About Mr. Brandon Pemberton
Director of Choirs
Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Education
University of Michigan
Master of Music in Music Education
Florida State University
Master of Education in Educational Leadership
American College of Education
Daily Class Schedule:
1st Period: Bella Voce
2nd Period: Gracenotes
3rd Period: Lunch
4th Period: Chamber Choir
5th Period: Choraliers
6th Period: Duty Period
7th Period: Intermezzo
8th Period: Plan Period
Brandon Pemberton is a passionate and enthusiastic music educator who enjoys working with students of all ages and ability levels. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, with Highest Honors. He also holds both a Master of Music Education degree from Florida State University and a Master of Educational Leadership degree from the American College of Education.
Pemberton joined Barrington Community Unit School District 220 for the 2017-18 school year as the Director of Choirs at Barrington High School. He conducts Bella Voce, Gracenotes, Chamber Choir, Choraliers, and Intermezzo. He also serves as the vocal director of the musical, director of Madrigals, director of the Spotlight - Freshman Production, and oversees five A Cappella groups.
Prior to his tenure at Barrington High School, Pemberton served as one of two choral directors in Leyden High School District 212, where he co-directed five curricular and several extra-curricular ensembles. He started his career in Community Unit School District 200, where he served as a middle school choral director.
For six seasons, Pemberton also served as the Assistant Music Director of the Grammy Award winning Anima-Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus, where he conducted the Treble and Concert Choruses. Through his work with Anima, he prepared singers for collaborations with the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Music of the Baroque, the Joffrey Ballet, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He took the Concert Chorus on tour to participate in the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans (2015), as well as the Serenade Choral Festival in Washington D.C. (2017).
About Mr. Riley Cook
Riley Cook is an energetic new choral music educator who loves teaching. Riley earned his Bachelor of the Arts degree in Choral Music Education from Carthage College in Kenosha Wisconsin. While singing at Carthage, he performed in prestigious concert halls and churches throughout the world with the Carthage Choir, such as Chicago’s Symphony Center, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Budapest to name a few. During the summer of 2019, Carthage Choir traveled to Spittal an der Drau Austria and competed in the world renowned 56th International Spittal an der Drau Chorwettbewerb. The choir was able to win both categories and take home the overall against 9 other countries from around the world. After graduating from Carthage in the Spring of 2020, Riley began his career in Community Unit School District 200 as Choral Director and General Music Teacher. Since then, he has been teaching general music and choir at South Middle School in Arlington Heights.
Outside of music, Riley loves to stay active by hiking, working out, camping, rock climbing, working on old rusty cars and trucks, and generally being outside. He is excited to join the choral music program at Barrington High School for the 2021-22 school year as Assistant Vocal Director.
About Dr. Shuyi Guan
Bachelor of Music
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Master of Music
Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University
Doctor of Musical Arts
University of Kansas
Shuyi Guan was born in Shenyang, China; being inspired by great musicians at the time she began her career as a pianist at the Middle School attached to Shenyang Conservatory of Music. As a pianist, she received recognition from fellow musicians as she received the Dean's Talent Award of the Oberlin Conservatory, Thaviu/ Issak Endowed Scholarship, and Eckstein Fund at Northwestern University. In addition, she also received scholarships to further improve her musicianship attending the Banff Centre in 2010, 2011, 2012. She is the winner at KU concerto competition, 2017, Other prizes she gained include the Special Prize- Best Duo at Chicago International Music Competition; First Prize of the “Schumann Cup” International Juvenile Piano Competition (Asia-Pacific Region), and the Third Prize of the 69thSteinway Juvenile Piano Competition (Northeast Region). As a soloist, she performed in many different countries putting herself under the scrutiny of various cultural standards; she played in Spain, Germany, China, Canada, U.S. She has also played in the masterclass of Robert McDonald, Nalita True, Julian Martin, Enrico Elisi, Boris Slutsky, Tamás Ungár etc. As an avid chamber musician, Shuyi collaborates regularly in performance with instrumentalists and singers in the United States, she has been working as collaborative pianist at Chicago Children’s Choir and North Park University.
As a piano teacher, she has taught at Lawrence Piano Studio, Organization of Piano Without Borders under the University of Kansas, Northwestern University and Oberlin Conservatory. She is the recipient of The Carol Nott Piano Pedagogy Prize at Oberlin College, 2013. Shuyi has recently obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Kansas where she studied under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Spooner. Shuyi has also studied with Alan Chow, Angela Cheng, Rosemary Platt, Dan Wen Wei in her past.
About Mr. John Hacker
Private Voice Teacher
John Hacker, a graduate of the University of Illinois, is an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Trinity International University; maintains a private voice studio of over 50 students in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago; directs for Overshadowed Theater Company; serves in his church’s music ministry. His
singing has brought him to the stages of Bowen Park Opera, DuPage Opera Theater, Light Opera Works and Drury Lane Oakbrook. Chorus engagements have included performances with both Chicago Opera Theater and Chicago’s Lyric Opera. He has directed choirs at Barrington and Crystal Lake Central High
Schools and was the artistic/musical director for Schaumburg on Stage, a musical theater production company for young performers. He and his wife, Valerie, with their 5 children, Caitlin, Caleb, Cameron, Cayden, & Cara live in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
About Ms. Michelle Areyzaga
Private Voice Teacher
As a coveted performer with a diverse repertoire, American soprano Michelle Areyzaga is held in high regard by orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed operatic roles with New York City Opera in Telemann’s Orpheus as well as in their VOX series, and has appeared in leading roles with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Opera Birmingham, Ravinia Festival, and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México.
She received her B.A. in Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University with honors and was a member of Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists. In addition she has been a member of the OperaWorks Summer intensive Program in L.A. and a member of Chicago Opera Theater’s Debut Artist Series.