leader. He has performed with jazz greats such as Terrell Stafford, John Clayton, Tom Garling, Wayne Bergeron, and Chip McNeill. Some of the venues he has performed in include Chicago Symphony Center, Joe SegalŐs Jazz Showcase, Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Umbria Jazz Festival. He is constantly writing and performing original music with his quintet.

Mr. Mendoza is in 2nd year as Assistant Director of Bands at McCracken Middle School in Skokie, Illinois. He maintains an active private lesson studio and is frequently asked to work with schools in the Chicagoland area. Mr. Mendoza was the recipient of the Warren H. Schuetz Memorial Award for Excellence in Music Education from the University of Illinois in 2018.