Rachel Rambach grew up in Springfield, Illinois, where she participated in and studied all types of music from an early age. She completed her bachelors degree in voice performance at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where she graduated summa cum laude. Rachel went on to earn her masters degree in music therapy from Illinois State University, again receiving top honors. She began her career at the Hope Institute for Children & Families, where she designed and implemented its first-ever music therapy program. Rachel is the founder of Listen & Learn Music, an online resource for music therapists and educators. She is author of the book Innovative Income for Music Therapists, and co-founder of Springfield Learning & Working Annex with her husband, Zach. Rachel’s favorite muses are her children, Parker & Mia Belle.
Laura Mui grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, where she trained in piano and French horn, and developed other passions in improvisation and worship music. She completed her bachelor’s degree in musicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Laura went on to receive her master’s degree in music therapy from Illinois State University. Laura completed her internship at Helping Hand Center in Countryside, IL, where she focused on serving adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Matt Collins Matt Collins grew up in Rochester, Illinois and has been passionate about music since childhood. He holds a bachelors degree in Business Management from Western Illinois University where he minored in instrumental music, served as president of WIU’s student S.H.R.M. chapter, and was an active member of the honors management fraternity, Sigma Iota Epsilon. He is a former member of the Springfield Municipal Band, Lincoln Land Community College Jazz Band, Taylorville Municipal Jazz Band, and currently serves on vocals and guitar for his church’s worship team at West Side Christian Church in Springfield. Outside of his musical endeavors, Matt works in an educational role with SIU School of Medicine and lives in Chatham with his wife, Kristin, and their 3 kids; Lia, Elise, and Judah.
Laurie Lewis-Fritz is a voice, piano, and percussion instructor at MTC. She is also an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Lincoln Land Community College, where she teaches Music Appreciation and private voice and piano lessons, and an Adjunct Instructor of Voice at Blackburn College, where she teaches voice classes and voice lessons. Prior to this, she was the Lead Faculty for Vocal Performance at Lincoln College and the Director of Music at MacMurray College, where she implemented the Minor in Music. Ms. Lewis-Fritz has taught, performed, and music directed across the United States and internationally, and her vocal arrangements have been performed across the Midwest. Ms. Lewis-Fritz holds a Master of Music in Opera/Music Theater with an emphasis on music directing and conducting and a Bachelor of Arts in Music, both from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is a proud member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
Robert Reynolds has been teaching and performing music in Central Illinois for the last 10 years. A graduate of Lincoln Christian University, Robert is most well-known for his work as the guitarist for area band Fun DMC as well as the music director at Central Baptist Church. In addition, Robert has kept a regular roster of guitar and bass students since 2008. Robert’s approach to teaching works within each student’s respective needs and goals and shapes curriculum based on the individual. When not on stage or in the studio Robert enjoys spending time with his wife, Laura and their two children, Audrey and Jack and their dog, Biscuit. Outside of music, Robert enjoys writing, running, CrossFit, 8-bit video games, and summer nights spent at the drive-in.
Emma Kovachevich is from Huntley, IL and is a graduate of Western Illinois University. She received the distinctions of summa cum laude and School of Music Department Scholar. Emma has been involved in music since a very young age. She has been taking voice lessons since she was 5 years old and participated in choir, band, and musicals throughout grade school and high school. At WIU, she was in multiple ensembles including University Singers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Concert Choir.
Molly Robitaille comes to Music Therapy Connections from Winsted, Connecticut. An avid musician and lover of the arts growing up, Molly completed her bachelor’s degree in music therapy at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York. Molly completed her internship in the Western Suffolk BOCES school district in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Molly’s primary instrument is the oboe, though she also plays the piano, guitar, saxophone, and ukulele. Molly is excited to join the Music Therapy Connections team and put down roots in the Midwest.
Kristofer Lang grew up in Springfield, Illinois and has been a lover and learner of music his entire life. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. He began his musical journey training in classical piano at age 7 and started playing the guitar at age 14. Kristofer has since played in many musical ensembles in a wide variety of styles such as classical, bluegrass, gypsy jazz, big band, calypso and rock. This vast array of experience has made him proficient in playing and teaching piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, mandolin and steel pan. Kristofer is passionate about teaching these instruments and musical skills, and is thrilled to be able to share his passion with students at Music Therapy Connections.
Mary Ann Keenan is a native of central Iowa, and has lived in Springfield for the past 10 years with her husband, Steven, and 3 children, Helen, Charlie and Margaret. Mary Ann is a graduate of St. Ambrose University, Davenport Iowa. Her interest in music began at an early age and by 6th grade was invited to sing with the Cedar Rapids Symphony Children’s Choir. In high school, Mary Ann was invited to sing with the Iowa Ambassadors of Music on their bi-Annual European trip. After college, Mary Ann was the director of music for First Christian Church in Davenport. After her move to Illinois, Mary Ann was the principal singer for St. Joseph Parish African Choir in Lockport Illinois under the direction of Father Godwin Oblugami of Nigeria, Africa. She has also been a member of the Gloriana Chamber Choir for 2 seasons. Currently Mary Ann is the Director of Liturgical Music for Church of the Little Flower. There she directs the adult and children’s choir, plans the music for all masses, cantors and plays piano, organ and flute.
Sherri Mitchell received her B.A. in Theatre, summa cum laude, from the University of Illinois at Springfield in May 2019. While at UIS, Sherri studied voice with Dr. Lara Semetko-Brooks and Dr. Yichen Li and was a winner of the solo competition for 2017-18 and 2018-19. She also received a B.A. in Communications from Sangamon State University in 1982. In the years between degrees, Sherri performed as an actress and soprano in professional and community venues and maintained music studios for instruction in voice and piano. She continues to be active as an actress/singer in the Springfield area. One of her specific passions is developing one-woman shows for Chautauquas. In addition, Sherri is church pianist for The United Church of Christ Congregational in Jacksonville and plays cello in the UIS Orchestra. Sherri is the grateful mother of four wonderful children (and several fur babies, too!).