MAY 2017

Suzuki Concerto Concert

Friday, May 12 | 7:15 pm
Pierce Chapel | Wheaton College

Students, ages 14 to 18, who study the Suzuki method in the CSA, will perform concerto repertoire for violin, piano and cello. Groups performing are the Vivaldi Strings, the Senior/Faculty Ensemble and Con Fuoco. Featured composers are: Rachmaninoff, Saint Saëns, Dvorák, Mozart, Bach, Sarasate, and Brahms. CSA invites anyone who enjoys classical music and is interest in learning more about CSA’s programs to attend.


Messiah graphic

Suzuki Strings Christmas Concert

December 10, 2016 | 10 am
Edman Chapel | Wheaton College

Over 300 Suzuki students ages three through high school perform selections from Handel’s Messiah, Christmas carols and holiday favorites in this annual family-friendly Christmas concert. The concert will also feature calligraphy artwork by Timothy R. Botts from his book "Messiah".

visual art exhibit

Fall Visual Art Exhibits

CSA Art students will exhibit their Fall work in two additional locations: Pierce Commons on the Wheaton College campus and the Wheaton Public Library. Classes featured are Ceramics (including glasswork), Artful Play (paper mache), Advanced Studio Arts (carved block printing) and Home School Arts (ceramics).

Pierce Commons Exhibit
located on the ground floor of Pierce Chapel
November 11-28

Wheaton Library Exhibit
located on the Children's Level
November 16-December 13


visual art exhibit adult watercolor community school of the arts class wheaton

Adult Watercolor Exhibit

Visual Art students will exhibit their watercolor artwork at Carlson's Art Store in downtown Wheaton, October 21-November 4, 2016. Join the artists for an opening reception on October 22, 1-3pm at Carlson's located at 111 E Front Street, Wheaton.

NEW Watercolor class added:
$145/6 weeks | OCT 26–DEC 7, 2016 (no class week of Thanksgiving)
WED 6-8 pm | Visual Art Studio | Patricia Helbig

color my world art exhibit

Color My World Art Exhibit

CSA visual art students will exhibit their artwork at Carlson's Art Store in downtown Wheaton, October 21-November 4, 2016. Join the young artists for an opening reception on October 22, 1-3pm at Carlson's located at 111 E Front Street, Wheaton.

CSA Student Wins Gold for Original Composition

Marliyn Gans, age nine, a student of Carol Beilke at the Community School of the Arts, won Gold in the Junior Division of the Hal Leonard/Carol Klose Composition Competition for her piano entry entitled 'Solstice'. Listen to the piece here.


CSA Student Performs with Wheaton College Symphony

csa student sophia radovic performs with wheaton college symphony

CSA student, Sofia Radovic, soloed with the Wheaton College Symphony at the annual Children's Concert in late September. Sofia has studied violin at CSA under the direction of Julie Bickel for 2 years. To watch the concert, click here

JUNE 2016

CSA Piano Student Wins Gold Medal

Maggie Li, student of Carol Beilke, won a gold medal at the 11th Annual Southwest Suburban piano Festival in Bolingbrook, IL on April 23, 2016. She was required to perform scales and a sight-reading example. Maggie performed Nocturne in C# minor, Op. post. by F. Chopin. Congratulations, Maggie!

MAY 2016

Quinta Essentia - Brazilian Recorder Quartet

SAT | MAY 21 | 7 PM | Pierce Chapel | NO ADMISSION CHARGE

Quinta Essentia

Vivaldi Strings Benefit Concert | June 4th | 7PM | Pierce Chapel | $5

Vivaldi Strings Benefit Concert

Vivaldi Strings is an auditioned group of advanced strings students directed by CSA faculty member Julie Bickel. Vivaldi Strings provides a wide variety of performance opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. Vivaldi Strings will tour Scotland in Summer 2016. 

Tickets available at the door or by contacting Patty: 630-910-5468

 April 2016

CODA in the News

CSA was recently awarded a generous grant from the JCS Fund of The DuPage Foundation. The grant will help sustain CSA’s CODA program, which provides free music and visual arts instruction to more than 1600 students in 12 locations in DuPage County. 

Read more:

February 2016

CSA Students Recognized in Scholarship Competition

CSA students are among the winners of the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Music Club's 2016 Scholarship Competition. 

Strings Junior Division–Honorable Mention 
John White (Emily Puntuzs)
Joseph Brackmann (Carol Ourada)

Piano Senior Division–Honorable Mention 
Maggie Li (Carol Beilke)
Bethany Taylor (Carol Kwak) 

Piano Junior Division–Honorable Mention 
Perry Zhao (Carol Kwak)

Congratulations, students and teachers!

CSA Piano Student's Composition "The Setting Sun" Advances to State Competition

James McGraw, CSA piano student of Carol Beilke, wrote an original piano composition for the annual PTA Reflections art program. Entitled "The Setting Sun," James' piece advanced through the school, district and regional levels and has moved on to the state competition. The Reflections program invites students to create works of art in various categories, including musical composition. James is in the 6th grade at Franklin Middle School in Wheaton. Congratulations, James, on your composition!

ECOLAB Foundation supports CODA

CSA's CODA program is pleased to announce The ECOLAB Foundation has joined our list of supporters. Thank you, ECOLAB Foundation for your support of CSA's Community Outreach for Developing Artists program.

January 2016

CSA Announces Preparatory Scholarship Winners

CSA is pleased to announce the winners of the Preparatory Scholarship Audition. 

Junior Division
1st – Jacob Chang, student of Carol Beilke
2nd – Kyle Haake, student of Carol Beilke
Honorable Mention – Samuel Wilson, student of Carol Beilke 

Senior Division
1st – JP McHargue, student of Joseph Cisar
2nd – Syamala Gumidyala, student of Kevin Brown 

Students who auditioned will perform in the Preparatory Honors Recital on Sunday, January 31 at 3pm in Pierce Chapel on the Wheaton College campus. Congratulations, students!

December 2015

CSA Faculty Carol Ourada Performs with Chicagoland Educators Orchestra

CSA Suzuki String faculty member, Carol Ourada, performed with the Chicagoland Educators Orchestra at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago on December 17, 2015. More than 17,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 30 countries, attended the conference. For more information, visit

community school of the arts visual art  community school of the arts preschool art  community school of the arts ceramics  community school of the art ceramics

CSA Visual Art Exhibits

Pierce Commons
November 6-January 21, 2016
Pierce Chapel, Wheaton College 

Wheaton Public Library
November 11-December 9 (lower level)
225 North Cross Street, Wheaton

CSA's Student Exhibitions celebrate the hard work and talent of students enrolled in our Visual Art Program. The Wheaton Library will host CSA student work on lower level in the Children's Department November 11 through December 9. The exhibit in Pierce Commons is on-going and work will be on display until January, 2016. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

November 2015

CSA Students Performed at Illinois Music Education Association's Festival on November 21, 2015

ILMEA middle school orchestra festival:
Luke Burden, violin
Daniel Kaminski, violin
Eron Ristich, violin
Nina Hamilton, viola
Elizabeth Kochergin, viola
Jane Sottrell, viola
Sam Walhout, viola
John White, viola
Joe Brackmann, cello
Simon Leonard, cello
Danny O'Connell, cello
Luca Warren, cello

ILMEA high school orchestra festival:
Elizabeth Chang, violin
Kiran Daniel, violin
Alyssa Gao, violin
Kevin Li, violin
Marisa Sadauskas, violin
Amelia Simpson, violin
Kelly O'Connell, violin
Amy Xie, violin
Sarah Zhu, violin
Annie Hu, viola
Aoife McGivern, viola
Sarah O'Connell, viola
Lily Sadauskas, viola section leader
Alexander Daigle, cello
Courtney Fung, cello
Will Lyon, cello

Students and Faculty Help the Community

Last month, over 180 CSA students and families served the community in groups led by a faculty members for Artists Serving Others. Various service opportunities were available including music performances at ESSE, Prairie Path clean-up and baking cookies at the Ronald McDonald House. Thank you, all who put CSA's mission statement into action.

community school of the arts IMEA violin and viola students

CSA Students Selected to Perform at IMEA

Six high school students of Sarah Lindquist performed at district 9 IMEA orchestra concert on November 7. Pictured are: Lily Sadauskas, viola section leader; Elizabeth Chang, violin; Kelly O'Connell, violin; Sarah O'Connell, viola; Marisa Sadauskas, violin. (not pictured Kevin Li)

September 2015

CSA Receives Musikgarten's Exemplary Program Award

Community School of the Arts' Early Childhood Program was awarded The 2015 Musikgarten Exemplary Program Award. As one of only seventy-five programs in North America to receive this prestigious award, this recognition signifies that CSA offers a full complement of Musikgarten classes for children from birth to 9 years old. To learn more about the Early Childhood classes CSA offers, please visit our Early Childhood page.

August 2015

Beethoven's Buddies Student Performs in Seattle Park

Many have heard Dr Bauer talk about or seen Spencer Hua perform. Spencer has taken piano through Beethoven's Buddies for 10 years. He is visiting family in Seattle and was walking through a park. There were pianos in the park and he decided to sit down and play. This led to a video of his playing being posted on the Seattle Pianos in the Parks competition–view his video below. Please click on the link and vote for Spencer–his video is the Liszt Consolation No. 3.

The people who submitted the video had no idea he  has autism. Please if you feel inclined, share the story and vote!

Beethoven's Buddies Students Perform at National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy–Dr Beth Bauer Speaks at Conference

Beethoven's Buddies Spencer Hua and Joseph Williams performed at the 2015 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. They are students of Dr. Beth Bauer. Dr. Bauer is the chair of the committee on Teaching Students with Special Needs. The sessions were titled: "You Can do It!: The Inclusion of Students with Autism in the Piano Studio" and "Seeing Through Your Fingers: How to Include Students with Vision Impairments In the Piano Studio."

June 2015

community school of the arts new logo

CSA's New Logo

CSA's new logo was designed to reflect the dynamic fine arts experience at Community School of the Arts. We hope you enjoy our new look!

June 2015

community school of the arts workshop glass fusing by robin kittlesonStudents Create Glass Self Portraits

Using a variety of sheet and accessory glass, students created self portraits in this 4-8th grade workshop taught by artist Robin Kittleson. Robin will return to CSA next Spring to teach glass fusing for adults. 


Vivaldi Strings Tour Alaska

CSA's performing ensemble, Vivaldi Strings is on a tour of Alaska. On tour, the group will perform in various locations, including the Suzuki Institute in Fairbanks, The University of Alaska at Anchorage and Mount McKinley. CSA Faculty and Vivaldi Strings director, Julie Bickel, is traveling with the group of 19 students plus chaperones.


May 2015

Former CSA Students Recognized at ASCI Art Festival 

Two former CSA Visual Art students received awards from the ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Art Festival. Liberty Penosky won Best-of-Show for her pencil drawing of an eye. She also was awarded a Superior (blue ribbon) for her ceramic coil pot, "Roses." Elliya Sorenson was awarded a Superior (blue ribbon) for her ceramic coil pot, "20,000 Leagues".

Congratulations, Liberty and Elliya on your accomplishments in visual art!

community school of the arts visual art charcoal eye community school of the art visual art ceramic pinch pot community school of the arts visual art ceramics 20,000 Leagues



April 2015

CSA Piano Students Perform in ISMTA's Honors Recital 

Four students of CSA instructor, Carol Beilke were chosen to participate in the ISMTA's Honors Recital on Sunday April 12, 2015 at Gary United Methodist church. Rachael Lee, Jeremiah Lee, Isaac Harris and Wesley Sudarman were chosen for outstanding performance of their pieces.

Spring Visual Art Exhibit opens at Carlson's Wheaton

community school of the arts junk art miss piggyCSA's Spring Visual Art Exhibit featuring ceramics, sculpture and watercolor is on display at Carlson's Art & Paint in downtown Wheaton. The exhibit will be open through June 6, 2015.

CSA Piano Student, Hera Miao, wins Glenbard South Concerto Competition

Hera Miao, senior, student of Carol Beilke, won the concerto competiton at Glenbard South high school, GlenEllyn, IL. She performed the 3rd movement - Rondo all' Ongharese of Haydn's Concerto in D Major. The concert will be on May 20, 2015, 7pm.


February 2015

CSA Students Selected to Perform at Illinois Music Education Association (IMEA)

All State Honors Orchestra
Alyssa Gao, violin
Lily Sadauskas, viola
Claire Wright, viola
Sarah Zhu, violin

Con Fuoco performs National Anthem for Sports Events

Con Fuoco played the National Anthem for Wheaton College Men's basketball game at King Arena on Saturday, February 7th.
Con Fuoco also performed the National Anthem at the Wheaton College wrestling event finals (Pete Wilson-Wheaton Invitational) on Saturday, January 31st. Con Fuoco was invited to perform by Wheaton College wrestling coach and CSA parent, Jim Gruenwald.

CSA Open Monday, February 2

CSA will remain open today, Monday, February 2, 2015. Classes and lessons will go on as scheduled. If a teacher decides to cancel private lessons, he or she will contact you directly. Otherwise, please plan on attending your scheduled lesson.


January 2015

CSA begins "Brush With Art" program for Seniors

CODA brush with art

Brush With Art, new outreach program for seniors at both West Chicago and Addison Park Districts started this month. The program offers four, 6-week courses and four, 3-hour workshops, taught by CSA Visual Art instructor, Jenny Nagle.

CSA Receives $37,500 from JCS Fund for new CODA program in Glendale Heights

CSA is grateful for a $37,500 grant from the JCS Fund of The DuPage Community Foundation for a new CODA start-up in Glen Hill and Pheasant Ridge Elementary Schools in Queen Bee District 16, Glendale Heights. Early Childhood Music classes will be provided to 90 high needs preschool students beginning January 21. Additionally, the grant will fund  new Suzuki Recorder programs at Educare West DuPage and Marquardt District 15, as well as a number of curriculum and operational improvements for CODA.


December 2014

CSA CODA Program Receives $7,500 from DuPage Community Foundation

The Community School of the Arts was the grateful recipient of a $7,500 grant from The DuPage Community Foundation on December 3, 2014. The monies will be used to sustain and grow the CODA Program which provides weekly early childhood music classes and semi-private and private violin and recorder instruction to children in DuPage County who would otherwise not have these opportunities.

CSA Students Selected to Perform at Illinois Music Education Association (IMEA)

IMEA middle school orchestra
Jakob Jaquinde
Kevin Li
Amelia Simpson
Henry Sottrel 

Sarah O’Connell, principal

Will Lyon, principal
Simon Leonard
Alexander Ristich
Luca Warren

IMEA high school orchestra
Alyssa Gao*, concertmaster
Kelly O’Connell
Julie Park
Sarah Zhu*

Lexie Livingood
Lily Sadauskas* 
Claire Wright*

* IMEA All State Orchestra

Claire Wright won first place in the Elgin Youth Symphony concerto competition, and will
perform with the orchestra in the spring.

Annie Hu has been selected to participate in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Youth in Music Festival Orchestra. She will play under the baton of CSO music director Riccardo Muti in a open rehearsal at Orchestra Hall on Feb 23.

CSA Partners with CCCL to Provide Arts Programming in West Chicago

CSA is a partner organization in a 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant received by West Chicago District 33 on November 25. CCLC is a new program established by Congress for the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. CSA will now participate in the planning of arts programming for the after-school centers, as an extension of the CODA outreach program which has been operating in the District since 2008.


November 2014

CSA Receives Grant for Visual Art

CSA has received a new $13,000 visual art grant from JCS Fund of The DuPage Community Foundation. The funding will support a new outreach program - Brush With Art for seniors at both West Chicago and Addison Park Districts. The program offers four, 6-week courses and four, 3-hour workshops, taught by CSA Visual Art Program Coordinator, Jenny Nagle. The grant will also fund Open Studio time for currently enrolled CSA students, allowing them to work on projects in the Art Studio on Wednesdays and Saturdays under the supervision of a Wheaton College art major.


October 2014

CSA Community Engagement

Looking for something to do? Support CSA by dropping by one or more of the following community events. 

9-11am & 6:30-8pm
Preschool Resource Fair, Wheaton Public Library
Local preschools share information on their programs and answer questions. Stop by with your preschooler and try out a child-sized violin between 6:30-8pm with CSA Faculty, Sarah Lindquist.

Halloween Costume Parade, Town Square Wheaton
Dress up in your costume and head over to Town Square Wheaton for fun activities including face painting and trick-or-treating. Look for CSA hosting a pumpkin painting table!

Costume Contest & Trick-or-Treating, Downtown Wheaton
Costume contest, pet costume contest and trick-or-treating. Look for CSA's table outside Carlson's Art.

Vivaldi Strings concert, Wheaton Public Library-main floor
Did you know Sherlock Holmes played the violin? Enjoy music from CSA's Vivali Strings.

Art & Music Experience 2014–Chicago Museum Adventure
Pierce Chapel
Explore the sights and sounds of Chicago Museums at our family-friendly art and music event featuring CSA faculty and students. Continue your adventure by trying an instrument, creating a piece of art or engaging in a special early childhood activity!

Preschool Resource Fair, Glen Ellyn Library
Local preschools share information on their programs and answer questions. Stop by with your preschooler and try out a child-sized violin between 6-8pm with CSA Faculty, Sarah Lindquist.

Joshua Roman Inspires CSA Cello Choir


On October 11th the CSA Cello Choir received an inspiring master class from artist cellist Joshua Roman, who is from Seattle. Then that evening the CSA cello students and families together attended the Wheaton College Artist Series for his performance.

CSA Joins Illinois Art Education Association


CSA is pleased to become a member of the Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA). IAEA promotes quality art education for children and adults. Professional development is offered through the annual conference, mini-conferences, publications (including the newsletter, the Mosaic), and exhibits. Learn more about IAEA >>


September 2014

Beethoven's Buddies Student to Perform at Autism Benefit

Spencer Hua will perform Chopin Berceuse in D♭major, Op. 57 and Liebestraum No. 3 in A♭ major by Franz Liszt for the Autism Speaks Fundraiser at Northwestern University on Thursday, October 2, 1014. Hua is a student of CSA faculty member Dr. Beth Bauer.

Vivaldi Strings to perform at Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser

Support Vivaldi Strings and the Ronald McDonald House on Thursday, September 11, 7:45-8:15pm at Toms Price Store, 303 E Front Street, Wheaton.

Elmhurst Symphony Concerto Night Gala

"Concerto Night" with the ESO features two former CSA students, Serena Harnack and Lucie Ticho, winners of the Stanger Young Artist Auditions. This concert opens the ESO season on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 7pm. Visit for tickets and more information.


August 2014

CODA Outreach Expansion

After recent meetings with school officials in Marquardt School District in Glendale Heights, CSA will begin providing CODA music classes to high needs Kindergarten children at Black Hawk School and pre-schoolers at Winnebago School, as of September 25, 2014.

"Patterns in the Arts are the Keys to Learning" PLATO

GETTING SMART  by Alexandra Eaton

“Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, and children should be taught music before anything else … I would teach the children music, physics and philosophy, but the most important is music, for in the patterns of the arts are the keys to all learning.” Plato spoke these words more than two thousand years ago … more >>


July 2014

Composer and CSA Faculty Member Anne Sullivan Releases "British Suite"

A new composition for flute and piano evoking a bit of royalty alongside a lot of fun! British Suite offers three movements: London Square; Four O'Clock; and Canterbury Tales. CSA Flute Faculty Anne Sullivan holds an MM from DePaul University and has performed and taught in France, Taiwan and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She also has recorded two solo albums with guitarist Muriel Anderson. Listen to British Suite here >> and here >>.

Music May Make Babies Team Players


"Researchers found that toddlers who were bounced to the beat of a song tended to be more helpful." more >>

CSA offers Early Childhood Music classes for babies–9yrs.


June 2014

Maestro CSA!

CSA has earned Mezzanine Level Maestro status as a Kindermusik educator. Mezzanine Level Maestro recognition is reserved for educators who serve a significant number of children. CSA serves over 140 students in our Early Childhood program.

Vivaldi Strings Tours Japan 

CSA student performing ensemble, Vivaldi Strings, sets off on a tour of Japan this month. The touring group which includes 19 students plus parent chaperones and director, Julie Bickel, will visit the cities of Tokyo, Matsumoto and Kyoto. Performances will include appearances at TERI (Talent Education Research Institute), NHK Studios and Kyoto-Muromachi Square.

May 2014

Beethoven's Buddies Featured in Tribune Article

May 23, 2014 | By Vikki Ortiz Healy | Chicago Tribune reporter

The boy takes his piano teacher's arm, and they walk toward the stage. She helps him face the audience for an introductory bow, then guides him onto the bench and places his fingers on the starting keys. more >

APRIL 2014

Violin Student Wins the Fox Valley Orchestra Concert

Alyssa Gao, student of CSA faculty member Julie Bickel, tied for first place in the Fox Valley Orchestra Youth Concert Competition. Alyssa will perform Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole on June 22, 2014 at the Paramount Theatre for the chance to win the opportunity to be the featured soloist at the Fox Valley Orchestra Concerto Concert. more >

CSA Student Performs in Honors Recital

Rachel Lee, a student of CSA faculty member Carol Beilke, was was chosen to play in the AIM Honor's recital for the West Suburban ISMTA chapter. more>

MARCH 2014

The Importance of Art in a Child's Development

by MaryAnn F. Kohl Creating art expands a child's ability to interact with the world around them, and provides a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. Not only does art help to develop the right side of the brain, it also cultivates important skills that benefit a child's development. more >

Prep Jazz/Pop Recital

18 CSA Preparatory piano students performed in Jazz Trios at the Jazz/Pop Festival on March 2. CSA student Jeremiah Lee played "Here I Am to Worship" by J. Hughes and was accompanied by Wheaton College students Gunnar Kuehl on guitar and Mark Andersen on drums. Con Fuoco opened the recital with "Give My Regards to Broadway".

CSA Offers Teacher Workshops

Wheaton College Community School of the Arts invites you to Teacher Workshops with Pamela Devenport, clinician. One session is for all instrument teachers, and one session is for cellists. Find more information and the enrollment form.  Hope you can join us!


Students Play in the Illinois Federation of Music Clubs

Piano students of Virginia Robin played for judges at the Merit School of Music in Chicago on Sunday, February 23. Ruthie and Micaiah Bovey earned a superior score while J.P. McHargue and Audrey Honig both earned an excellent score. All students received a superior rating on their musicianship test. Well done, students!

CSA to Collaborate with Bright & Early DuPage Initiative

In partnership with Metropolitan Family Services DuPage, and as part of the new Bright & Early DuPage initiative for kindergarten readiness, CSA will be hosting Early Childhood Music training sessions for early care and education professionals in DuPage County. The two sessions (March 22, May 3) will be taught by CSA Early Childhood Music faculty members Ann Storm and Kathy Cathey. The sessions will feature a presentation on the Significance of Music in Child Development, observation of a CSA Early Childhood Music class demonstration and hands-on activities. Attendees will be provided with curriculum materials, CD’s and activity packets to enable them to successfully incorporate music into their programs. Funding for the training is provided by JCS Fund of DuPage Community Foundation.


Visual Art Exhibit Openings

community school of the arts community school of the arts 









Join CSA Visual Art Students as they celebrate the opening of two exhibits in downtown Wheaton this weekend, February 21 & 22.

Students of Jenny Nagle will open an exhibit at Caribou Coffee on Friday, February 21, 6–8 pm. Artwork will then be on display in Pierce Commons on the Wheaton College campus February 26–April 7.

Students of Elaine Rau will open an exhibit at Carlson Paint on Saturday, February 22, 5–7 pm. Artwork will be on display at Carlsons through March 8.


CSA Open

CSA will remain open on Monday, February 17. Classes and lessons will go on as scheduled.

2014 Guild Awards

Gabriella Herrera — 5-Year National Award  

CSA Student Update on IMEA

IMEA All State Honors Orchestra
Alyssa Gao, principal second violin
Annie Hu
Mary Otto
Lily Sadauskas 
Jacob Walhout

CSA Students Share Music and Joy

community school of the arts community school of the arts

Over 200 Suzuki string students performed at seven area retirement communities on Saturday, February 8. The students enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the local community while lifting the spirits of residents through music and interaction.

Students Perform at DuPage Convalescent Center

Beethoven's Buddies and other Preparatory piano students brought the joy of music to residents of DuPage Convalescent Center on Sunday, February 2.  Thank you students for sharing your gifts with our community!

CSA Preparatory Scholarship Audition Winners


First place
Maggie Li, student of April Burkhart

Second place
Albert Kwong, student of Barb Farley


First place
Hera Miao, student of Carol Beilke

Second place
Abraham Godson, student of Carol Beilke


CSA is open for normal operations today, Saturday, February 1. Classes and lessons will go on as scheduled. 


CSA Remains Open 

CSA will be open for normal operations on Monday, January 27 and Tuesday, January 28. Classes and lessons will go on as scheduled. Keep checking the CSA homepage for updates if the situation changes.

CSA Awarded $10,000 Matching Grant from NEA

The Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College has been awarded a $10,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts' Challenge America: Arts Engagement in American Communities program.  The NEA funds, along with matching donations, will help to provide music education to students from low-income families.

CSA Instructor named EYSO 2014 Music Educator of the Year

CSA is pleased to announce that Julie Bickel, Suzuki violin instructor and Vivaldi Strings director, has been named the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) 2014 Music Educator of the Year. She will be receiving the award at the orchestra’s March 16 concert. Congratulations, Julie, on your achievement and your continued dedication to music education.

Representing CSA at the Biennial Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) Conference in Minneapolis, May 2014

Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas (SYOA)

Elijah Livingood

Joe Brackmann
Madeline Chang
Alan Chen
Abigail Hutter
Elizabeth Kochergin
Emmeline Song
Quinton Reh

Suzuki Young Artists String Ensemble
Lexie Livingood

International Ensembles Concert
Vivaldi Strings 

CSA Students Selected to Perform at Illinois Music Education Association (IMEA)

IMEA All State Honors Orchestra
Alyssa Gao, principal second violin
Annie Hu
Mary Otto
Lily Sadauskas 
Jacob Walhout

IMEA All State Orchestra 
Ester Fang
Alyssa Gao
Annie Hu
Lily Sadauskas 
Jacob Walhout

IMEA District Orchestra
Middle School
Gabriella Herrera
Naomi Keane
Simon Leonard
Will Lyon
Aoife McGivern
Danny O’Connell
Kelly O'Connell
Sarah O'Connell, principal viola
James Ost
Amelia Simpson
Emmeline Song
Henry Sottrel
Martin Vanderschoot
Abby Walhout

High School
Alexander Daigle
Ester Fang
Alyssa Gao
Annie Hu, principal viola
Ivy Lei
Mary Otto
Lily Sadauskas
Mary Sliva
Jacob Walhout
Claire Wright

IMEA District Choir
High School
Tessa O'Connell

Elgin Symphony Master Class with Violinist Michael Ludwig

Michelle Chin


Students Bring Cheer to Edward Hospital

Community School of the Arts

CSA students braved the snow on January 2 to play Christmas music at Edward Hospital. The ensemble group included: David D'Antonio, Annie Hu, Elizabeth Kochergin, Mary Otto, Amelia Simpson and Joshua Tong. Thank you, students for your donation of time and talents!


CSA Student Performs at House of Blues

Community School of the Arts

Tessa O'Connell, student of Beth Bauer performed at House of Blues in Chicago on December 29, 2013.

West Chicago CODA Students Perform

Community School of the Arts Students served by CODA's program in West Chicago enjoy a break from after their Christmas performance.

CODA-World Relief Christmas Program

Community School of the Arts CODA students at World Relief perform Christmas songs on December 19 for their families. 

Senior Wins Wheaton North HS Concerto Contest

Senior Jacob Walhout won the Wheaton North High School Concerto Contest with the highest score. He will perform Praeludium and Allegro by Fritz Kreisler on violin in February. He has studied Suzuki violin and viola with Sarah Lindquist since 2003. Congratulations, Jacob!

Brighton Gardens Performance

Thanks to the Cello Choir who performed Christmas songs at Brighton Gardens Saturday Dec 14th. Making up the Cello Choir were CSA students: Honor Perrine, Ester Fang, Ian Scroggs, Alexander Daigle, Melissa Milford, Alexander Ristich, and Andy Votava. 

Local Bookstore Hosts CSA Performers

Local residents and families listened to Christmas songs, sang along to familiar carols, and rang bells as CSA students played at the Big Red Schoolhouse Bookstore in downtown Wheaton on Saturday Dec 14th. Thanks to Kelly O'Connell, violin; Sarah O'Connell,viola; Danny O'Connell, cello; and Simon Leonard, cello. The Big Red Schoolhouse Bookstore sends a portion of their proceeds to the "Water for Africa" projects.

DuPage Community Foundation Provides Grant for CODA

A $7,500 grant was received from the DuPage Community Foundation for the ongoing work of CSA’s Community Outreach for Developing Artists program (CODA), which provides no-cost music instruction to more than 500 at-risk children in DuPage County who lack exposure to the arts due to financial and demographic barriers. The CODA program is currently focused in West Chicago District 33 schools, with a small component at World Relief DuPage Preschool in Wheaton. The District 33 program includes both a Suzuki violin and a recorder program, as well as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten early childhood music classes.

Students Invited to Play on Steve Cochran Show

CSA students were invited to Ivy Restaurant to play for a remote broadcast of WGN radio's Steve Cochran show on December 13. They played 4 Christmas pieces, which were highlights from the Suzuki Strings Christmas Concert.

Thank you to performers: Carol and Lisa Ourada, Lisa Hirschmugl, Rebecca Weddle, Brian Tong, Mitchell Brunner, Amelia Simpson, Madeline and Elizabeth Chang, Maggie Mudge, Kevin Li, Marisa and Lily Sadauskas, Jane Sottrel, Kelly, Sarah and Danny O’Connell, Elizabeth, Kimberly, Jennifer, Samantha, and Bob Aalbue, Alex Jiricek, Claire Wright, Natalie and Quinton Reh, Garrett Robinson, Honor Perrine, Melissa Milford, and Courtney Fung.

This appearance was made possible due to the chamber groups that played at Ivy on 12/7. Thank you to Elizabeth Aalbue, Elizabeth Chang, Naomi Keane, Melissa Milford, Amelia Simpson, Sarah O’Connell, and Courtney Fung for great impressions that got CSA noticed and asked to participate in the broadcast.

1st Place for CSA Piano Student

Jack Coutre, student of Noretta Singley, won 1st place in the Wheaton Warrenville South Concerto Competition. He will perform Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto with the school orchestra in early February. Jack is a Senior and has been a student at CSA since 2002.

Carol McNeil hired as CODA Program Administrator 

CSA has hired a new part-time CODA Program Administrator in order to add an additional, much-needed layer of administrative oversight to our CODA outreach program. Carol has a BS in Music Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, and has 17 years of public school teaching experience. This position will allow us to further develop and expand CODA, which currently provides early childhood music classes and Suzuki violin/recorder instruction at Pioneer Elementary, Turner Elementary, the Early Learning Center and EduCare in West Chicago District 33, as well as World Relief DuPage Preschool in Wheaton.

CSA to Perform at Wheaton's Christmas Stroll

Join the festivities in Downtown Wheaton this Saturday for the annual Holiday Stroll. While you're out and about, be sure to stop in at Ivy Restaurant on Hale Street between 12:45–2pm and enjoy seasonal music performed by CSA ensembles. more >>

Training the Next Edison?

(Science Daily) — Oct. 23, 2013 — Good news for parents: Those pricey piano lessons or random toy parts littering your floors may one day lead to the next scientific breakthrough.

That's according to new Michigan State University research linking childhood participation in arts and crafts activities to patents generated and businesses launched as adults. more >>


CSA Gives Thanks

Generous Grant Broadens Reach of CODA Program

CSA’s community outreach program CODA (Community Outreach for Developing Artists) has received a $100,000 grant from the JCS Fund of the DuPage Community Foundation. 

Currently, CODA serves over 500 Hispanic, African, Arabic and at-risk children receive weekly music instruction at West Chicago District 33 locations and World Relief DuPage.  This additional funding will make a difference for hundreds of children in our community.

CSA and CODA are thankful for past support of Tyndale House Foundation, Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation, DuPage Community Foundation and numerous generous individual donors in growing this important program.

Students Find Creative Ways to Support Arts for Others

Community School of the Arts

Suzuki piano student, Jordyn Wilson, and her family raised $169 for Arts for Others by holding a garage sale. Another student, Christy Banaszewski, played cello in the narthex of her church, St Matthew United Church of Christ in Wheaton, and received $140 in donations. CODA students in West Chicago collected $100 in donations for Arts for Others. These are just a few examples of how CSA students have creatively used their time and talents to benefit others.

Arts for Others is a yearly event through which CSA students use their musical and artistic gifts to serve other students all over the world. This year, the money raised will benefit the students at Kinyago-Dandora School in Nairobi, Kenya. CSA teacher, Kathy Cathey, (pictured at left) travels to the school every few years to teach music. Learn more about Kinyago-Dandora School >> or Arts for Others. Donations will be accepted through Christmas. 

Community School of the Arts CSA Art Exhibit at Library

CSA Visual Art students present artwork in a show at the Wheaton Public Library November 14 - December 12, 2013. "Melting Snowman" by Bernard Wong. Clay and mixed media.

My Hope Wheaton | November 7

Community School of the Arts Where Do You Find Hope?

Join hundreds of others in our community on Thursday, November 7 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Barrows Auditorium at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, 500 College Ave., Wheaton, IL, for a screening of the 29 minute film, “Defining Moments,” which features the life-changing power of the gospel in the lives of three individuals (NFL player David Tyree, Illusionist Jim Munroe and singer/songwriter Lacey Sturm). 


CSA Sisters win EYSO Concerto Competitions

Congratulations to Michelle Chin, winner of the 2013-14 Youth Symphony Concerto Competiton! Michelle will perform her winning piece, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 35, 1st Movement in the spring. Congratulations also to Isabelle Chin, selected as the winner of the Philharmonia Concerto Competition for her rendition of Lalo's Violin Concerto, Symphonie Espagnole, 1st Movement. With their simultaneous wins, the Chin sisters have acchieved a first in EYSO history. Fantastic musicianship, ladies! more >>

CSA Students Perform for Mural Dedication in Wheaton

community school of the arts

Viola and Vivaldi Strings ensembles performed on Oct 6 for the dedication of Wheaton’s mural honoring the immigrant’s journey. The mural is located near the College Avenue train station. Read more about the mural >>


Children's ability to follow a beat may impact reading, language skills

(FoxNews) -- September 18, 2013 — New research is shedding light on how music education may help improve children’s reading and language skills.

In a study from Northwestern University, researchers demonstrated that children with a better sense of rhythm were able to more clearly process sound in their brains – a trait that has been linked to stronger reading and language proficiency. more>>

'Making Music May Improve Young Children's Behavior'

(ScienceDaily) -- Sep. 5, 2013 — Making music can improve both pro-social behaviour (voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another) and the problem solving skills of young children according to a new study. more >>

Italic Calligraphy Workshop Sat, Sept 14

CSA's popular Visual Art Workshop Series returns this Saturday with Italic Calligraphy. "Learn to create and flourish upper and lower case letterforms and techniques for planning a layout and lettering a favorite quotation." CSA offers monthly Workshops led by local professional artists. For more information visit Visual Art Workshop or call the office 630.752.5567.  Pre-registration required.

Playing for time: Can music stave off dementia?

(CNN) -- At 101, Frank Iacono still plays the violin. The concertmaster for the Providence Civic Orchestra of Senior Citizens in Rhode Island, he particularly enjoys playing polkas and jigs. 

... As scientists race to figure out how to promote healthy aging of the brain, and prevent dementia, their preliminary advice for senior citizens has become a chorus of voices: "Stay active! Have hobbies! Be socially engaged!"

Playing music, for some people, is a natural answer to all of those recommendations. Frank Iacono, for instance, has been playing violin since he was 13 -- just because he loves it.  Read more >>


Bringing out the Bard

Community School of the Arts

CSA offered a Shakespeare-inspired mask activity prior to Arena Theater's performance of "As You Like It" in Wheaton's Memorial Park.




Visual Art student Lemke artwork on cover of "Arts & Activities"

Community School of the Arts

Former Visual Art student Katherine Lemke has been featured as the "Young Artist" in the September issue of Arts & Activities. Katherine credits CSA's Visual Art program for providing a foundation for her recent artwork. View Katherine's Young Artist feature >>



Music Benefits Students with Developmental Delays

Great CNN article on how music opened doors for an autistic middle-schooler. CSA's Beethoven's Buddies Program facilitates cognitive and emotional growth for students with developmental delays.  Learn more about Beethoven's Buddies.

"Watch out, bullies: She's got the band behind her

(CNN) -- A few weeks ago, Emmanuela Kolman brought home her middle-school report card. She got an A in band, and her parents couldn't be prouder.

Any parent would be pleased by an A. But for 13-year-old Emmanuela, who goes by Mano, that A in band is a symbol. It represents eight months of hard work, a collection of new skills, and, most importantly, a complete turnaround in Mano's social and academic life. more >>"

CSA Students Alexander Daigle and Simon Leonard Attend American Suzuki Institute

Wheaton students Ben Alston (double bass), 15, Alexander Daigle (cello), 14, Simon Leonard (cello), 10, joined more than 1,000 parents, teachers and other kids immersing themselves in the music philosophy and teachings of Shinichi Suzuki at the 43rd Annual American Suzuki Institute (ASI) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point this summer. The dedication to furthering their skills over the summer reflects on a strong system of music education in the Wheaton area. more >>

Congratulations Visual Art student, Abigail Atkinson!

A recently published devotional book "Praise in the Time Stream of Our Lives," by author Charles Haley contains an illustration by CSA Visual Art student Abigail Atkinson.  Abigail and other Visual Art students completed an illustrations assignment, which were then submitted the the author. 

Beethoven's Buddies in the News

In the August edition of the Wheaton/Glen Ellyn Glancer Magazine, Beethoven's Buddies was featured as one of the "7 Spectacular Educational Programs for Kids."

Welcome Home Vivaldi Strings!

Vivaldi Strings returned July 25th from a five-day tour in San Francisco.  In addition to seeing the sights, Vivaldi Strings attended a San Francisco Orchestra concert and performed numerous concerts of their own in the Bay area.

cheryl sorenson community school of the arts

jenny angle community school of the arts visual art

Media Center