Our Staff

Robert Blazek

Director of Music

Office: 815 459 1441

Education/Teaching

I am a 1980 graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. While at N.I.U. he performed with the 2 O’clock Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Ron Modell. I earned my M.M.ed. in 1988 from VanderCook College of Music graduating “Summa cum laude”.  I was privileged to study clarinet from Clark Brody, Larry Combs, J. David Harris and Stan Davis. I studied conducting from Margaret Hillis (Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus) and Seiji Ozawa.  I have performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under James Levine and Seiji Ozawa. I retired from my 35year public school teaching career in 2015. For 25 years I was Director of Bands at Monroe Middle School in Wheaton. While at Monroe Middle School my bands qualified for the I.G.SM.A. State Festival each of those 25 years. Achieving Division I Concert Band ratings at State Competition 23 years and Division I Jazz Band ratings each of the 25 years, 14 of those years with a second jazz band as well. I have hosted the I.G.S.M.A. District VII /State Jazz contests for 10 years and Solo and Ensemble Contests three times. I served as I.M.E.A. Jazz Chair for District 9 for 5 years. The Monroe Concert Band performed at the 2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

In 1998 I started the Youth Jazz Ensemble of DuPage. YJED is a non-for profit 501c3 organization. In 2001 YJED was selected as a finalist for the Essentially Ellington Festival in New York City. At the EE Festival they received “Honorable Mention” status. In 2003 and 2019 YJED was selected to perform with Terell Stafford and Rick Haydon at the Illinois Music Education Convention in Peoria. In 2005 YJED had the honor of performing with Gordon Goodwin at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and in 2008 YJED was selected as the winner of the “Conglomerate Division” for the Essentially Ellington Festival. YJED has had the privilege of performing/recording with such jazz greats as Mark Colby, Rob Parton, Orbert Davis, Terell Stafford, Victor Goines, Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Weist, and Clay Jenkins.

Church Musician Career

Director of Music-Faith United Methodist in Elgin from 1984-1994. Responsible for overseeing youth and adult choral program. 1995-2017 Director of Music at First Congregational Church of Dundee. Responsible for Children’s and Adult vocal choirs, oversee 5 bell choirs and organist. Hiring guest musicians, building choral library from 500 to over 1200 anthems, create, organize, rehearse and prepare praise band singers for weekly worship. Select music for three Sunday weekly services, two traditional and one contemporary. Evaluate music staff, attend weekly staff meetings. Coordinate and director a European performance tour. Select new organ for new church building.

2017-present Director of Music Immanuel Lutheran Crystal Lake.

Current Performance/Teaching Schedule

  • Rockford Wind Ensemble, clarinet
  • Adjunct Professor of Clarinet/Saxophone at Judson University, Elgin
  • EYSO Private Clarinet Instructor
  • Director of Music at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake
  • Clarinet/Saxophone Instructor at Larkin HS, Elgin

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