Tim Graf teaches clarinet, coaches, conducts various ensembles, is a clarinet repair technician, and is a freelance musician throughout northeastern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Currently, Tim is an instructor of clarinet and other woodwinds at Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play® program, El Sistema, in Lake County. He teaches in the elementary and middle school programs as well as the high school honors ensemble.
Each student Tim teaches is encouraged to play in as many ensembles as they can and want. His students have participated in these and more: the McHenry County Youth Orchestra (now the Encore Music Academy Youth Orchestra), the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras programs, the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) District and State Honor Bands, the McHenry County Honor Band, and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Solo and Ensemble Contests.
Tim conducts the Knock on Wood Clarinet Choir in McHenry County, with founder Lori Sutherland. He is the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra’s wind-section coach and plays in the orchestra’s wind quintet, The Prevailing Winds. In 2022, Tim was asked to join the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra as second clarinet.
In 2012, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director, Robert Boudreau, invited Tim to premiere ”Wuaraira Repana for Solo Clarinet and Wind Symphony Orchestra,” by Efrain Amaya. The ensemble has toured worldwide on the ship Point Counterpoint II. Tim was a section clarinetist and featured clarinet soloist.
Tim’s primary clarinet teachers were John Bruce Yeh, the Assistant Principal Clarinet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Charlenene Zimmerman, Principal Clarinet of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, and J. David Harris from the University of Illinois. He earned his Master of Music degree from Roosevelt University in Orchestral Studies. and a Clarinet Performance Bachelor of Arts in Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.