Faculty Profiles

John P. Rakes Headshot

John P. Rakes, DMA

Visiting Instructor of Music

On Faculty since 2014

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John Patrick Rakes is a versatile artistic director, conductor, professor, and vocal instructor whose dedication to artistic and educational excellence is evident in his performing and teaching.  He is the Artistic Director of both the Downers Grove Choral Society and the Naperville Men's Glee Club, ensembles which continue to celebrate a long-standing tradition of choral excellence under his leadership.  Recent performances include Mozart's Requiem, J.S. Bach's Christ lag in Todesbanden, and Orff's Carmina Burana.  Dr. Rakes also teaches as an Adjunct Professor at both Wheaton College and Kishwaukee College while serving as Chancel Choir Director at Hinsdale Covenant Church.

Dr. Rakes earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy (D.M.A.) from the University of Iowa where he was privileged to study under Dr. Timothy Stalter and Dr. David Puderbaugh.  At Iowa, he served as a graduate guest conductor and performed as an accompanist to the choral department while singing in the University’s elite choral ensemble, Kantorei.  His doctoral thesis, "A critical edition of Missa Gratiarum in C by Antonio Caldara (ca. 1671-1736)", was an international research and editorial project.

Dr. Rakes has earned a Master of Music (M.M.) with an emphasis in Music Education from Northern Illinois University.  At Northern, he studied choral conducting, arranging, and choral literature under Dr. Eric Johnson.  He also completed an action research thesis entitled "The Effect of Harmonic Accompaniment on the Pitch Accuracy of First and Fourth Grade Students Learning a Singing Task."  Dr. Rakes was selected to present this research at the Illinois Music Conference Poster Session in 2011.  Dr. Rakes has also earned a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) from Wheaton College.  At Wheaton, he studied conducting under Dr. Paul Wiens and Dr. Daniel Sommerville, while completing studies in piano and organ under Mr. John Zimmerman and Dr. Edward Zimmerman respectively.

University of Iowa, D.M.A., Choral Conducting, 2015

Northern Illinois University, M.M., Music Education, 2011

Wheaton College, B.M.E., Music Education, 2004

Rakes, John. “A critical edition of Missa Gratiarum in C by Antonio Caldara.” 

Expected publication in 2019 as part of the American Choral Director’s Association Historical Works Series published by Hinshaw Music.

Rakes, John. “The Supernatural Voice.” Review of The Supernatural Voice: A History of High      Male Singing, by Simon Ravens. Choral Journal, May 2018, 80-82.

Rakes, John. “A Heinrich Schütz Reader.” Review of A Heinrich Schütz Reader: Letters and      Documents in Translation, by Gregory S. Johnston. Choral Journal, August 2014, 81.

Schütz - Cantate Domino canticum novum 



American Choral Director's Association (ACDA)

Choral/Orchestral Masterpieces
Sacred Music of Antonio Caldara
Choral Literature
Music Education
Music History
Choral Arts
Community Choirs
Church Music
Voice Instruction
Collaborative Piano