Faculty

Anderson, Mark
Guitar

Classical Guitarist Mark Anderson has been described as a ”soulful and intelligent musician”. Born and raised in Oak Park, Mark began strumming the guitar at age 13. Turning to classical studies at age 17, he has since gone on to complete his M.M. in classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Marc Teicholz and also received instruction from Sergio Assad, David Tanenbaum, Richard Savino, and Larry Ferrara. While at the conservatory, Mark and fellow guitarist Necati Emirzade formed Duo Tandem, an exciting and versatile chamber group. Most recently Mark has been performing with his roots-rock duo MA EGO with songwriter Eric Olson. As a faculty member at Illinois Wesleyan University, Mark recently gave the U.S. premier of “Rising Spirals” by award winning composer Chinary Ung as part of the Symposium for Contemporary Music.

Back to Top…
Bessesen, Max
Clarinet, Piano, Saxophone

Max Bessesen teachs piano, saxophone and clarinet. Max is a performer, composer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. His skills as a saxophonist and woodwind doubler have taken him across five continents and earned him awards from organizations including Downbeat Magazine, and the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund. Max has performed and recorded with artists as diverse as Dayna StephensSimone Shaheen, and Isaac Slade (of The Fray). He performs with a variety Chicago ensembles, leads his own group, and is one part of the collective quartet Echoes. Max holds degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Law & Society from Oberlin where he studied with Gary BartzEddie Henderson, and Billy Hart.

Back to Top…
Wilhelms, Jennifer
Flute

Jennifer Wilhelms ~ Flute Instructor ~ is a flutist, teacher, and scholar based in Chicago. She holds three degrees in music performance - Ph.D. (New York University), M.M. (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), and B.M. (University of North Texas) - and has studied the Alexander Technique extensively. Jennifer teaches flute and coaches chamber music students in the Chicago area, and performs frequently in solo and collaborative recitals, as well as in larger groups such as the Chicago Composers Orchestra. She has also taught introductory music history and theory classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. Jennifer is particularly interested in the topics of ear training, jazz, and managing performance anxiety. Her primary teachers were Keith Underwood, Immanuel Davis, and Mary Karen Clardy.

Back to Top…
Wilken, Patricia
Piano, Voice

Pat Wilken has a B.A. in Music from UIC, M.M. in piano performance and B.M. in voice performance from the American Conservatory of Music, and an M.B.A. in Management Information Systems form DePaul University. Patricia taught piano and voice at the Austin Academy of Fine Arts, piano at the American Conservatory of Music and Triton College. She has taught piano and voice at the Academy of Movement and Music since 1982. Patricia’s son David studied trumpet at the Academy and also taught trombone. Her daughter, Gina Sigismondi, teaches dance at the Academy and has also worked in the A.R.T.S. program. Patricia’s daughter Carolyn participated in the A.R.T.S. program and is currently studying music at the Academy. Patricia’s grandchildren Dominick and Talia Sigismondi were also in the A.R.T.S. program; they both study in the music program and Talia continues her dance training. Patricia participated in the Grant Park Summer Music Festival Chorus as well as a soloist in local area groups. Since 1970, she has been a member of the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association). Patricia worked as an information technology specialist for 28 years.

Back to Top…