Jennifer Whiting joins the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale as Director of Music just as the country is emerging from the pandemic and our freedom to sing together is being restored. She says, "After a long absence from singing, we are eager to join our voices together, to hear the overtones in the room, to tune our chords and shape phrases—to make music! There is no better time to use our music to bring hope and beauty so desperately needed in the world today."
Jennifer earned a bachelor's degree in piano and English with a minor in art from Rockford College, a master's degree in choral conducting from Northern Illinois University, and a post-master's performer's certificate also from NIU. She has taught music courses and applied lessons at all levels from preschool through college, and has decades of experience directing auditioned and non-auditioned choirs.
Since 2014, she has served as the Director of Music at Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton where she directs several choirs, oversees the music ministry, and leads the annual festival choir and orchestra.
Jennifer and her husband, Rob, live in West Dundee. Their two daughters are married and live close by. The family enjoys special occasions together with good food, board games, and grand-dogs. Jennifer also loves traveling, attending concerts, and wandering through the Art Institute.
She says, "I have always admired GEWC—their artistry, their ideals, and the joyful experiences they bring to the community. I am honored to help carry forward their great traditions and to lead them in new musical adventures."
J.M. (Mac) Willaert joined the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale in 2016, serving in the combined role of Accompanist and Ensemble Director.
Mac studied music at North Central College in Naperville (IL) and has worked extensively with Dr. Ramona Wis, founding director of the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale. His experience has included accompanying and working as a substitute director at Rosary High School in Aurora, as well as acting as assistant conductor of the choral program at North Central College, where he has directed a number of vocal ensembles. Mac currently works entirely as a director, pianist, and accompanist, primarily for the Chorale and Ensemble, but also for Oswego High School and Oswego Presbyterian Church, in addition to many opportunities outside the choral realm.
Mac takes great joy in the creative process, and working with the singers of the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale is one of his proudest accomplishments. Mac is recently married to his loving wife, Kristin,and they have settled in Naperville, Illinois, where they look forward to a long lifetime of music and joy.