Chris Owen

Chris Owen is one of the band directors and Fine Arts Department Chair at Batavia High School, where he has taught since 2012. Mr. Owen co-teaches all four levels of curricular concert bands and percussion classes, is the head marching band director, and teaches jazz workshops. During his tenure, the Batavia Music Department was honored as a Grammy Signature School Semi-Finalist in three consecutive years by the Grammy Foundation, and Batavia, IL was listed as a Top Community in Music Education by the NAMM Foundation seven times, most recently in 2022. Under his direction, the Batavia Wind Symphony was invited to perform at the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival annually since 2017. The Batavia Wind Symphony performed at the 2018 Illinois Music Educators Conference and the 2019 Western Illinois University Showcase of Bands. Since 2018, Mr. Owen has founded and runs the Batavia Band Festival, which is a non-competitive, educational band festival that gives a first-class experience to non-top-level concert bands, the first of its kind in Illinois. Mr. Owen has presented clinics, along with Mr. Van Kley, on standards-based grading in the music classroom in Illinois and Iowa. Mr. Owen served as guest conductor including the U-46 Middle School Honor Band Festival in 2019 and 2022, Wheaton College in 2015, and Elmhurst College in 2012. Mr. Owen has been married to Theresa, a Special Education teacher at Batavia High School, for nine years. They have two amazing children – future sports star Danny and artist/puzzle master Tommy.

Brian Van Kley

Brian Van Kley joined the Batavia High School Music Department in 2014. Mr. Van Kley co-teaches all four levels of curricular concert bands and percussion classes. He also serves as the music caption-head for the winds in the Batavia Marching Band and directs the extracurricular Pep Band during basketball season. He coaches the Jazz Combos, for which he also composes and arranges, and directs the Batavia Jazz Ensemble. In addition to his contribution to performance music at BHS, Mr. Van Kley teaches Rock & Roll Methods, a general music class that explores the history of popular music as well as music production. He is an alumnus of the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (BME) and of Northern Illinois University (MME).