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Meet the Members!

Holly Frederichs
Holly Frederichs

Holly is the founder of the band and the director since it's debut in late 1999. Sometimes she doubles on clarinet or alto sax when needed. Holly studied music at Northeastern Illinois University and is also part-time piano tuner/technician. She and her loving husband Mike are the proud parents of four children, all whom she hopes will be future band members! Holly would like to thank her family for their love and support, her big brother Russ for encouraging her to take lessons back in sixth grade, and all the musicians in the group for putting up with her!

Dawn Christine Crowther

Dawn is the female vocalist for the Lakes Area Swing Band. A Libertyville resident and active member of many Lake County music groups, she also plays horn with the Waukegan Band and the CLC Wind Ensemble. Dawn has been a featured vocal soloist with several other area ensembles. The singer-songwriter has debuted works with Sigma Alpha Iota's "Celebrating Women in the Arts" concert series as well as College of Lake County's "Fear No Art" performances. She would like to thank her family for their love, support, and for coming to all those beginning band concerts.


Dave Emmerling

Dave is our part-time singer with the band. He joined us in the spring of 06. Dave thought he would have more time to devote to the band, but being a single parent and running his own home-remodeling business proved him wrong. Dave is thankful Guy also joined the band at the same time and, is happy to help out whenever he can. Dave has 5 children and a pet bunny, Harvey. Dave also sings in the rock band 'Mind over Matter'.


Mike Unti

Mike Unti has been a male vocalist with the band since spring 2013. He has had Big Band music in his blood since college where he was involved with several ensembles. He was the lead singer with the Ocean Blu Big Band and looks to expand his repertoire with the lakes area swing band. Mike lives in Cary with his wife and three children and the whole family is very involved in Scouting. When he isn't singing, he can be found at Palatine Complete Dental, his Restorative and Cosmetic Dental practice, in Palatine.

Hans Plattner

Hans, a native of Austria, born and raised near Vienna, began his drumming as a six year old in his home town brass band. During his years in the military he served in the Austrian Honor Guard as a drummer. Hans, is one of the original members of the Swing Band, joined in 1999 when the band was formed. He and his wife Carol reside in Lindenhurst Illinois.


Larry Langenberg

Larry is the band's guitar player, he is a founding member of the Lakes Area Swing Band. He lives in Waukegan. His hobbies include playing trumpet with the Lakes Area Band and building radio controlled airplanes.


Jillian Cobb
Jillian Cobb

Jillian plays Tenor Sax in the band and has been a member since November 2004. She is 17 years old, and attends Richmond-Burton Community High School. Jillian lives in Spring Grove, Illinois. Apart from the swing band, she loves to play softball, hang out with her friends, and of course go shopping with her mom on weekends. Jillian would like to thank her parents for all of their never ending support, and every member in the band for always being there for her, and helping her when she needs it, and well...let's just say everything they do!

Scott Menefee

Scott started playing alto sax in 5th grade, and has always had an interest in Big Band music. Scott joined his high school marching band, wind ensemble and concert band, and was the first freshman to ever play in the jazz band. He also was the first Sophmore ever to become Drum Major in his high school Marching Band and held the position for three years. He joined the Lakes Area Swing Band at 17 and loves it to death. "You cannot find music like this anywhere else that is this authentic. It is my passion."


Russ 'Jug-Jaw' Miller

Russ plays Baritone sax and clarinet, and is one of the founding members of the band. He can often be playing Chicago bars and street-festivals with the Chickenfat Klezmer Orchestra or Winnimac-3 Dixieland jazz combo. Russ also enjoys listening to Punk, Klezmer, and Ska, and lives in Des Plaines with his wife and two dogs.


Jeff Lang

Jeff plays trombone in the band. He is married to Judy Keck-Lang with two children and one grandson. He is also a local Realtor with Century 21-American Dream and serves as a Supervisor of the Town of Burlington, Wisconsin. Jeff is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University (1975, B.S. Psych) and has studied performance music since the fourth grade when he was chosen for the trombone due to having a long enough arm to reach seventh position on the slide! Born and raised in northwest Pennsylvania, Jeff relocated to this area in 1984 and has found paradise in our lovely Wisconsin. Jeff is an alum of Up With People, the Highland Park Pops and the Big Band Sound of Deerfield and has appeared on stage backing Bob Hope, among others. Jeff is an ardent supporter of YMCA Youth Camping and conducts an annual Band Camp at the Des Moines area Y-Camp in Boone, Iowa. Jeff is also the leader of The Jazz Wave, an 18-piece Big Band comprised of music educators and retired military band members which plays annually for the Silver Lake, WI "Music In The Park" series.

Lou Thoms

Lou has played trumpet with the band for 3 years. He has played part-time since high school, and currently teaches trumpet students part-time, which he loves. Lou holds a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He is also a member of Hip Pockit, an R&B/Soul band in which he plays trumpet, valve trombone, and sings. Lou is married and has two sons and lives in Lindenhurst. Lou enjoys British comedy and drama and is a rabid Doctor Who fan!


Adam Velez

Adam graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1985, where he studied the trumpet with his mentor, Louis "Lou" Mucci (Gill Evans, Miles Davis, Claude Thornhill, etc.) under the school's Professional Music program. After many years working throughout the music industry, Adam took a more than 15 year hiatus from the horn, while establishing his career as a Graphic Designer and Publisher, and performing as a singer and guitarist, along with his wife, Chris, as the Traditional Folk Music duo "Tourdion." Recently he has returned to his love and joy of playing the trumpet. Adam, and his wife, are also members of the Arlington Heights Community Concert Band.


Ron Capriotti

Ron has been playing trumpet for over 50 years. He has played in Rock Bands, Big Bands, Concert Bands, and Orchestras. Along with The Lakes Area Swing Band, Ron currently performs with The Geneva Jazz Ensemble, The SwitchTime Big Band, and the Arlington Heights Concert Band. He is also active with the Waterfront Church, and Community Christian Church Music Ministries. Ron was born and raised in Broadview, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. He currently resides in Arlington Park with his fiancee Lisa, and their cat Savannah.

Distinguished and Talented Substitutes

Nancie Kiddoo

Nancie plays piano with the band. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Clare with a double major in music and psychology. She currently teaches private piano and flute in Antioch, IL. Nancie has played with the swing band since 1998 and also sings in a Sweet Adeline Chorus as well as a quartet. She has 3 children and 2 grandchildren and enjoys numerous forms of needlework and crafts. On weekends she can be found gardening with husband Rob. Her friends consider her the Queen of garage sales, and her mottos are "I won't grow up!" and "I plan on wearing out, not rusting out!"

Guy Mcginnis

Guy is the male vocalist with the band and has been with us since February of 2006. You don't have to look too far down Guy's family tree to find where he developed his passion for singing. His father competed and won first place on the The Morris B Sach Amatuer Hour ( a Chicago based radio / TV show) and his aunt was selected as the female vocalist for the Eddy Duchin Orchestra. Guy's first solo performance was at the tender age of 6 during the Christmas Assembly at his grade school's auditorium. Much more recently, he competed against 15 other finalists to become the "Hewitt Idol", a singing contest sponsored by his former employer, Hewitt Associates, WGN TV, and WXLC 102.3 FM radio. Guy lives with his wife, Linda, and 3 children in Lindenhurst, IL.


Jim Slezak

Jim plays trombone in the band. He started his music efforts by learning to play the euphonium in the New Jersey public school system. At Northwestern University he took up trombone (self-taught) fearing that there would be no post-college volunteer euphonium gigs. Ten years after graduation he discovered suburban community band organizations and resumed playing (both) instruments. While pursueing musical completeness, he then took up tuba (self-taught), and then cello (with the aid of private lessons). Following subsequent advice to play in a jazz band (for tighter musical awareness) he then embarked on an attempt to perceive and play swing music. Being a note reader all his life, he is now starting the ear-training and harmonic studies needed to support playing improvisational music. In his semi-retired status, when not studying music, Jim manages finances for his wife's Plato's Closet business, prepares dinosaur fossils at the Burpee Museum in Rockford, and assists the paddle sports educational outreach program for the Lake County Forest Preserve.


Up coming Events

Aug 19
Car Show
Dog n Suds
Ingleside, IL

Aug 26
Private Event
Fox Lake, IL

Sep 23
VFW Steak Fry
McHenry VFW
McHenry, IL

Oct 7
Private Event
Schaumburg, IL

Oct 14
USO Fundraiser
Hangar Dance
Dekalb, IL

Nov 11
American Legion
Veteran's Day Dance
Fox Lake, IL

Winter Coffee House
Richmond, IL

©  2008 Russ Miller