John P. RakesJohn Rakes

Interim Director, Concert Choir
M.M., Northern Illinois University


John Patrick Rakes is a versatile conductor, choral musician, music educator, and collaborative pianist.  He currently is serving as a guest conductor of the Downers Grove Choral Society, the Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Chorale of Wheaton College, and the Northern Illinois University Concert Choir.  He is also an ensemble member of Cor Cantiamo, the professional choir-in-residence at Northern Illinois University.  Mr. Rakes is completing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy (D.M.A.) from the University of Iowa where he was privileged to study under Dr. Timothy Stalter and Dr. David Puderbaugh during his doctoral residency.  At Iowa, Mr. Rakes served as a graduate guest conductor and performed as an accompanist to the choral department while singing in the University’s elite choral ensemble, Kantorei.

Before being granted a full assistantship to study at the University of Iowa, Mr. Rakes was a public school music teacher in Suburban Chicago and served as the Choir Director at Faith Christian Reformed Church, Elmhurst, IL.  Mr. Rakes has earned a Master of Music (M.M.) with an emphasis in Music Education from Northern Illinois University where he studied conducting under Dr. Eric Johnson.  Mr. Rakes has also earned a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) from Wheaton College where he studied conducting under Dr. Paul Wiens and Dr. Daniel Sommerville, while completing studies in piano and organ.