Ty Foster has been playing bassoon and oboe for nearly 12 years. He has been teaching at Melody Mart for several years now, and hopes to be here for many more. He is currently pursuing his Bachelors in Music Education and a career as a band director
Teaches Video Chat Lessons
After starting on clarinet in the fifth grade, Tom studied sax, flute and bass, and also arranged for and directed his high school's jazz, pep, and show bands. He began to play in working bands while in high school as well. After high school, he attended the Berklee College of music in Boston and then Western Michigan University, earning a B.M. in Jazz Studies and a M.M. in Woodwind Performance. At this time, he began working with some of the best jazz musicians in the Midwest, and performing in concerts and shows with everyone from David Liebman to Engelbert Humperdink. He worked as a musician on a number of cruise ships and then settled in Grand Rapids, MI, where he became an in-demand jazz bassist and woodwind doubler, performing in pit orchestras as well as jazz and contemporary music groups. He has been a college-level instructor for over twenty years, and currently teaches at Hope College, in Holland, MI. He is a clinician and adjudicator for high school jazz band and festivals, and has taught at Birch Creek (WI) Music Center, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and the Aquinas College Jazz Camp. Tom released a recording last year with Rob Ryndak, Gratitude, featuring trumpeter Brian Lynch, on Pacific Coast Jazz Records.
Teaches In Person on Wednesdays/Video Chat Lessons on Tuesdays
All Brass/Beginning Band
Gary has been teaching band in south suburban public schools since 2009 and joined the Melody Mart crew in 2017. During that time he has also performed with various groups around the area. He received his Bachelors of Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University under the direction of many fine educators. He is well-versed on all band instruments and ensemble types including Concert Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Chamber Ensembles, Marching Band/Drum and Bugle Corps., Pep Band, and Pit Orchestra. Gary is a strong proponent of the arts as part of the school curriculum and is always excited to take on new students. Come on out and be a part of it all!!!
Teaches Video Chat Lessons
Brass/ All Beginning Band
Josiah Willitz has been a passionate musician since his days as a middle school trombone player. He studied music and education at two Minnesota colleges, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN) and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Martin Luther College (New Ulm, MN). After college, Josiah taught Band, Choir, and General Music in Minnesota for three years, before moving to Illinois. He is currently the Music Director at Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, IL. Josiah is thrilled to be in the profession of music educator, having the daily opportunity to aid students in developing and building upon their talents.
Teaches In-Person Thursdays | Teaches Video Chat Lessons