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Band Staff

Steve Lundin

Lundin Head shot.jpg

Steven Lundin is the Director of Bands at DeKalb High School. He directs the DHS Marching Barbs, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band.


Mr. Lundin holds degrees from The Crane School of Music and Northern Illinois University with a focus in music education and percussion performance and pedagogy.

Originally a native of Setauket, New York, Mr. Lundin has also taught in New York in addition to serving as the assistant director of bands at Long Island’s USDAN Center for the Performing Arts.


He has presented clinics at various high schools and colleges throughout the Midwest, as well as the 2006 Bands of America Summer Symposium as a member of the Base4 Percussion Quartet. The DHS Band Programs has received numerous accolades during Mr. Lundin's tenure.  Some of these honors include leading the Jazz Ensemble as a finalist in the 2012 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition, the 2015 IMEC Festival and the 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival.  The DHS Percussion Ensemble has twice performed at the Music for All National Festival (2011, 2018) and is proud founder of the Transformation Through Rhythm Concert, benefitting numerous causes in Africa.  The DHS Concert Bands have regularly received Superior Ratings at the Illinois High School Association's Organizational Contest under his direction.  The DHS Marching Barbs have received numerous class placements, grand championships, and awards for both visual and music performance throughout the region.  The Marching Barbs have also traveled to New Orleans, LA (2013), Dublin, IR (2016) and in both instances received top competitive honors within their respective classes.


Mr. Lundin maintains an active private percussion studio and performs as a free-lance musician in and around DeKalb. Mr. Lundin likes to spend his free time with his family. He and his wife, Emily live in DeKalb with their two children: Mariana and Miles.

Brian Balika

Brian Balika is Assistant Director of Bands at DeKalb High School. Mr. Balika works with the DHS Marching Barbs, DHS Pep Band, DHS Madrigal Brass Ensemble and conducts the pit orchestra for musicals.  He is also Director of Bands at Clinton Rosette Middle School, a position he has held since 2011. His duties include 6th, 7th, and 8th grade band, as well as middle school marching band and after school jazz band. In 2012, he founded the D428 Summer Band program, offering expert instruction to new and continuing music students in the area.


Mr. Balika holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Northern Illinois University and has pursued graduate courses at Vandercook College of Music.


Outside of school, Mr. Balika is an active trumpeter and vocalist, performing with the DeKalb Municipal Band, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Cor Cantiamo. Other interests include active transportation and woodworking.

Marybeth Kurnat

Marybeth Kurnat is the Assistant Band Director at DeKalb High School and Huntley Middle School. She currently teaches the DHS Jazz Lab Band, the HMS Jazz Ensemble, and HMS 6th and 7th Grade Bands. She is also an assistant director for the DHS Madrigals and A Cappella, and facilitates the HMS Secondary Instrument Lab. 


A native of DeKalb, Miss Kurnat holds a B.M. in Music Education from Northern Illinois University, where she studied saxophone and voice. During her career as a public school educator, she has been nominated for a Golden Apple Award and Kane County Educator of the Year. In addition to teaching in the classroom, she also maintains a private woodwind studio and enjoys composing and arranging for various ensembles. Miss Kurnat has a dynamic performance background in instrumental music, vocal music and theater, and has performed across the Midwest as well as Canada and the UK. She is a member of the St. Charles Singers, the Chicago Choral Artists, the Grant Park Chorus, and the Pegasus Wind Symphony. She is the head counselor of the NIU Jazz Camp, and serves as the Jazz Area Representative for ILMEA District 8. 


Miss Kurnat resides in DeKalb with her dog, Herbie.

Emily Lundin

Emily is originally from Galesburg, IL.  She started her color guard career in 1997 with the Galesburg Silver Streaks and was named captain her senior year.  Emily then went on to spin with the NIU Huskie Marching Band and was named their color guard instructor for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. She has worked with the following high school programs: Johnsburg, Streator, Yorkville, and has been with DeKalb for the past 11 years.


She holds a B.S. degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education from Northern Illinois University and a M.A. degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University.  She currently teaches physical education and health in Yorkville.  She loves photography, shopping, traveling, and spending time with her family

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