top of page

Illinois Show Choirs Welcome New Leadership

With a new show choir season also comes new staff hirings across the state of Illinois. From directors to combo directors to assistant directors and even choreographers, faces both old and new are flocking into the Illinois show choir scene.

Sullivan High School - Heather Pistorius

Heather Pistorius comes to Sullivan High School after being an assistant director at Mt. Zion High School for a significant amount of time. Pistorius is not a new name to the show choir scene, as she is a well-respected director and judge throughout the country. A hire like this is massive for Sullivan, who gets a veteran director who knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful show choir. She judges some of the best competitions in the country, and she won multiple grand championships in her time at Mt. Zion High School. Pistorius could easily turn this Sullivan program around and make them into more of a household name in the state of Illinois. Success won't be immediate and it may take some time, but I cannot wait to see where Heather Pistorius takes this program in the future.

Glenwood High School - Ben Eklund

Glenwood had big shoes to fill this season as long time choreographer, Heath Gemar, ended his tenure there after 15 years. In comes a new choreographer, Ben Eklund, who has solidified his reputation in show choir circles during the past decade. Eklund choreographs for multiple award-winning show choirs across the country, and he comes to Glenwood in a very similar situation. Glenwood has a long-standing tradition of excellence, but that has taken a different look over the past few seasons. Eklund is a great hire for Titan Fever as they try to climb back to where they used to be just a few short seasons ago, competing for the Show Choir Nationals Grand Championship. It does, however, signify the end of an era for Titan Fever. Jeff Gemar took over the reins of a fledgling show choir in fall 2007, and 2024 will mark the first time since that there won't be a Gemar somewhere in the Glenwood creative team.

Wheaton Warrenville South High School - Bob Potsic

The show band at Wheaton Warrenville South is one of the best student bands in the state of Illinois, as they won nine out of ten possible Best Band awards under Brian McCallister in 2022 and 2023. Now that McCallister is out, Bob Potsic comes in as a fresh face to directing in the show choir world. He has performed in show choir combos before as a bassist and has directed jazz bands, but this will be Potsic's first taste of directing a show choir combo. He performs for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus, has been featured on Grammy Award nominated albums, and has a history in teaching voice, bass guitar, and piano. He will now look to translate those skills to the world of show choir, and he will have a reputation to live up to as WWS looks to continue winning Best Band caption awards.

Naperville North High School - Tess Tazioli

Naperville North brings on Tess Tazioli as an assistant director to Nicholas Janssen for both Entourage and High Heeled Harmony. She previously taught at Fishers High School in Indiana for five years as a director for both groups at the school, Electrum and Sound. Her groups have enjoyed successful seasons at Fishers, with Sound going undefeated during the 2022 season. Tazioli now looks to take that successful culture over to Naperville North High School, joining what is a relatively new yet already storied program in the state of Illinois. Tazioli will be able to take some of the weight off of Janssen, as he choreographed and directed both Entourage and High Heeled Harmony for many years before she joined him this season. With an extra show choir guru in the program, we can expect more big things from Naperville North this season, and I am excited to see what they put together.

Alan B. Shepard High School - Brianna Tyler

Brianna Tyler will take over for Roland Hatcher as the director for Alan B. Shepard Nova, following the group's most successful competition season yet. Hatcher left this program in great hands, and Tyler should be able to build on the program that he built at ABS. She is a new director in the show choir scene, but did participate in non-competitive show choir in high school. When talking about the differences between the two, she said that show choir "is much more fast paced and contains more personnel and moving parts than I'm used to. However, the fast paced nature of competitive show choir is what I find to be exciting, and providing students with the opportunity to compete". Tyler is very excited for her students to compete this season, saying, "we've overcome a lot of adversity and I just can't wait to see them hit the stage and give their best. They've come so far, so these final performances and competitions are really fun to see". I am intrigued to see where Nova lands with new direction after a breakout season last year.

Updates on these groups and all Illinois groups will be provided throughout the season right here!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page