Chris Vanderwall, Director of Bands

Chris Vanderwall began his role as Director of Bands at Plainfield Central High School in 2018. Prior to PCHS, Mr. Vanderwall was Director of Bands at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Plainfield from 2011-2018. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree at VanderCook College of Music in 2006 while studying percussion with Kevin Lepper and earned a Master of Music Education Degree at the University of Illinois in 2011 while studying percussion with William Moersch, Ricardo Flores, and Bolokada Conde. At Plainfield Central, Mr. Vanderwall’s responsibilities include teaching Music Theory, Music Production, directing the Wildcat Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Bands, and Percussion Ensembles in addition to assisting with Symphonic and Concert Bands.

Mr. Vanderwall continues to maintain an active role in the music community. He served as the District IX Junior Level Band Representative for the Illinois Music Education Association, holds a position on the VanderCook College of Music Alumni Board of Directors, and is a member of the college’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Vanderwall also maintains professional memberships with the Percussive Arts Society, National Band Association, and the Illinois Music Education Association in addition to proudly endorsing Innovative Percussion and Etymotic Research ear protection.

Amy Clemons, Assistant Director of Bands

Prior to teaching at PCHS, Mrs. Clemons was the Music Coordinator and Band Director for Johnsburg Junior High and a Music Tech for Elk Grove High School’s Marching Grenadiers. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education in 2016 from the University of Illinois playing in several ensembles such as Wind Orchestra, Marching Illini, and Horn Choir. Mrs. Clemons is currently enrolled at VanderCook College of Music to earn her Master of Music Education degree.
In addition to co-teaching the bands, Mrs. Clemons also teaches AP Music Theory.

Shawn Maxwell
Jazz Band Director

Mr. Maxwell began his work as Jazz Band Director at Plainfield Central in 2023. His style began to form in the school music programs of Joliet, Illinois. A celebrated performer in the Joliet Central High School band program, he went on to earn a B.A. in Music from Millikin University. As a Vandoren and Conn-Selmer artist, Shawn works with students from college age through elementary school, combining his pedagogical skills with a performer’s sensibility in Master Classes and guest appearances.

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