Your One Stop For Music and Arts
Michael Vanier (Guitar Instructor, Owner / Staff Manager)
A Beverly native, Mike is a graduate of Christ the King Grammar School and Mt. Carmel High School, and received his undergraduate degree in guitar performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Upon graduating, Mike was immediately hired on an 8 month tour of the popular musical “Footloose,” with the production company Big League Theatricals. Mike’s guitar arrangements are now included in the official Broadway score. Mike obtained his advanced degree in Music Education at VanderCook School of Music located in Chicago.
Mike is a passionately devoted music teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching guitar at Village Music School in Deerfield, Illinois. In keeping with the traditions of his education, Mike plays all styles of music including bluegrass, blues, rock and jazz. Mike has played with numerous prominent groups including The Katie Sullivan Band, Vance Kelly & The Backstreet Blues Band, Leadfoot, Tiger Surprise, and many others.
Mike is proficient in rock, jazz, blues, and bluegrass, as well as classical and finger picking, and enjoys teaching students of all ages and experience levels.
Iván Martirena (Owner / General Manager)
Ivan has been interested in music since childhood. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, his training began in traditional South American folk music and classical guitar. It was not until his early adult years that he gravitated toward what became his real passion: jazz and improvised music.
Ivan’s academic studies started at “Conservatorio Jose Manuel de Falla,” in Buenos Aires, where he received his first music diploma and studied ear training, harmony, counterpoint and solfege along with classical studies. In 1997, Ivan earned a Degree in Performance from I.T.M.C. (Technological Institute of Contemporary Music), and worked on earning a second diploma in Professional Music and Arranging at “Escuela de Musica B.I.N.” (Berklee International Network). At B.I.N. Ivan was awarded a Mention of Honor prize from “Conservatorio Souza Lima” located in Brazil, and the “Best Achievement Scholarship” to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. At Berklee, Ivan received the “Dean’s List Recognition Award” before graduating summa cum laude in the Professional Music degree program. During his college years, Ivan studied guitar with the likes of Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, Richie Hart and Larry Baione. He also studied improvisation with Hal Crook, Ed Tomassi and Dave Santoro. He has played in ensembles with Joe Lovano and Darren Barret, and he has performed with the international jazz ensemble “The Young Lions.”
Thomas Fairbairn (Voice, Guitar, Piano, Flute, Saxophone)
Tom has been a vocalist for over ten years and has performed with numerous ensembles, choirs, and groups. He obtained a Vocal Performance degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, studying under Dr. Caren Moham. He has performed for the American Choral Directors Association honors choir, the Wicker Park Choral Singers, and has been a part of Illinois Wesleyan University’s men’s ensemble. Tom has a vast knowledge of vocal techniques and styles ranging from classical, jazz, blues, rock, musical theater, and pop music. With a firm grasp of music theory, Tom can teach singers of all skill levels.
In addition to a vocal performance degree, Tom also has several years of experience studying, teaching and playing guitar, piano, flute and saxophone. At Illinois Wesleyan University, he minored in flute performance, and has played the flute in various ensembles. Regardless of age or skill level, Tom has the passion and training to help his students excel at the instrument they choose to learn.
Katie Sullivan, M.A., CADC, MISA-II
(Guitar, Piano, Voice, Harmonica, Clinical Program Director)
Katie's musical training began at 3 years old when she started studying classical piano. She has been performing in public ever since. She is a seasoned performer and instructor, specializing in piano, guitar, harmonica, and voice training. Katie is currently a voting member of the Grammy’s (NARAS).
Along with being a proficient musician and performer, Katie is also a certified counselor and therapist, with over 20 years experience working with troubled adolescents. She is currently the director of a residential substance abuse and correctional facility. As a certified counselor (CADC, MISA-II), who has earned two master’s degrees, Katie brings the clinical insight to The Music Station necessary for our unique Clinical Programming and Community Outreach programs.
Katie, a master of several instruments, has performed in Ireland and across the Unites States. She has also recorded several albums with “The Katie Sullivan Band.” Currently residing back in Chicago, Katie is excited to share her experiences, clinical skills, and musical passion with our community!
Garrett Degnan (Upright&Electric Bass, Guitar)
Garrett, a Beverly native and graduate of Marist High School, is currently continuing his studies at Columbia College in Chicago, focusing on music performance, theory and bass.
Garrett, who is well known on the Chicago music scene as a proficient bassist and guitarist, has been a member of “The Katie Sullivan Band” for four years. Recently he has created his own 5 piece string band, “The Grass Company,” which includes The Music Station’s very own Mike Vanier and Bridget Cavanaugh.
In addition to a busy performing schedule, Garrett is a passionate and devoted music teacher, with over 10 years of experience teaching students of all ages. As an excellent communicator, Garrett incorporates a unique balance of encouragement, accountability, and passion in his instructional style. Garrett is capable of teaching folk, bluegrass, rock, jazz, and Irish.
Colin O'Malley (Guitar, Upright & Electric Bass)
As a composer, performer, and teacher, Colin has dedicated his life to music. A Beverly native, Colin moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 2004 to study at McNally Smith College of Music. As a guitarist for the “Sam Sinclair Trio,” a jazz-funk quintet, and as an upright bass player with the soul/R&B group, “Sugar and the Raw,” Colin has flourished as a musician in the Chicago land area over the past 5 years.
With a broad range of musical influences, Colin’s approach to music reflects hints of his jazz, funk, blues, and folk training. Specializing in acoustic guitar, Colin incorporates these various musical styles into his performing and teaching styles. Colin’s great patience makes him very well suited for instruction of children just beginning their musical experience.
Paul Petraitis (Guitar, Electric Bass)
Born and raised in Chicago, Paul attended classes at the School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago (SAIC) as well as IIT's Institute Of Design. In 1971 Paul received a BS in Design from IIT. Paul also has 5 years of classical piano instruction from Edna Harvey School of Music, and 40+ years of professional performing experience on stage, and in the studio, as a guitarist and bassist for several prominent Chicago based blues bands.
Paul has performed with music legends such as Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, Jr. Wells, Wayne Bennett, The Kinks, Shadows of Knight, Ten Years After, Styx, members of the Ramsey Lewis Trio, members of Miles Davis’ band, and members of Parliament/Funkadelic. In addition to being an experienced performer, Paul is also a published BMI songwriter, and his credits include co-writing the Top 20 R&B hit "Buck,” as well as co-writing and performing on "It's Gonna Be Alright,” found on the Playboy label in the summer of 1976.Paul’s movie soundtrack credits include work on the John McNaughton films "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," and "The Borrower.” Paul’s other film credits include work on the soundtrack for the Martin Scorsese film "Mad Dog And Glory.”
Paul’s seasoned career in the music industry makes him the perfect instructor for any guitar or electric bass student interested in learning the blues, or any musical style!
Christian Rogala (Drums, Percussion& Piano)
Christian is an honor graduate from Berklee College of Music, who specializes in teaching drums, hand percussion, and piano. Christian is an enthusiastic instructor of students of all ages, but has the unique talent for introducing instruments to young children. Christian also teaches for Striding Lion, a multidisciplinary arts organization.
When he’s not teaching, Christian plays in several groups in the Chicago land area, including the Chicago based alt/rock band “Fluid Minds.”
Jean Vanier, M.A (Music Outreach Program Director)
Jean comes to The Music Station with decades of instructing and performing experience in theatre, acting, writing, directing and producing. As a graduate of Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, Jean earned her B. A. in Drama and Speech, and was awarded a teaching certificate in Secondary Education, and also holds a Master of Arts degree in Theatre from The University of Illinois, Chicago.
Jean is the former director of the Children’s Theatre at the Beverly Art Center, past president of The Blue Island Art Club, and a founding Member of both The Mayor’s Commission of Fine Arts in Blue Island, and the Chicago Cabaret Association.
Jean brings her multi-faceted skills to The Music Station where she leads the outreach music programs. Jean’s outreach programs help local schools supplement their music curriculum by visiting the classroom and exposing students to elements of drama, music and dance.
John Wegman (Piano & Guitar)
Originally from the New Jersey, John grew up playing guitar and piano, and studied classical piano at Rowan University while earning a degree in Music/Elementary Education. After college, John continued to study and teach in New Jersey before taking a middle school teaching position in Washington D.C. While teaching music to middle school students, John also coached baseball and flag football, and performed with his hip hop/funk band at local Washington D.C. music venues. When not teaching at The Music Station, John works with elementary schools all over Chicago as a part of the “School of Rock” program. John’s vast teaching experience makes him the perfect teacher for young beginners and adults alike!
Chad Ensinger(Violin, Viola, Cello)
Chad, an Evergreen Park resident, is the director of the string ensemble, intermediate orchestra and beginning strings program at Mother McAuley High School. In 2006, Chad earned his master’s degree in Music Education from Western Illinois University, earning a 4.0 grade point average.
With an impressive record ofplaying viola and violin at the professional level, Chad has performed in several orchestras, ensembles and quartets. Chad is a seasoned musician who contains the skills and experience necessary to achieve success with students of all age and skill ranges!
Daryl Coutts (Piano, Hammond Organ, Guitar)
Daryl is one of the most prominent pianists on the Chicago blues scene. A successful touring musician since 1996, Daryl has made an impact on the Chicago blues scene, and was part of the ensemble that rounded out the Ronnie Baker Brooks band from 1997 to 2007. Daryl’s reckless, arresting and soulful sounds brought a whole new sound to the band with his vocal, piano, and organ contributions.
Originally from Palos Hills, IL, Daryl started playing piano at the age of 4. It was at this very young age when Daryl’s abundant natural talent came to be recognized by his family. By age 16, Daryl was teaching private lessons out of his home and developed an impressive base of both young and adult students that came to him for piano, organ and guitar lessons.
With over 20 years of teaching experience, Daryl is a perfect match for not only advanced players looking to bring their playing to a new level, but also for younger beginning students interested in starting their musical careers.
Hire Our Talented Musicians for Your Private Party, Work Function or Event!
Have The Music Station's professional musicians come perform at your school, company, wedding or party! Our seasoned performers can be reserved to play a wide range of musical styles, including Jazz, Blues, Rock and Bluegrass. Contact us for details!