Kirk Hickman joined the faculty of Naperville North High School in the fall of 2016. This appointment follows his time teaching at Lincoln-Way North High School music department in Frankfort, Illinois when the school opened in 2008, until it closed in 2016; an appointment that followed a six-year tenure at Johnsburg High School in Johnsburg, IL. For two seasons, he taught marching percussion with the Capital Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 2002-2003. He was also the director of the McHenry Community College Percussion Ensemble.
Under his direction, recognitions for the Lincoln-Way North include: six consecutive Jazz in the Meadows Division I ratings, Essentially Ellington Regional Performer, and consistent Division I recipient at Midwest jazz festivals. They have received 3rd place in class AA in Jazz in the Meadows 2012, and Grand Champion at the Chicago Area Jazz Festival 2012-14 as well as Grand Champion at the ISU Jazz Festival 2015. The Marching Band at Lincoln-Way North is the 7 time Illinois State Class 4A Champions, a two time Bands of America Class 3A Regional Champion and six time BOA Regional Finalist. The percussion ensembles performed for the 2012 ILMEA Convention, and jazz ensemble for the 2015 ILMEA Convention. The Pep-band was selected as the IHSA Class 1A & 2A Boy’s Basketball Official Pep-Band in March 2015.
Naperville North Ensembles under his direction have performed at the University of Illinois SuperState Band Festival (2017, 2018), Music For All National Festival (2017), Bands of America Regional Finals, Bands of America Super Regionals, and numerous Midwest Class Championships. The Naperville North Jazz Ensemble performed for the 2019 Illinois Music Educator’s Convention and won class 4A at Jazz in the Meadows 2019.
Individuals from his programs have been awarded outstanding recognitions frequently including outstanding soloist honors, US Army All-American Marching Band, BOA Honor Jazz Band of America, BOA Honor Orchestra of America, BOA Honor Band Rose Parade, National Youth Orchestra of the United States, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, Grammy Band, and a Finalist in the Marine Band Concerto Competition. In 2003, the Johnburg High School Music Department was a GRAMMY Signature School Finalist.
As an active clinician and adjudicator, Mr. Hickman judges music events in the areas of percussion, jazz, marching band, and concert band. He additionally has served two years as ILMEA District 7 Band Representative, two years as ILMEA District 1 Jazz Representative and several times as an Illinois Music Educator’s Association District 7 & 9 Jazz Ensemble reading band director.
As a published composer, Mr. Hickman writes music in multiple genres most actively for marching percussion and percussion ensemble. He has taught percussion for 14 years at the Birch Creek Summer Music Camp in Egg Harbor, WI. and was published in The Instrumentalist April 2018. His article The New Job To Do List started as the notes and steps he came up with upon his appointment at Naperville North HS, and expanded to include more detailed help for directors starting at a new job.
As a performer Mr. Hickman performs as a freelance percussionist regularly performing on drumset, mallet percussion, steelpan and tabla. Mr. Hickman appeared on the Sage4 CD Lightning Strikes on tabla, and performed at the 2000 World Steelpan festival in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Mr. Hickman has been recognized with nominations to Quinlan & Fabish Outstanding Chicagoland Music Educator, Conn Selmer VIP, and has received two National Band Association citations of excellence.
Academically, Mr. Hickman attended Northern Illinois University for his undergraduate degree in Music Education and the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago for his Master’s Degree in Music Education. In the summer of 2013 Kirk attended the Jazz at Lincoln Center Band Director Academy.
Kirk and his wonderful wife Samantha welcomed their first child Alya Ellyngton Hickman into the world in April 2015. He enjoys exercise, travel, attending concerts, reading, cherished time with his new family and continued lifelong support of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Kevin Dobbeck is elated to have joined the Naperville North High School music team in 2018. He is a passionate advocate for both his students and the music that they make, and firmly believes that the pursuit of excellence through music is an integral component of a well-rounded education. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and also holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership from the same institution. At Illinois, he served as a dual member of both the classical and jazz trumpet studios, having the opportunity to study trumpet with Ronald Romm, Michael Ewald, and Tito Carrillo, as well as conducting with Joseph Manfredo, Peter Griffin, Louis Bergonzi, and Roby George. As a member of the University’s top jazz ensemble, he can be heard on the Concert Jazz Band’s 2011 DownBeat award-winning album for Graduate College Ensemble entitled “Free Play” featuring various award-winning student compositions and solo performances.
Prior to coming to Naperville North, Mr. Dobbeck served as Band Director at Westfield Community School in Algonquin, Illinois and as the Assistant Marching Band Director at Jacobs High School. Westfield’s bands regularly performed at various festivals and competitions across the state, including a recent performance by the Jazz Ensemble at the 2016 Illinois Music Educator Conference in Peoria, Illinois. He also served as the ILMEA District IX Junior High School Jazz Representative and had the honor of being a guest clinician at the 2013 ILMEA District IX Senior Jazz Festival. In the fall of 2017, he was presented with the superintendent's Blue Ribbon Society award for teaching excellence. In addition to being a passionate music educator, he also is an active performer and clinician in the Chicagoland area.
Kevin and his wife, Maggie, welcomed their son, Luke, in June 2018 and are incredibly excited to begin their journey through parenthood together.