Music Stars Summer Camps 2017


Campers will create THREE new musical theater pieces by taking works from the standard & pop repertoire and giving them a hilarious makeover.

Open to all instrumentalists, singers, and would-be scriptwriters & compsers ages 9-17!

TRANSFORM YOUR ENSEMBLE, REHEARSAL, AND PERFORMANCE SKILLS! Take your writing, acting, singing, and/or composing skills to a higher level.

Take your writing, acting, singing, and/or composing skills to a higher level.

Faculty: Rick Ferguson, Jennifer McCabe, Jennifer McCormick, Andrew Santiago. Scriptwriter: Evan Armacost




JUNE 26-30



Somewhere "over the rainbow" a bunch of ragamuffins are transplanted to a strange land. They are following the yellow brick road to a new home filled with witches, flying monkeys, and a really misleading tour guide.  The sun WILL come out tomorrow ONLY if they can find their benevolent Wizard!


JULY 10-14, JULY 17-21  




A rip in the time-space continuum creates this dramatic yet ham-filled collision of history, rap, duels, high society,  a Lady of the Lake, Knights of the Round Table, some overzealous egos, very expensive forests, killer rabbits and  "no Andrew Lloyd Webber!"


JULY 24-28 





One very, very big plant unites a familyand a village. Be a botanist! Five daughters, one flower shop and a dedicated band of misfits fight to keep their happy lives after a botany matchmaking experiment goes awry. Traditions-old and new-encounter sci-fi in this sweet, wild and wacky adventure.  










Rick Ferguson A native of Gadsden , Alabama , Roderick Ferguson holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Birmingham-Southern College (magna cum laude). Mr. Ferguson later earned a Master of Music Degree from the University of Houston where he studied with world-renowned concert artist Abbey Simon. His studies have also taken him to the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA and Northwestern University , where he undertook post-graduate study.

A two-time winner of the Alys R. Stephens Piano Competition (Alabama), winner of an Obelisk Award for excellence in the performing arts (Alabama) and the inaugural winner of the Brazos Valley Young Artists Competition (Texas), Mr. Ferguson has a wide range of musical interests, from the standard repertoire to new music.

Mr. Ferguson’s performing credits include solo, chamber and orchestral engagements, both in the U.S. and Europe . Concerto performances include Mozart’s K. 450, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto and the Grieg Concerto. As a senior fellow for the Chicago Chamber Musicians (CCM) and as a freelance artist, Mr. Ferguson has been a frequent guest at the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago’s WFMT radio station’s live broadcasts and in other venues around Chicagoland and beyond Mr. Ferguson has taught on the faculties of the Houston Conservatory of Music and the Musikschule Kassel in Kassel , Germany.


Jennifer McCabe's specialty is working with young performers to develop a deeper understanding of their craft through outstanding musicianship, intensive scene work and guided research.  She creates an environment where students can experience the freedom to take chances, explore and grow. As a collaborative pianist, vocal coach and music director, she has worked with notable organizations such as the Music Institute of Chicago, Merit School of Music, ChiArts, Northwestern and DePaul Universities, local opera companies, choral programs and piano bars over the last 18 years. She has performed for Renee Fleming, Elizabeth Futral, Ramsey Lewis, Michael Ehrman and with violinist Nisanne Howell of the CSO and Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet.  She regularly works with singers from the CSO, Lyric Opera and Grant Park Choruses and area universities.

Jennifer is an inspired private piano teacher and adjudicator in the Chicago area who loves teaching and bringing music to a new generation. A 1995 graduate of NIU in piano, she has also studied voice, non-profit management and composition.


Jennifer McCormick 

Music Director and professional singer Jennifer McCormick lives her passions for music and education every day through teaching children and adults to sing.  In addition to teaching opera, music theatre, and popular styles through the Music Institute of Chicago for nearly ten years, she has taught at Antioch Music, BooCoo Cultural Center, and in her private studio since her graduation from Carthage College summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts, All College Honors, Honors in Biology, and Honors in Music (emphasis Music Theatre). Ms. McCormick then completed a Master of Music in Voice Performance at North Park University in May 2012. Her voice teachers have included Jeffery Ray, Corinne Ness, Nancy Henninger, Lorian Stein-Schwaber, and Julia Faulkner.  Recent music direction includes Cats (Elmurst Children's Theatre), Seussical (Immaculate Conception GS, Elmhurst), The Sound of Music (Immaculate Conception GS, Elmhurst), Charlotte's Web (Skokie JCC), and A Man of No Importance (Carthage College).  In March 2012, Jennifer took second place in the Evanston Chapter of the National Society for Arts and Letters' Music Theatre Competition.  She is an active performer in opera (recently: Le Nozze di Figaro--Barbarina, Cherubino; Suor Angelica, The Magic Flute-Papagena, and Pamina understudy; Dominick Argento's The Masque of Angels; and Britten's The Beggar's Opera), music theatre (Blood Brothers--Narrator; Beauty and the Beast--Barmaid, featured dancer, Joseph...Dreamcoat-- featured dancer), and theatre (A Piece of My Heart--Maryjo Kincaid, for which she learned to play the guitar).  Recent solo performances include a Shakespeare recital with the voice faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago and a concert of pieces for the stage with the Adult Choir of the Music Institute of Chicago.  When not performing full shows she can be found presenting intimate holiday recitals of a variety of styles with pianist Jennifer McCabe.  In 2013 Ms. McCormick traveled to Novafeltria, Italy, and Vancouver, Canada, to sing and study opera.  In addition to singing, Ms. McCormick plays Piano, F Horn, and Trombone.  She is fluent in Spanish and Italian and dabbles in French, German, and Japanese.  Ms. McCormick is delighted to be working with the talented young musicians at The Musical Offering for the first time.


 Andrew Santiago 

 Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Andrew began his flute studies at the age of 8 with Susan Crandall at The Musical Offering, a small community music school. Growing up without a large ensemble until high school, Andrew developed a love for chamber music through the MOrchestra. His dedication to chamber music evolved in high school after joining the Merit School of Music, another community music school in downtown Chicago. There, he performed with the Purple Hippopotami honors flute quartet on the radio on WFMT's Introductions, and with the First Gen Winds trio who placed 2nd in the Barnett Chamber competition. Andrew thrived in band and orchestra at Evanston Township High School, and was principal flute in the symphony orchestra there Junior and Senior years, and piccolo player in the wind ensemble starting in Sophomore year. He was also in the Wind Symphony at Merit and served as assistant principal then piccolo player. Andrew is entering his third year studying flute with Alexa Still as well materials science at Oberlin College and Conservatory.





Evan Armacost, a rising senior at Boston University pursuing a BA/MA in Classical Studies, has been a proud part of The Musical Offering since 2011. He studied piano under Rick Ferguson, co-directed and performed in the 2012-2013 student show The Village of Vincenza, and co-directed, composed, and performed in the 2013-2014 student show Antoine and Marguerite: Three Days in New Orleans. He also assistant-directed eight shows during his time at Evanston Township High School, performing in many more. Scriptwriter and theatrical director of Music Stars since its 2014 inception, Evan has written twelve shows and directed nine.