Camp Staff Biographies
Summer in the Arts at Northern hires many talented individuals for the summer camps. NIU faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, guest artists and area teachers, serve as camp directors, instructors and counselors. Camp directors devise the camp curriculum and oversee the week's activities. All have had extensive teaching experience. Campers are supervised at all times; the ratio of adults to campers is about one to 12. Counselors are assigned to each residence hall floor and accompany the campers to all meals and activities.
NIU Jazz Camp
Geof Bradfield (Camp Director)
Geof Bradfield's work as a saxophonist, composer, and bandleader synthesizes jazz and other African Diaspora influences with formal practices from the Western European tradition.
He has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East both as a sideman and as a leader of his own ensembles. His work is featured on 50+ CDs, including six critically acclaimed albums as a leader. As a composer, he has received commissions and awards from ArtWorks (with Guggenheim Fellow Ryan Cohan), Chamber Music America, Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago DCASE, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Michigan State University Jazz Ensemble, Black Metropolis Research Consortium, the Mellon Foundation and DownBeat Magazine (Rising Star arranger, 2015 DownBeat Critics Poll).
Mark Dahl (big band director) holds a bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance and a master’s degree in music education from NIU. He has studied conducting with Steven Squires and Ronnie Wooten and jazz pedagogy with Ron Carter. He is currently band director and assistant division chair for fine arts at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange. The program consists of two concert bands, symphonic band, wind ensemble, marching band, jazz band, jazz lab band and jazz ensemble.
Mark’s groups have been selected and performed at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, the Illinois Music Educators Association State Convention, the Illinois Superstate Band Festival and the Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City. In addition to his school responsibilities, Mark conducts clinics and performs throughout the Chicago area and has been on the staff of the Birch Creek Summer Jazz Camp (2001-2009) and the Northern Illinois University Jazz Camp (2010-present).
Marybeth Kurnat (instructor, co-head counselor) holds a B.M. in Music Education from NIU, and has been teaching professionally since 2012. She currently teaches 6th grade band, jazz and general music at Huntley Middle School, and is an arranger and co-director for the DeKalb High School a cappella program. During her career as a public school educator, she has been nominated for a Golden Apple Award and Kane County Educator of the Year. She also maintains a private woodwind studio, and is frequently engaged as a festival clinician and adjudicator. Marybeth has a dynamic performance background in instrumental music, vocal music and theater. She is a member of the St. Charles Singers and the Chicago Choral Artists. She has been on the NIU Jazz Camp staff since 2011.
Marlene Rosenberg has emerged as one of the most talented and multi-faceted bassists on the scene today. She has played professionally throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Japan and toured with Joe Henderson, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Frank Morgan, Ed Thigpen, Albert "Tootsie" Heath, Benny Green, Roy Hargrove and Wallace Roney.
Currently at NIU she is coordinating the jazz combo program, and teaching Introduction to Jazz Studies. She is part time faculty at Northwestern in the small jazz ensemble program under the direction of Victor Goines. Ms. Rosenberg holds a Masters of Music in Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Bass and Composition from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Scott Mertens (piano instructor, big band director) is a pianist, educator, and composer/arranger in northern Illinois. He has a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His master’s degree in music is from NIU. He has written jazz charts for Jim Martin's jazz music site, and he was a contributing author for the 2007 book by Ron Carter and Richard Miles, Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz.
Scott currently performs in the Chicago area and has been a member of the Doug Stone/Doug Bratt Big Band. He was the director of the NIU Community School of the Arts Jazz Band, and has been a clinician at jazz festivals across the Midwest. He has worked extensively with middle and high school jazz bands, is a band director in Sycamore, Illinois, and has been with the NIU Jazz Camp for many years.
Guitarist Francisco Quintero, was born in Venezuela. He attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston MA where he obtained a bachelor's degree in performance and studied with some of the best musicians in the world including Richie Hart, Alain Mallet, Ed Tomassi and privately with Peter Bernstein in NYC. Recently, Francisco also obtained a master's degree in Jazz Studies from NIU, where also had the opportunity to study with top renowned jazz musicians.
While in Boston, Francisco was actively involved as a guitarist in the local jazz scene with different local projects, including his own trio and duo with Venezuelan Chicago-based guitarist Manuel Reyes, which recently released a full-lenght album entitled "Duet". Also, as an educator at the well known former Boston School of Guitar where he taught guitar and various music courses. He has performed internationally with renowned musicians such as Andres Briceno, Carl Allen and Derrick Gardner, and is currently an in-demand sideman around the Chicago area while keeping an busy schedule of teaching through his private studio and local music schools.
Nick Roach holds a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas and got his masters in jazz at NIU. Originally from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and recently relocated to Chicago, Nick has quickly established himself as an in-demand composer, arranger, educator and performer. Having performed in several states and on cruise ships on five continents, Nick is an adept and versatile musician on multiple instruments. As a composer/arranger, he has written for groups of all different sizes and instrumentations, from trombone quartets to big bands and everything in between. As a student and professional musician, Nick has had the privilege of performing with many respected musicians of different genres, such as Arthur Barrow, Cynthia Scott, Brad Leali, Carl Allen, Derrick Gardner, Corey Wilkes, Robert Irving III, Ari Brown, Andy Narell, Al Smith, Geof Bradfield, Reggie Thomas, Camille Thurman, Tim Warfield, Russ Phillips, Victor Garcia and Eric Schneider.
Theatre Arts Camp
Nathan Wyman (Camp Director)
Hannah Gilbert (instructor, counselor) hails from Horicon, Wisconsin. She completed her fourth year in the NIU BFA Acting program in spring 2016. While NIU focuses on the Stanford Meisner technique, she was also able to train in the technique of Michael Chekhov, rooted in the techniques of Konstantin Stanislavski, at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia for a semester. Hannah has experience in Dialects, Verse Drama, and Movement. Hannah is currently writing, working on music, and getting her feet on the ground professionally. She can't wait to return for another year of camp!
More information on Kendra coming soon!
Daniel Kies is a South Florida native pursuing his MFA in Acting at Northern Illinois University. He recently finished his bachelor’s degree in musical theatre at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He also had the opportunity to study playwriting and solo performance abroad in London. Daniel is a company member with the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, where he has performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and Much Ado About Nothing. Additional SoFlo credits include Spring Awakening, The Rocking Dead: A Zombie Musical, Frost/Nixon, The Man Who Came to Dinner and Sleepwalk.
Joel is a professional actor currently based in Chicago, IL. His work has been featured in national commercials, short films, music videos, and professional stages in Chicago and Kansas City. Joel is a current Artistic Associate with the Organic Theater Company and has appeared in their productions of Tartuffe, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Diviners, Macbeth, King Ubu, and the Chicago premier of Emilie: the Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight. Elsewhere in Chicago he has worked with Theatre Y, 16th Street Theater, Along the Way Productions, Assassination Theatre and Stage 773. Joel teaches an introduction to acting course at Governors State University, where he serves as adjunct acting faculty in the Theatre and Performance Studies program. He received his B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Central Missouri, and M.F.A. in acting from NIU.
Visual Arts Camp
Lynn Stockton (Camp Director)
Lynn Stockton (camp director) has been a high school art teacher for 30 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.
In 2008, she was recognized by the Illinois Art Education Association as the Secondary Art Teacher of the Year. Her students have won numerous awards and scholarships at the local, state, and national levels. She has helped to facilitate and restructure the visual art programs of two Illinois school districts and was instrumental in the addition of advanced placement studio art as an option for high school students in those districts.
In June 2011 she was appointed to the National Prismacolor Advisory Council. She is currently teaching at Rockford Jefferson High School where she heads the largest advanced placement studio art program in northern Illinois. Ms. Stockton has been the director of the Visual Arts Camp since 2001.
Portraits in Acrylic
More information about Zeinab coming soon!
3-D Sculpture Experience
Experimental Drawing Studies
Bjana Lunde (instructor, counselor) received her bachelor's degree from NIU in 2005, where she majored in art education. She taught ceramics and sculpture at Harry D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin from 2005 - 2013 and is now teaching at Algonquin Middle School. She was on the dean's list during her undergraduate career at NIU and has been involved with the Visual Arts Camp for many years.
Frank Matas (life drawing instructor) has a master's degree in painting from NIU and has been an art teacher at Lake Park High School in Roselle since 1998, where he teaches drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture and advanced placement studio art. He has been with the Visual Arts Camp since 1995.
We will have more information about Terrance coming soon!
Dynamic Color and Composition
More information about Sarah coming soon.
CVPA Office of External Programs
Music Building - Room 132