A Message From Dr. Fagel
Greetings, Glenbrook South Band Students and Parents,
I hope your summer is off to a great start! I am very excited to announce that at last night’s meeting, the Board of Education hired Mr. Markeise Russell as the Instructional Supervisor for Fine Arts and the Co-Director of Bands.
Mr. Russell has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He is also completing a second Master of Arts degree at Concordia University in Chicago. Mr. Russell is finishing his fourth year as the Band Director/Lead Music Educator at Nicholas Senn High School. In this time, he grew the band program from 20 students to almost 200 students, at a time when the overall school enrollment was declining. Mr. Russell restored life to the music program at Senn, and in the process, he was named a quarterfinalist in 2018 and 2020 for the Grammy Music Educator of the Year award. He worked tirelessly to secure grant funding for the Senn program, winning a $60,000 Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Grant; he formed a partnership between Senn and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Mr. Russell is an accomplished jazz musician and an excellent instructor. In addition to co-teaching band classes with Mr. Boron, Mr. Russell will co-direct the Glenbrook South Jazz Band as an extracurricular activity beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. Very few students sign up to take Jazz Band for credit; by making it entirely extracurricular, students and instructors will have far more flexibility with participation, rehearsal times, and spaces. Mr. Russell and Mr. Boron will be in touch with the students who expressed interest in Jazz Band for credit, as well as with all band students to recruit members for Jazz Band. We will continue with the Jazz Lab and Jazz Ensemble structure, so that all musicians have an opportunity to participate.
The interview committee was impressed by Mr. Russell’s passion for music education, warm and welcoming personality, collaborative spirit, and musical and pedagogical expertise. We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Russell to the Glenbrook South community, and we have every confidence that he will challenge and inspire our students in both band and all of the fine arts.
Mr. Russell officially begins in his role as Instructional Supervisor on August 3, 2020. However, he and Mr. Boron will be in touch before that date regarding the possibility of holding band camp in August. Mr. Russell will also request to meet with the GBSIL Board this summer to begin a partnership on our students’ behalf.
All my best for a safe and healthy summer,