top of page

The Northfield School of Music offers guitar lessons, drum lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons as well as music lessons in all Rock, Jazz, Band & Orchestra instruments: Drum lessons, Guitar lessons, Piano lessons, Voice lessons, Violin lessons, Flute lessons, Trumpet lessons, Viola lessons, Oboe lessons, Trombone lessons, Violoncello lessons, Clarinet lessons, Tuba lessons, Double Bass lessons, Bassoon lessons, 

We also offer Group classes in: Jam Drumming, Drums & Musicianship. 

Our North Shore music students come from: Northfield, Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest and Deerfield. All of our experienced faculty members have Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degrees in music and have at least five years of teaching experience. 


George Tantchev - Director

Drums/Percussion/Piano/Music Theory

Born in a family of professional musicians George first began studying piano at the age of 6 and percussion at 8 with Dobri Paliev and graduated from the State Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1995. In 1998 he earned his Masters of Music at Ithaca College, NY, with Gordon Stout and was awarded Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Oklahoma in 2004 where he studied with Richard Gipson. 

His dissertation ASYMMETRICAL RHYTHMS FOR MARIMBA was published in November 2008 by VDM.


He studied conducting with William Wakefield and composition with Bentsion Eliezer and Gregory Woodward. His compositions have been performed at numerous concerts, competitions, meetings and have been favorably reviewed in magazines. His latest commission was a Concerto for Maracas and eight percussionists written for maracas virtuoso Ed Harrison.


George is a former member of Teatro Lirico D'Europa, State Musical Theater in Sofia and the Bulgarian national percussion ensemble Polyrhythmia and has participated in numerous recordings, live TV and radio broadcasts, festivals and concert performances in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg, Serbia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Spain, Portugal, Monaco, Belgium, USA and has received several music honors and awards. Most recently he performed as timpanist and percussionist in the critically acclaimed 2015 production of Carousel at the Lyric Opera in Chicago. 


Since 2010 he has been performing and conducting various orchestras in Chicago and the North Shore. Most currently George performs and conducts his Chicago Soloist Orchestra, featuring soloists and singers in one of a kind entertaining show program of pop, ragtime, world, and classical standards in the style of Andre Rieu with percussion in the forefront. His humorous but true comments about musicians keep the audience highly entertained at each concert. 


Since 2005 George serves as Director of the Northfield School of Music serving Chicago and the North Shore offering quality music instruction:Drum lessons, Guitar lessons, Piano lessons, Violin lessons, and all band and orchestra instruments. He resides with his wife Dessislava - violist and their two sons Boyan and George - also musicians in Chicago's North Shore


Our Teachers


Desi Tantchev - Violin/Viola

Desi Tantchev holds BM and MM from the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria and has been a member of the European Youth Orchestra,  and has been performing with orchestras in Bulgaria, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden.


She currently performs regularly with the Illinois Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and Northbrook Symphony and the Chicago Soloists Orchestra.


Ms. Tantchev teaches both Traditional and Suzuki methods and is on the faculty of MCMC in Crystal Lake since 2002. She also teaches at Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North High schools and the Wilmette Park center.


Boyan Tantchev - Drums/Percussion

Bulgarian-American percussionist Boyan Tantchev, began his musical studies at the age of 5 under his father, George Tantchev’s instruction. Coming from a long line of Professional musicians, Boyan learned the ins and outs of the classical, jazz and traditional Bulgarian Folk music world from a young age. Boyan began giving solo performances on xylophone with
orchestra at age 12, as well as performing in a local Jazz ensemble on drum set.

Boyan has gone on to complete a Masters degree in Percussion Performance from Depaul University School of Music, as well as an Artist Diploma and Undergraduate degrees from the Chicago College of Performing Art, at Roosevelt university. While there he studied with world class musicians, beginning with his father, Dr. George Tantchev and including: Ed Harrison, Eric Millstein and Mike Green from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as, Vadim Karpinos, Cynthia Yeh, and David Herbert from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.


Mr. Tantchev has led a successful career as a freelance and orchestral musician who has performed with: The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Illinois Philharmonic, and is a current member with the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra. He also has a background in many other styles of music, having studied jazz vibraphone with Ed Harrison, and
Bulgarian folk drumming and folk tunes with his father. Boyan Tantchev has also played with jazz combos at the Jazz Showcase and has studied in a combo under the direction of the drummer from the Pat Matheny Group, Paul Wertico at his time at Roosevelt University. Boyan also currently plays drum set with the Marzalek Chicago Band.


In his spare time, Boyan enjoys creating new music, and recently released his first solo album titled “Boyan”. He also enjoys cooking and spending time with his wife Kat, and his cat named Bear.


Sasha Brusin - Guitar/Ukulele

Originally from Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, Sasha Brusin's musical education and performance experience spans Europe and the United States. He is comfortable and proficient in several styles of music, from jazz, rock, blues to ethnic blends, adding decades of experience in performing, instructing, recording, and audio production.

Sasha used to co-own Highland Park Recording Studio, Highland Park, IL. He has received both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degrees at Tesla Institute in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia as well as a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at Roosevelt  University in Chicago.
Searching for a well rounded guitar player that can cover several musical types can be a daunting task in today’s recording industry, not with Sasha, periodically he is called upon to add, enhance or fix guitar or bass tracks to a studio session, because of his fluency in diverse musical language and styles.

He also is co-leader of the critically acclaimed jazz quartet, "Transport", and guitarist in the legendary "Buddy Rich Big Band".  Sasha's knowledge and  background are invaluable on any project and his understanding of Digital Audio Workstation Computers and Mac’s are priceless. He is highly proficient in Pro Tools and Digital Performer and has expertise in recording a wide range of genres.
Famed for his incredible technique and his scorching guitar solos. He has been playing guitar and bass for 39 years and has been teaching for the past 29. His education includes private studies in Europe and in Chicago at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University Jazz Studies Program, majoring in Jazz Performance - guitar. Sasha’s credits include international jazz festivals, network and local TV performances in Europe and the USA. Sasha is currently working with a variety of Chicago based ensembles whose recordings have been featured on WXRT, WBEZ, and WNUA.


Dennis Morris - Bass/Tuba/Trombone/Trumpet

A native of Macon, Georgia, Dennis Morris was playing trumpet in the eighth grade band when they
needed somebody to fill the vacant tuba chair. Bass lessons with George Hofer (Savannah Symphony)
followed a few years later, leading to his first professional engagement at the age of 16. Dennis earned a
music degree from the University of Georgia, where he studied tuba with David Randolph. He pursued
graduate work at the University of Louisville and at Northwestern University, studying with Ernest E. Lyon
(Louisville Orchestra) and Michael Thornton (Cincinnati Symphony).


Since arriving in the Chicago area in 1979, Dennis has developed a reputation for versatility. His
performing credits include jazz festivals all over the US and Europe, a ten-year stint at Chicago's Pump
Room, appearances at venues as diverse as Wrigley Field and Orchestra Hall, and too many jobbing and
casual dates to count. In 1986 he was appointed Principal Tuba of the Northbrook Symphony, where he
also turns up in the bass section from time to time. Dennis also performs in the bass section of the
Evanston Symphony, and has appeared with the Illinois Philharmonic, Illinois Brass Band, and the
Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest among others.


Dennis shares his Evanston home with the love of his life (Ellen Romberg), four cats (Marcel, Alex, Coco
and Savannah), and numerous musical instruments and power tools. He knows how to operate most of the
musical instruments, and a few of the power tools. They also plan to get a dog as soon as one of them steps
up to walking the critter every morning.


Joey Zhuang - Flute

Joey Zhuang is a Chinese flutist and piccoloist, who finds joy in engaging with a multitude of musical styles. Recent highlights include working with Grammy-nominated composer Nathalie Joachim, performing with the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, and in world premieres for Chicago-based composers. Joey has performed across North America, Europe and Asia, and she has been invited as a guest artist by multiple institutions in Canada. 


Joey has been awarded the opportunity to learn from Leone Buyse, Jasmine Choi, Stefan Höskuldsson, Cynthia Meyers, Lorna McGhee, Jim Walker, and more. She is currently pursuing her flute performance degree at Northwestern University with the generous support of the Eckstein Scholarship and Graduate Assistantship. 


In her free time, Joey likes to travel the world and visit art galleries.


For more information about Joey’s work, click here.

2019021620190531_BienenQuintetPics192 (1).jpg

Allison Brandt - Clarinet & Saxophone

Allison Brandt is a Chicago-based clarinetist who earned her Bachelor’s degree in clarinet

performance at Northwestern University. There she had the privilege of working with esteemed

clarinetists including Steve Cohen, Mark Nuccio, John Yeh, and Anthony McGill, and

participated in multiple world premieres with the Northwestern orchestras and wind ensembles.


Allison currently performs with the Fox Valley Pops orchestra and the Wheaton Municipal Band,

and is a member of the 2022-23 Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She is one of the founders of the

Evanston-based Katzen Wind Quintet. Allison has been teaching clarinet and saxophone

lessons at the beginner and intermediate level since 2016.


For more information visit


Elana Palada - Flute

Filipino-American Elaina Palada recently received her master’s degree in flute performance from Northwestern University. 

A native of rural Central New York, Elaina received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Syracuse University. Elaina enjoys and has a depth of experience playing a wide variety of music. Most recently, she played principal flute for Northwestern University’s production of La bohème and performed with Grammy-nominated flutist and composer Nathalie Joachim in the Contemporary Music Ensemble’s February concert. She has performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra in a “We Stand with Ukraine” Benefit Concert, which raised money to support newly arrived Ukrainian children. Elaina also has extensive knowledge in teaching beginner, intermediate, and advanced musicians. During past summers, Elaina taught English and music at Sommerschule Wust in Germany, where she was also a featured soloist in a Baroque concert performing works by Bach, Handel, and Telemann with organist Anne Laver. In addition to teaching remotely and in person, Elaina has also spent her summers as a flutist with the Ohio Light Opera. She looks forward to pursuing a music career that combines all of her passions for performing, teaching, and travelling. 


Matthew Melillo - Bassoon

Matthew Melillo is a bassoonist and contrabassoonist who works in the Chicago area, currently pursuing a master’s degree from Northwestern University. His teachers include Marc Goldberg and David McGill. Matthew is a substitute bassoonist/contrabassoonist with the Oregon Symphony. He also plays piano and accordion.

Portrait (edit & Cropped) (1).png

Curt Cox - Saxophone

Kurt Cox is saxophonist in the Chicago area currently finalizing his master’s degree at Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in performance from ShenandoahConservatory.

As a chamber musician Cox has spent the last few years spreading music to his community through commissions, premiers, and numerous music festivals. Cox is the current baritone saxophonist in the Northwestern Graduate Quartet, the previous baritone chair for the masso quartet, and served as the soprano saxophonist for the Meraki quartet.

Through these ensembles he as placed in the 2022 NASA quartet competition and continuously works with emerging composers on commissioning and premiering works for the saxophone quartet medium.

As a soloist Cox has appeared in performances with the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra as the 1 st place winner of the Shenandoah Conservatory Concerto Competition, and the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, Northwestern University
Conservatory Orchestra as a guest artist.


Chris Hasselbring has been an active performer and educator in the Chicago area since 1997. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Music (B.M.) from Rutgers University, and his Master’s Degree in Music (M.M.) from Northwestern University (while serving as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago), Chris went on to play principal trumpet with the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra in Colombia, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in China, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In 1996 Chris toured the U.S. as a member of the Dallas Brass before settling down in Evanston, IL to teach as a faculty member at the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC). As a performer, Chris has appeared with organizations such as Chicago Philharmonic, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Bach Project, Camerata Chicago, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and The Bach Institute at Valparaiso University. Chris played as a member of the Lake Forest Symphony from 2005-2019 and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra in Door County, WI from 1997-2016. Chris is thrilled to join the faculty of the Northfield School of Music!

Contact Us

Northfield School of Music

1780 Maple Street,
Suites 7 & 8
Northfield, Il 60093

Call +1 847-212-3623

Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page