Brass & Woodwinds

ELI WYNN - Woodwind (Saxophone - Clarinet - Flute)

Eli Wynn is a new face in the Chicago jazz scene that is respected for his dedication to artistic integrity and fresh approach to the tradition of the music. He has toured both domestically and internationally with projects including Analog Dialogue, Disconnect Reconnect, The Perrilles Project, and the Northern Illinois University Faculty-Student Engagement Program.

Eli has been teaching music professionally since 2013 and has been a constant source of inspiration for talented young musicians with a passion to succeed. He has maintained a woodwind studio of 15 - 20 students since January 2019 with MECA, and every single student of his has received a superior rating at each solo/ensemble festival where they have participated.

An avid composer, Eli has been hired to ghostwrite music for a PBS documentary, commissioned to arrange his own compositions for big band, and genre bent the works of artists from David Bowie to Elvis Presley. Inspired by Eddie Harris, one of his heroes on the instrument, he developed his own modular electric saxophone system based on the design of Harris’ “Varitone” system from 1967.  

Eli received his Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Jazz Studies from the University of Montana in 2017, and his Master of Music from Northern Illinois University in 2019. He continues to push the boundary of what is possible when combining acoustic and electronic instruments.

MAJA DINGER - Oboe

An avid performer, teacher, and reed- maker, Maja Dinger is a sought after oboist in the Phoenix area. She currently is the adjunct oboe instructor at Paradise Valley Community College, and performs regularly with the Symphony of the Southwest, West Valley Symphony, and Prescott Pops Symphony. Maja Dinger received her Bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from Eastern Illinois University and her Master’s degree in oboe performance from Northern Illinois University. She also studied in Salzburg, Austria, and will perform Carmen, Marriage of Figaro, and The Magic Flute in Vienna in 2021. She is currently working on her Doctoral degree at Arizona State University with Martin Schuring. Ms. Dinger has taught music history at the collegiate level for two years. When she is not making reeds or practicing, Maja enjoys playing with her dog, hiking, and spending time with her family.  

VIRTUAL Lessons

DEREK DETZLER - Brass ( Trumpet / Trombone / Baritone )

Derek Detzler is currently an undergraduate Jazz Studies major at NIU. In high school, Derek was an active member in school ensembles, performing in the jazz ensemble, wind symphony, and marching band as well as ILMEA Honor bands and orchestras. In addition to school ensembles, Derek regularly performed in salsa bands and his ska band. After graduating, Derek enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a trumpet instrumentalist. During his four years in the service, Derek performed in four countries and performed everything from symphonic works to marches, from jazz standards to bugle calls. The military is also where Derek picked up his second instrument, the trombone. Upon leaving the military, Derek decided to pursue a formal education at NIU, where he currently resides. At NIU, Derek plays principal trumpet for the Philharmonic Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, as well as lead trumpet with the Jazz Orchestra. 

Derek actively performs in Chicago with his jazz fusion group, Warped Wonder, his Brass Quintet, and is an active lead trumpet player on call for big bands.

ANYA (Anna) GAVIN - Brass / Trumpet / Trombone

Anya is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degrees in Performance, Music Education, and Finance at Northern Illinois University, where she studies trumpet with Dr. Mark Ponzo. Set to graduate in Fall 2020, she supplements her academic work with conducting lessons from Deb Shofner, former ILMEA State President. In addition to teaching brass, she also teaches strings and general music as part of the Fox Valley El Sistema program. Her past teaching experience includes clinical teaching at Brookdale Elementary, McCarthy Elementary, and Hampshire Middle School; volunteering at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb, and interning at The People’s Music School in Chicago.

Anya also regularly plays recitals and actively performs in local groups, including the Fox Valley Orchestra, Wheaton Municipal Band, DuPage Symphony, and Fox Valley Brass Band.  Her dream is to attend the Eastman School of Music, pursuing research connecting music education to the acquisition of fundamental life skills and tools of happiness.

IAN LETTS - Woodwind (Saxophone - Clarinet - Flute)

Ian is a 2013 graduate of Northern Illinois University (Magna Cum Laude) with a Bachelor of Music – Music Education - Instrumental degree.  He received a Type 10 Teaching Certification – K-12 and currently teaches at Thompson Junior High, Naperville North High School, Waubonsie Valley High School, and Lake Zurich High School….AND MECA !!  He has been teaching privately since 2011. In addition to teaching private lessons, Ian is also a professional saxophonist and woodwind doubler. He performs in a variety of bands covering many genres. Ian has also performed and written horn parts for some albums, most notably Breezy Rodio’s two most recent albums (“Sometimes the Blues Got Me” and “If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It”) on the Delmark Record label.

VIRTUAL Lessons

PAUL RIMSA - Beginning Trumpet

Paul started playing the Trumpet when he was 12 - taking private lessons. In High school, he played in the Concert Band and Jazz Band, were he was 1st chair trumpet for the last 3 years of school. Paul also played in the Chicago Boys Club Band, which was composed of the best players from several different schools.  After school he joined the Chicago Musicians Union and played park concerts, weddings, and other events and attended College of DuPage.

In total, Paul has been playing the Trumpet on and off for 50 years and during that time, has taught multiple Trumpet students the required exercises and proper technique using real songs and duets (to instill fun}.  He is also an accomplished organ player and has been playing the LOWREY Organ for over 7 years.

Paul brings years of musical experience to MECA and looks forward to passing his joy of music on to his students.

KRISTINE MUTCHLER - Horn / French Horn

Kristine Mutchler is a music educator with the DeKalb school district. She directs the DHS Concert Band and teaches music technology and K-5 general music. She holds degrees from Northern Illinois University in education, performance and instructional technology. An active performer, Kristine has performed with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra and Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra.

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