Class of 1985
Derrick Brown, Joliet West Class of 1985, enjoys a successful and exciting career as a Media Executive for iHeartMedia, a leading global media and entertainment company with the largest reach of any radio and television outlet in America.
The energy and enthusiasm of air personalities, as well as the great music they played, inspired Brown to pursue a career in radio ever since he was a young boy growing up in Joliet. He began his journey at Edna Keith School and Laraway School prior to attending Joliet East from 1981-83 and graduating from Joliet West High School in 1985.
As a talented and hardworking high school student, Brown pursued his lifelong dream by participating in many extracurricular activities. Brown was very involved in Student Council, the student newspaper, and Black Student Union/ETIA. He practiced his public speaking skills regularly when giving the school's morning announcements. He also served as the drum major of the marching band and served as a tennis team assistant.
After graduating from Joliet West, Brown studied Radio and Television at Butler University and Lewis University, where he learned valuable skills such as radio programming, radio hosting, and music research.
Describing his life as a Media Executive, Brown shares, "As Director of Urban Programming at iHeartMedia - Chicago, I oversee the on-air, online, and social brands of Adult R&B WVAZ-FM (V103), Hip-Hop 107-5 WGCI-FM and Gospel-formatted Inspiration 1390 (WGRB-AM). I am also the Urban Adult Contemporary Format Coordinator for iHeartMedia, providing programming support to like-formatted stations across the country."
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Class of 1968
A lifelong musician and successful business owner, Joliet East High School alumnus Paul Farr (Class of 1968) enjoys utilizing the diverse skills and passion for learning that his high school education instilled in him.
Farr grew up in the Joliet community, having attended Edna Keith Elementary School, Laraway Grade School, and then attending Joliet East High School as part of the Class of 1968.
During his time at Joliet East, Farr excelled musically and thoroughly enjoyed his experiences in the Concert Band, Marching Band, Pep Band, Orchestra, and Musicals. Additionally, he was Quarter-master of the band during his senior year in the academic school year of 1967-1968.
Farr recognizes that his former band teacher served as an inspiration, recalling, "Marshall Erickson (1964-1980) always encouraging me and helped me develop leadership qualities. Being Quarter Master taught me organization for my future career."
A lifelong musician, Farr continued to perform in the Joliet Junior College-Community Band beginning 1979 under the direction of Jerry Lewis, until the present day under the direction of Charles Morgan. He has also participated in the Bicentennial Park Band and several other community bands in Will County.
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Class of 1995?
Currently, Jermaine is composing the score to Coming 2 America (2020) for Paramount Pictures starring Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones, Wesley Snipes, Arsenio Hall, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones. In 2018, Jermaine was asked to conduct the Camila Cabello orchestra live on ABC at the American Music Awards performance of her single "Consequences". Stegall has also been an active participant in the inaugural 2018-2020 Universal / Dreamworks Film Music Diversity Initiative working closely with the film music teams of Universal Pictures, Focus Features, and Dreamworks Animation. In 2016, he was selected as a Sundance Composer Lab Fellow held at one of his favorite places to record, Skywalker Sound, and has worked closely over the years with some of Hollywood's biggest composers including Danny Elfman, Christophe Beck, Marco Beltrami, Harry Gregson-Williams, Christopher Lennertz, and Blake Neely.
Jermaine also provided additional music scoring for Christophe Beck’s score for the holiday Netflix Original movie The Christmas Chronicles produced by Chris Columbus (The first three Harry Potter movies, Home Alone, The Goonies, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Gremlins). Jermaine has also scored over 20 feature films, many of which have been released theatrically, and digitally worldwide including the theatrical release of Jamesy Boy (2014) directed by Oscar-nominated Trevor White, and the teen comedy Mono (2016) directed by Jarrett Lee Conway. Jermaine received his master's degree in Music Composition from the University of North Texas, earned the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program at USC and completed the BMI conducting workshop held in Los Angeles, CA.