Striking a Chord: AUGS Band Director Leads Workshop for Illinois Music Educators


We are proud to shine a spotlight on one of our very own educators from Antioch Upper Grade School, Mr. Brendan Frank, who recently made significant contributions to the field of music education at the Illinois Music Educators Conference held at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL.

Mr. Frank, who expertly leads our Antioch Upper Grade School band, took his dedication and expertise beyond the classroom by presenting a pivotal session titled “What the Heck Is a C?! Jazz Guitar for Beginners.” His workshop aimed to demystify the role of the guitar in jazz ensembles for music educators statewide, many of whom have little to no experience with the guitar.

Understanding the unique challenges that band directors face in integrating guitarists into jazz bands, Mr. Frank designed his session to provide practical, effective strategies for music educators. His goal was clear: to ensure that from day one, guitarists can actively participate and enhance the sound of their ensembles.

The session was well-received, drawing approximately 65 attendees ranging from K-12 to collegiate music educators from across Illinois. Mr. Frank’s ability to communicate complex musical concepts in an accessible and engaging manner was particularly appreciated, as his leadership and innovative approach not only enriched the attendees’ teaching strategies, but also affirmed the important role that guitarists can play in jazz ensembles.

Mr. Frank’s contribution to the conference is a testament to his passion for music and his commitment to fostering musical talent and education at all levels. His efforts to bridge gaps in music education and enhance the capabilities of fellow music educators demonstrate a leadership that resonates well beyond the walls of our district.

We are incredibly proud of Mr. Frank’s achievements and his unwavering dedication to the advancement of music education. His leadership not only elevates his professional peers, but serves to inspire our students and enrich our community’s cultural landscape.

As Mr. Frank continues to inspire and empower our students, we look forward to more of his innovative contributions to music education. We are fortunate to have such a passionate and dedicated educator shaping the future of music in our community making D34 a destination for families.