Joan Bentley Hoffman
Joan Bentley Hoffman holds music degrees from Goucher College, Yale University and the University of Chicago. She has directed musicals by community theater groups in Baltimore, Wheaton, and Glen Ellyn, and directed the St. Luke Lutheran Church choir and One Voice choir in Glen Ellyn. Following up on Chicago music history work at the University of Chicago, Joan has most recently lectured at the Historic Glessner House on Rose Fay Thomas’s work with the Amateur Musical Club and Mrs.Thomas’s family’s civic engagement in Chicago in the late nineteenth century.
Kathi Best received her BA degree in Music Education from Taylor University with a minor in organ performance. She taught Elementary School music in Downers Grove until she started a family. In the following years, she taught pre-school, gave private piano lessons, and held a church organ position. For 15 years, starting in the 1990s, Kathi was a greatly valued accompanist for the Lyons Township Choral department. Presently she continues to teach piano and free-lance as an accompanist and is co-chair of the WSMC Piano Festival. Kathi says she also enjoys reading, biking, walking, sewing and playing with her grandchildren.
Pianist Louise Chan, a native of Ottawa, Canada, has performed as a solo and chamber musician for audiences in the United States, Canada, and France, including venues such as Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Weill Hall in New York, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She is a past winner of the Canadian Music Competition, and has appeared as a soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Northwestern Summer Orchestra. Her performances have been broadcast live on CBC Radio in Ottawa and WFMT in Chicago. She has been featured in chamber and orchestral performances with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the New World Symphony, and was an Orchestral Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival for four summers. Most recently, she was a pianist at the Castleman Quartet Program in Fredonia, New York.
Nola Gustafson’s first musical training was on the marimba, followed by piano, flute and organ. She earned degrees in piano performance from Eastman School of Music and Indiana University and studied with jose Echaniz, Beverage Webster and Menahem Pressler. During her piano teaching years and before retiring Nola was a sought after private teacher and has been the moving force behind the club’s annual Piano Festival for many years. She says that it has been a real joy and honor for her to be a member of Western Springs Music Club for 48 years, during which time she has collaborated with so many outstanding performing members. Nola is a past president, and has been part of the program committee for many years, as well.
A native of Mexico City, Beatriz Helguera-Snow is an active performer as recitalist and chamber musician, and in great demand as a collaborative pianist. She is the founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago Panamerican Ensemble, a chamber group that engages some of Chicago's finest musicians and promotes music of Mexico and from other countries of the Americas (see website below).
Prestigious concert venues include live performances for WFMTRadio in Chicago, Pianoforte Chicago, Fullerton Hall of the Art Institute, Ganz Hall, Goodspeed Hall, Chicago Cultural Center and Depaul University. Additionally, she is a member of the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players. She holds a Masters Degree in piano performance from Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (where she received the Meadows Outstanding Achievement Award and the Epstein B'nai Brith Award), as a student of Dallas Symphony pianist Alfred Mouledous, and a Concert Pianist Diploma from the National Conservatory of Music of Mexico where she graduated with highest honors as a student of eminent pianist Maria Teresa Rodriguez. In Mexico, Ms. Helguera has played as a soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, the Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes, and others, and participated in master classes with pianists Jorg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Jorge Bolet, Angélica Morales and more. She has played solo and chamber music recitals in all major recital halls of México City, including live broadcasts for Radio UNAM, Sala Manuel M. Ponce, Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Sala Carlos Chávez, Palacio de Minería, Museo Nacional de Arte and more.
Beatriz was awarded a grant by FONCA (National Foundation for the Arts and Culture in Mexico) to record a double CD "Voices of Mexico Past and Present", Chamber Music of Mexico in the XX and XXI Centuries, which was recorded at WFMT studios in Chicago and released in 2015. The CD was presented in a concert tour in several cities of Mexico, and also presented in Chicago for the Latin MusicFestival (at WFMT and the Art Institute of Chicago Fullerton Hall) and in New York City for the Panamerican Musical Art Research.
Margaret Hilgendorf grew up in the rural farmlands of Minnesota where few teachers were available during the depression and WW II. But, she loved to play the piano. With help from her mother, older sister and “Etude” music Magazine she never stopped! Finally, at age 15, a strict, wonderful teacher rewarded her with recitals and music contests. Margaret attended Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota to receive a BM in applied and music education, followed by two years of teaching choral music for all 12 grades in Public School. With a scholarship, she attended Northwestern University to receive her MM in piano. Marriage, a family, private teaching and directing children’s choirs kept her busy. In 1962 Margaret joined Western Spring Music Club. She says that creating, sharing and listening to good and great music with her WSMC friends has been her salvation! “Music is a gift from God and is meant to be shared.”