The Gallery Performing Arts School 113 West First Street, Dixon, IL 61021 815/285-4924  

Broadening each student's exposure to the many facets of the Arts through Master Classes,
    workshops and performances by professional teachers and musicians.

Ann Chen Ann Chen, holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance and currently pursuing her Performer’s Certificate with Dr. William Goldenberg at Northern Illinois University. Currently, Ann is a piano instructor at Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts.

Teaching philosophy: Ann’s teaching philosophy is to let students build performance skills with solid musicianship.

Growing up in Taiwan, Ann started taking piano lessons at age five and has received several piano examination certificates including the one from ABRASM, YAMAHA, and KAWAI. With minor in Clarinet, she performed with many chamber ensembles during her college years, which includes Hwa-Kang philharmonic and Hwa-Kang wind ensemble. She also performed in National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan regularly.
Ann graduated from Chinese Culture University in Taiwan 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. During her time in Taiwan, Ann not only served as a piano teacher at YAMAHA Music School and professional music schools (middle school and high school) for years, but also ran her private piano studio with the students’ levels varying from elementary school to college. She also hosted students’ recital each semester in many recital halls.

In addition to private lessons, Ann also instructed entrance examinations for music schools, such as ear training, and aural skills as well as teaching music history and music theory classes in middle school, where she plans music lesson for students who are going to conservatory in high school. Her duties included organizing the wind ensemble concert in city concert hall each semester. Moreover, Ann is a piano accompanist for competitions, juries, and music festivals. She also served as a church pianist both in Taiwan and the United States.

Constance Deal

Constance Deal, violin, began her musical training in Hickory, North Carolina. Her summers were spent in study at Brevard Music Camp, Brevard, North Carolina and later at the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Michigan. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in violin performance from Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina. She studied with Varton Manoogian, Jeri Lucktenburg, Gabriel Pegas, and Louise Polay.

Ms. Deal is a registered Suzuki violin teacher with the American Suzuki Association. She teaches ages 2 ½ and up in the Annawan, Geneseo, Peru (at MUSIC SUITE 408).

Ms. Deal is an active member of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly at local churches and community functions. She is a founding member of the Piano Trio Music to Remember which performs at weddings and special occassions. She and her students have performed the National Anthem at games for the Peoria Chiefs Baseball team and the Peoria Rivermen Hockey team, recitals at the Hegeler Carus Mansion (LaSalle), the Reddick Mansion (Ottawa), Jeremiah Joes Coffee shop in Ottawa, and not to leave out her "Violins on Tour" at Christmas at nursing homes in the LaSalle-Peru area and the Geneseo Christmas Walk.

Ashley Fitzwater, has loved teaching Music Together® since 2013, and has been directing since 2017. She loves being a part of incorporating music into the lives of children and their families.

Ashley, violinist, is an active performer in the Chicago area. She maintains a private violin, viola, and piano studio, and holds a Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University in Violin Performance. Before moving to Illinois, she was a member of the Wichita Symphony and she performed occasionally with the Wichita Grand Opera. Throughout her career, she has been an active chamber musician.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, spending time outside, baking and cooking, and drinking coffee.

Delle Vercimak

Delle Vercimak, piano/cello, has been teaching and performing for over 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree (2008) from Western Illinois University and is Suzuki Certified. Her musical training has included many styles including jazz, pop, and classical. She has performed with orchestras in the Midwest and Germany, and currently she is a member of the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, Delle founded Manderley Strings, a professional chamber ensemble, and still works with them as their manager and cellist. From 2011-2018, Delle was the orchestra manager for the Illinois Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra.

As a pianist, Delle has collaborated with instrumentalists of all ages for concerts and recitals, provided chamber music coaching for music festivals, and worked as a music director in music theater. She has a special interest in church music and is a member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Currently she is a staff pianist/organist for St John's Lutheran Church (Mendota, IL) and directs their choir.

Delle teaches for Music Suite 408 (Peru, IL), Maestro and Mi Music Academy (LaSalle, IL), Viva! Performing Arts School (Dixon, IL), and Illinois Valley Community College (Oglesby, IL).

Currently Delle lives near Mendota, IL where she enjoys biking, making pies, and being a wife and mother.


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