Wind and Percussion Lessons

Private lessons are strongly encouraged due to their obvious value to the students and his/her musical growth. In high school we do not have sectional lessons as in junior high/middle school. Attention to details particular to your instrument, such as alternate fingerings, trills, tuning, tone production, vibrato, etc., cannot be effectively addressed in a large ensemble setting. A private instructor can guide students considering “step-up” instrument purchases and mouthpieces to address your needs as you grow physically and develop embouchure muscles. The quality of the school band program therefore is reliant on the musical growth of its members. In fact, the need for individual instruction/tutorage/mentoring is even greater as a student advances. In any fine musical organization, the majority of students study privately.

We are very fortunate to be able to offer private lessons at LHS for those students and parents that have expressed interest. While the musical value of these lessons is obvious, this has also made it possible for students with busy after-school schedules to study privately. Most students’ lessons take place during their band or lunch periods and others, after school. If you are interested in lessons please contact the teacher below that corresponds with your respective instrument.

LHS is proud to host some of the finest teacher-performers in the Chicagoland area. Each teacher has undergone a formal interview process with the bands faculty, consisting of both a performance audition as well as a teaching episode. For further information on our impressive wind and percussion staff please read their biographies listed below.


Laurel Ann Kaiser, flutist, pianist, vocalist; M.S. in Music Ed, U. of I; B.A. in Music Ed., N.I. U; Assistant Director of Orchestras, Libertyville High School; Director, performer, Flutopia, award-winning flute choir; frequent performer for North Shore musical theatre and community events; adjudicator for I.M.E.A. auditions, I.H.S.A. organizational contests, Lake Forest concerto competitions; private flute instructor for M.H.S. and L.H.S. flutists; music theory specialist; composer/arranger Orchestral, Flute Choir and Choral music, performed at area Colleges and High Schools; lecturer for C.L.C. adult education, specializing in Music Appreciation and Opera; over 30 years experience.

Phone: 847.540.1989 Email:


Marissa LeFevre is a professional Oboist (English Horn) whose passion is teaching students of all ages and levels to love and master the oboe. As a graduate of Michigan State University in oboe performance she has performed in orchestras/ensembles throughout Michigan, Illinois, Europe (France and Germany), and Chicago-Land. She established MRL Oboe Studios in 2008 and teaches at many area high schools in the Northwest suburban area.

Her students have demonstrated impressive accomplishments, from IMEA All State Orchestra and Band and concerto competitions, to touring International orchestras and entrance into prestigious college schools of music. Ms. LeFevre’s passion for teaching is demonstrated by providing a nurturing, supportive atmosphere while helping her students navigate the complexities and challenges of the Oboe.

Phone: 815.236.0872 Email:


Jen Speer is a freelance bassoonist living and teaching in the Lake County area, she has a Masters Degree in Bassoon Performance from Northwestern University where she studied under Bob Barris. She focuses on encouraging young musicians to enjoy the process of learning the bassoon and reed making while fostering independence and self assessment. She teaches currently at Libertyville High School, Vernon Hills High School, Mundelein High School, and Stevenson High School.

Phone:  Email:


Ember Miller is currently Adjunct Professor at College of Lake County and is a private music lesson faculty member at Libertyville High School, Lake Forest High School, Mundelein High School, and Vernon Hills High School. She grew up in South Bend, Indiana where she was very active in the music scene at a very young age. She was a member of honors orchestras and bands throughout the Midwest while she was in high school.  She continued her musical studies at Michigan State University where she studied with acclaimed clarinetist Caroline Hartig.  At Michigan State, she was a member of the Wind Symphony under Kevin Sedatole and Philharmonic Orchestra under Raphael Jiménez.  She was also a founding member of the Sparta Winds, an immensely popular woodwind quintet based in Michigan who enjoyed a residency in 2009 with the Chamber Music Institute at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and premiered a piece entitled “Une Rose” by Canadian Composer; Thierry Tidrow.  After receiving a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance at MSU, she decided to continue her studies at Northwestern University where she studied from Steve Cohen.  At Northwestern, she performed with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble under Mallory Thompson and the Northwestern University Symphony orchestra under Victor Yampolsky.  Ember worked in these ensembles as a principal, Eb, bass, and contra bass clarinetist.  An advocate of new music, she was also a member of the Contemporary Music Ensemble, where she also played principal and auxiliary clarinet parts.  She graduated from Northwestern with a Masters Degree in Music Performance and Literature.  Ember is currently living in Chicago where she is in demand as an artist and a teacher. She is the principal clarinetist of the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and has performed with orchestras throughout the Midwest such as Green Bay Symphony, Illinois Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Kankakee Valley Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. 

Her students currently earn the top chairs in the premiere ensembles in ILMEA district and state competitions, Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has helped lead them to win national competitions and college scholarships.

Phone: 574.261.5928 Email:


Jared Hochberg

Jared Hochberg, a Graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, is the private saxophone instructor at LHS, VHHS, Glenbrook North, and Carmel Catholic High school, and teaches private lessons to students of all ages throughout the greater Chicago area.

Jared has taught one-on-one to students age 7-76 and in classrooms of up to 40 students. He aims to inspire students to ask questions, empower them to identify areas for growth and equip them with the tools to address those areas. In addition to providing students with a foundation of musical knowledge, theory, and instrumental technique, he focuses on the individual students’ favorite music and curiosities and works to help them pursue these interests. He has numerous examples of working with students to write songs, learning about their lives and through that effort, instilling excitement and passion for music. This approach frequently leads to the student coming up with and learning very difficult musical phrases and passages, well beyond what they were able to do in a less personal, more formal music-book context. 

Jared also has a rich history of performing, including headlining five times at Chicago's Jazz Showcase, at Evanston S.P.A.C.E., Ravinia, and many more music venues throughout the country.

Phone: 847.736.4889   Email:

Ben Voigt

Ben Voigt is a professional saxophonist and music educator in the Chicagoland area. He received his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education and Jazz Studies from DePaul University. Mr. Voigt  maintains an active performing career in Chicago where he plays with a range of musical projects including jazz big bands (including Chicago’s own Wayne Messmer Big Band), standard small jazz groups, and new ensembles performing original creative music. In addition to teaching at Libertyville High School, Mr. Voigt also teaches band, orchestra and jazz band at Vernon Hills and Buffalo Grove High Schools.

Phone:  Email:


Matt Baker holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in trumpet performance from Northwestern University and will soon be finishing my Doctoral of Music Arts degree.  He's lived in the Chicagoland area for over ten years where in addition to teaching, he is an active freelancer and performer.  He has performed with groups such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, with the Joffrey Ballet, as well as with various touring groups and performers in their Chicagoland performances including the WHO, Josh Groban, and the American Ballet Theatre.  Outside of Illinois, he's played with the orchestras of Louisville, Atlanta, and Cincinnati where he can be heard on their GRAMMY nominated album, Transatlantic.  Abroad, he's made several trips to Kuala Lumpur to perform as guest Principal Trumpet of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and has performed and taught alongside Yo-Yo Ma, and members of the Silk Road Ensemble as a fellow at Youth Music Culture Guangdong in Guangzhou China.  Although performing is still a very important part of his life and career, he is dedicated to all of his students and proudly teaches at Lake Forest College as well as the high schools of Libertyville, and Vernon Hills.

Phone: 248.561.4358 Email:


Brenda Kublank moved to the Chicagoland area in 1991 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Music Performance from Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. After receiving outstanding horn instruction from Michael Lewellen (Fort Wayne Philharmonic), Peter Landgren (Baltimore Symphony), and Gail Williams (Chicago Symphony), she was excited to be freelancing in Chicago and continuing her horn studies with Dale Clevenger of the Chicago Symphony. In her time as a freelance musician, she has performed with many orchestras, including the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Northbrook Symphony, Lake Forest Symphony, and Elmhurst Symphony. She also enjoyed performing in brass quintets throughout the Chicago area performing two summers at Navy Pier and touring with the Resonant Brass Quintet. In 1991, after graduating from college, she taught her first horn student at Stevenson High School. Although she had not planned on teaching, her colleague had talked her into it and she is thankful that she did, for it opened up a whole new world to her. She loves to pass on what she has learned to her own students, helping them grow proficient in their skills on the horn and to see their confidence and enjoyment of music. There is nothing more satisfying to her than helping her students succeed! Over her career she has helped many students prepare for music conservatories, college auditions, college scholarships, district auditions, solo competitions, and band placement auditions.

Phone: 847.367.7790 Email:


Colleen Bayoneto is the trombone teacher at Libertyville High School. Mrs. Bayoneto holds a Bachelors degree cum laude in trombone performance from Boston University, where she studied trombone with soloist Scott Hartman and Ronald Barron of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. A native of south suburban Lansing, she now lives in Chicago and divides her time between teaching and free-lancing. In addition to her work at LHS, she is a lesson teacher and chamber music coach at the Merit School of Music and has also been on faculty at Carthage College. Her private lesson students have won concerto competitions, participated in the IMEA All-State Festival, and gone on to receive scholarships at some of the top music schools in the country. As a performer, she is proficient in both classical and jazz. She has performed with many orchestras in the area, The Edens Brass Trio, and plays lead trombone with the Chicago Outskirts, an all-female big band that performs regularly in Chicagoland. Mrs. Bayoneto has been on faculty at LHS since 2005.

Phone: 773.608.9144 Email:


Kendra Gohr received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois in 1999. Then, after teaching band in the public schools for four years, she returned to school and earned her Master’s degree in Euphonium Performance from The Pennsylvania State University in May of 2005. She has competed in several competitions, including the International Tuba & Euphonium Conference held in Budapest, Hungary, where she was a semi-finalist in both the euphonium artist and the tuba/euphonium quartet competitions. Back here in the Chicago suburbs, she has performed (as a sub, member or a soloist) in numerous ensembles, including the Wheaton and Naperville Municipal Bands, the Northshore Concert Band, the North Suburban Wind Ensemble, the Prairie and Chicago Brass Bands, the Solid Brass, Majestic Brass Quintet and Our Saviour’s Brass. Kendra lives in Libertyville with her husband Adam, son Owen, and daughter Annabelle. She is currently a low brass instructor at Libertyville High School, Mundelein High School and also teaches out of her home.

Phone: 630.825.4412 Email:


Bret Zwier is a Libertyville native whose eclectic performing background, and more than 20 years teaching experience, gives him a unique ability to bring out the best in every student. Bret earned a full tuition scholarship to study Percussion Performance at Northern Illinois University. He performed in their Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble and played drum set in their award winning Jazz Ensemble. He recorded Jazz Lives, which won Downbeat magazine’s ‘Best Performance’ Award. He worked summers at Great America performing in their Marching Band, Pit Orchestra, Country and Top-40 Bands. In Los Angeles, he was lead snare at Disneyland where he performed in their Marching Toy Soldier Band. Bretalso recorded and toured with pop singer, Tiffany, and can be heard on her albums, Dreams Never Die, and All The Best. A member of Grammy nominated Liquid Soul, he opened many dates for Sting including The Concert In Central Park. Other artists Bret has backed up include “Soul Man” Sam Moore, Clark Terry, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Crystals and Donald O’Connor. As a percussionist on Norwegian Cruise Lines, he toured 36 countries and became Bandmaster for NCL. Bret has worked directly with Stephen Sondheim as the percussionist for the U.S. debut of Saturday Night.  He became the house percussionist for many of the Drury Lane theatres including the inaugural run at the Drury Lane/Water Tower – The Full Monty.  Currently Bret stays busy performing around 100 dates per year including corporate gigs and weddings with his band, Front Of House.

Bret is an artist endorser for Vic Firth sticks/mallets and Evans drumheads. 

Phone: 847.951.4499  Email: