New York University
Master of Music, Jazz Studies—2018
At NYU, Brendan split his time between guitar performance and arranging. As an instrumental performer, he studied with guitarists Peter Bernstein and Adam Rogers and with SNL bandleader and tenor saxophonist Lenny Pickett. As a composer/arranger, he studied with Rich Shemaria, Alan Broadbent, and Alan Ferber. He also studied film scoring with Irwin Fisch and Ron Sadoff. Other notable faculty with whom he studied include pianist Andy Milne, vocalist Janice Pendarvis, and saxophonist Billy Drewes.
For the 2017-2018 school year, Brendan played guitar in and served as the assistant director of the University Jazz Ensemble (big band), under the primary direction of Jarritt Sheel. While serving in these capacities, the ensemble performed at the 2018 Jazz Congress event held at Lincoln Center, including an original composition of his, “Toanin’.” The ensemble also performed his arrangement of the Stevie Wonder tune, “My Cherie Amour.” He also played in a number of pit orchestras for the school.
While completing his studies, Brendan worked as an adjunct instructor, teaching private guitar lessons and a group guitar class. From this experience, he created a progressive guitar curriculum that builds technique alongside music literacy. His curriculum was adopted as a model for the instructors teaching other sections of group guitar. Interested students can use his guitar method via his YouTube channel.
North Central College
Bachelor of Arts, History—2015
After graduating from NCC in 2014 with a major in Music Education, Brendan returned for a fifth year to complete a second major in History. His capstone thesis discussed the strike/recording ban executed by the American Federation of Musicians in the 1940s. Notable faculty with whom he studied include Will Barnett, Ann Keating, Brian Hoffert, and Luke Franks. Brendan was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, honor society for history majors. His completion of a history major and select humanities and social sciences courses earned him a history/social studies endorsement on his Professional Educator License. During this year, two of his research papers were nominated by history faculty for inclusion in the Rall Research Symposium.
North Central College
Bachelor of Arts, Music Education—2014
At NCC, Brendan majored in Instrumental Music Education with an emphasis in jazz performance. During the 2013-2014 school year, he served as treasurer for the school’s NAfME chapter, as well as Floor Czar (Resident Assistant) in Patterson Residence Hall. Notable faculty with whom he studied include Lawrence Van Oyen, Ramona Wis, Jonathan Kirk, Langston Hemenway, Pete Martinez, Jack Mouse, Chris White, Jim Cox, Mitch Paliga, John McLean, Joel Adams, David Grant, Jon Warfel, and Ben Wahlund. Brendan was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, honor society for education majors. Additionally, he won the grand prize for the Self-Employment in the Arts Business Plan Pitch Competition, hosted by the school.
College of DuPage
Associate of Arts (Music)—2012
Associate of General Studies (Humanities & Social Sciences)—2012
At COD, Brendan split his studies between music courses and humanities/social sciences courses. He competed briefly on the COD Speech Team as a debater. He graduated as the runner-up for the Outstanding Graduate award, as well as an Honors Scholar, indicating his completion of 15 credit-hours of honors-level coursework. While completing two associate’s degrees, he also earned a certificate for completing the Living Leadership Program. Brendan earned membership in two honor societies, Alpha Beta Gamma (for business/technology majors) and Phi Theta Kappa (for academic excellence). Additionally, he served in leadership positions as Operations Coordinator for Student Leadership Council and President for business/technology honor society Alpha Beta Gamma. He earned two awards for his coursework, including the Carter Carroll Excellence in History award and the John Belushi Memorial Scholarship for Jazz Performance. Notable faculty with whom he studied include Tom Tallman (music), Ken Paoli (music), Lauren Morgan (speech/leadership development), Chuck Steele (leadership development) and Don Jacobson (history).