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Stevenson PREP Launches Community Music Academy

New program will offer affordable music lessons.

’s Patriot Recreation Education Program (PREP) has launched a Community Music Academy that will provide a wide range of music lessons, ensemble experiences, and classes for youth and adults of all ages.

The Music Academy will offer affordable private lessons with highly experienced music instructors in all band and orchestra instruments, voice, piano, and guitar. Group classes include two levels of Chamber Strings ensembles, two levels of Suzuki strings classes, musicianship/theory, teen chorus, guitar ensemble, percussion ensemble, and even an Apple Garage Band class. Additional offerings are being planned to begin in January. 

For more information and to register, go to www.d125.org/prep or call (847) 415-4145.

The Music Academy was developed by recently-retired Stevenson Orchestra Director Clark Chaffee and PREP Director Greg Diethrich. Chaffee, who serves as Music Director of the PREP Chamber Strings Ensembles, also currently serves as Orchestra Conductor at Concordia College and as a Director of the Schaumburg Youth Concert Orchestra. Diethrich holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and was a community music school director before coming to Stevenson. 

The two music educators began planning the Community Music Academy concept in early 2011. They spent more than a year working with a committee of teachers and conducting surveys in order to develop ideas and get input from music teachers and parents.

“We worked closely with many of the music teachers and directors from our sender schools,” Chaffee said in a statement. “We needed to make sure that our offerings served the needs of students and teachers and provided added value to the excellent K-8 music programs in our district. The purpose of our program is to enhance and support the success of our school music programs.”

Diethrich stated, “PREP has traditionally been very strong in the areas of adult enrichment classes and youth sports. We’re now also very interested in building community arts education programs. The vision is that the Music Academy will develop into a more comprehensive Community Arts Academy, offering youth and adults in our community opportunities for learning and practicing not only music, but also visual arts, dance, and drama.”

The PREP community education program was created to expand community use of Stevenson High School facilities at no cost to District 125 taxpayers. PREP offers a wide range of classes and workshops, including in the areas of cooking and dining, arts and crafts, health and fitness, computers and business, hundreds of online courses, and youth classes, sports, and summer camps.

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