Mr. Kuzmanoff's Groups
The River Trails 5th Grade orchestra is our beginning level group for those students interested in learning how to play the Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass. Indian Grove’s 5th-grade orchestra meets on Mondays and Wednesdays and Euclid’s on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7:55-8:35 am in the lunchroom starting in early/mid October. These are beginning level groups with no playing experience required.
The 6th grade orchestra is the next step in a student's musical development. This group builds upon the foundation formed in the elementary orchestra but we do offer beginning level classes on a case by case basis. This ensemble is a class in the students schedule that meets every day and includes a once a week pullout small group sectional. This is a performance based group with one performance each quarter throughout the school year.
The 7th and 8th grade orchestra is the culmination of each student's string education within River Trails School District. This ensemble is a scheduled class that is part of each student's day and includes a once a week pull out sectional. Even though 7th and 8th grade students meet together our curriculum is scaffolded to make sure the advanced students are progressing while the developing students mature. This is a performance based ensemble focused on building teamwork, creativity, critical thinking skills, technique and musicality to prepare students for high school ensembles and beyond. We have one performance each quarter throughout the school year and participate in festivals and adjudicated events.
The classics are the classics but rock and roll is here to stay. Alternative Strings is a group that focuses on learning Rock, Pop, Show, and Folk music or “Alternative” string styles. We learn extended fiddle/rock playing techniques, improvisation, critical listening skills, and then we bust out the electric instruments and turn it up to 11. Alt. Strings is an after school group that meets on Wednesdays from 3-4:00 pm with a rotating before school sectional on Tuesdays and is open to all orchestra students with at least one year of experience on their instrument. We preform at three concerts throughout the school year and start rehearsals in mid September. Keep on rockin’ in the free world!
Christopher Kuzmanoff graduated from VanderCook College of Music in 2003 earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and returned to VCM Earning his Master’s Degree in 2015. After graduating in 2003, he was appointed Director of Bands at George W. Collins High School, a high poverty Chicago Public School. While at Collins, he was awarded the Ronald R. Nezbit Community Educator Award, worked with the Chicago All-City Bands, and was a gigging musician. In 2006, Colling High School was ”phased out” by the city. Mr. Kuzmanoff and his family moved to Southern Ohio where he served as a strings teacher for the Chillicothe City School District. While at CCSD, he increased enrollment in the orchestra program, started a guitar program, served as department chair, was named Who’s Who of American Teachers, served as South Central Regional Chair for the Ohio Music Educators Association, and was appointed the Midwestern Representative for the National Council for Guitar Education for NAfME! In 2012, the Kuzmanoffs returned to Chicagoland to be closer to family and Mr. K began working for Loyola Academy as Director of Orchestra and Guitar. While at LA, he founded the Loyola Guitar Ensemble as a performing group, traveled with the strings program, and worked to foster a strong sense of community within the strings program. In 2018, Mr. Kuzmanoff joined the River Trails School District to teach Orchestra and Guitar in the community he lives in and loves!
Outside of teaching Mr. Kuzmanoff is a proud husband, father of two, violist, guitarist, banjo player, an avid bowler, golfer, and gamer.