VanderCook College of Music to host jazz violinist and composer Mads Tolling

VanderCook College of Music
Wed Sep 05, 2018

Yamaha and Quinlan & Fabish Music Company are proud to present internationally acclaimed violinist and composer Mads Tolling to VanderCook College of Music on September 27, 2018. The two-time Grammy Award-winner will present a master class for VanderCook students and students from Chicagoland area schools. Tolling will join VanderCook’s Philharmonic Orchestra in concert later in the evening. 

The master class begins at 1 p.m. and the concert at 7 p.m. Both events will be held at VanderCook College of Music, 3125 South Federal Street. Both events are free, but reservations are recommended via School music teachers are welcome to bring ensembles or individual students to both events.

Tolling’s appearance is part of an ongoing initiative to bring Yamaha performing artists to VanderCook for specialized master classes. The initiative is the first of its kind among Yamaha’s outreach programs. Yamaha, Quinlan & Fabish, and the 109-year-old VanderCook College of Music all share the philosophy of enriching lives through high quality music education, and empowering musicians and music teachers at all levels. The guest artist initiative with VanderCook began last October and to date has presented appearances by saxophonist Jeff Rupert and the renowned quintet Boston Brass. 

An internationally renowned violinist and composer, Mads Tolling is a two-time Grammy Award-winner. As a former nine-year member of both Turtle Island Quartet and bassist Stanley Clarke’s band, Tolling has spent most his professional life touring internationally. Since 2007, he has led his own group, The Mads Tolling Quartet (MTQ). Their 2009 album "The Playmaker" features Stanley Clarke alongside jazz greats Russell Ferrante and Stefon Harris. A recent MTQ album, "Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty – Live at Yoshi’s," was released to critical acclaim in May 2012. Tolling has been featured on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, and his recordings have received rave reviews in Downbeat Magazine, Strings Magazine, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has performed with Chick Corea, Ramsey Lewis, Al Di Meola, Kenny Barron, Leo Kottke, and Paquito D’Rivera.

For nine years in Turtle Island Quartet, Tolling spent most of his professional life on the road or in the recording studio. In 2006 and 2008, as a member of Turtle Island Quartet, he won two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Crossover album with the recordings "4+Four" and "A Love Supreme – The Legacy of John Coltrane." Tolling has received Denmark’s Sankt Annae’s Award for Musical Excellence, as well as grants from Queen Margaret and the Sonning Foundation and the Berklee Elvin Jones Award.

Tolling has been a thriving force in the educational aspects of jazz and improvisation. He has been active as a Yamaha clinician and has been involved in workshops, coachings, and master classes throughout Canada and the U.S. Since 2010, Tolling has been on faculty at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Berkeley Jazzschool) focusing mainly on spreading the knowledge of jazz and groove-oriented styles to string players of all ages.

VanderCook students are music education majors working towards teaching licensure in addition to their degrees. All VanderCook undergraduates learn to play and teach 19 instruments, and complete over 60 days of supervised classroom instruction by the time they graduate.

For over 100 years, VanderCook College of Music has specialized in turning musicians into music teachers. Through a rigorous curriculum encompassing band, orchestra, choir, jazz, and general music, VanderCook graduates receive comprehensive, practical training to meet the challenges in today’s K-12 classrooms. All VanderCook students learn to play and teach 19 instruments – far more and for longer duration than at any other institution in the nation. Recognized throughout the United States and around the world for their unique and effective focus on preparing professional music educators, VanderCook’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and the National Association of Schools of Music.

Additional information about VanderCook College of Music as well as its programs and events can be found at



Appears in
2018 - Fall - Issue 2