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Nora Shaffer

Nora Shaffer


Nora Shaffer



Nora Shaffer is a freelancer and private instructor in the Chicago area. She has had the pleasure of performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Milwaukee Ballet, and many other area ensembles.

A proud DePaul University graduate, she studied with Larry Combs and Julie DeRoche while earning a Performer’s Certificate and Masters in Music (with distinction). She completed a B.A. at Luther College, Decorah, IA and has also studied with Stephen Williamson, Bil Jackson, and Andrew Stevens.

Passionate about chamber music, Nora is a founding member (Clarinet 1/Eb Clarinet) of the Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet. As Vandoren artists, the quartet concertizes and presents clinics across the Midwest. The Quartet released their debut album, Nielsen, Grainger, & Strauss in October of 2019. Notable performances include the opening concert of the 2020 Dame Myra Hess Concert Series, the International Clarinet Association’s 2019 and 2017 Clarinetfest, a 2017 residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Nora is the Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at Concordia University Chicago (River Forest, IL), Adjunct Faculty in Music Education at DePaul University (Chicago, IL) and Adjunct Professor of Clarinet and Theory at Wilbur Wright College (Chicago, IL). She maintains a private studio in Chicago, as well as a significant studio at Naperville North and Central High Schools (Naperville, IL). Her talented students have participated at Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa All State Bands/Orchestras, received consistently high marks at Solo Ensemble Festivals, moved higher within their respective sections, and have been accepted to study clarinet at many quality universities. Most notably, Nora’s studio maintains a 100% success rate for college music scholarships (majors and non-majors alike), with most students awarded tens of thousands of dollars of college scholarships annually.

In 2017, Nora’s method, Scales and Harmonic Studies for the Intermediate Clarinetist, the first comprehensive intermediate scale study, was published by EHM Publishing. Suitable for high school - early college, this method provides students with a solid knowledge of all keys to eliminate frustration when learning more complex variations of scale study. It was "Highly recommended," by the International Clarinet Association's December 2018 Clarinet journal. In addition, Nora has had numerous articles on clarinet pedagogy published in many scholarly publications, including the National Association of Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI) Journal and the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) Journal.

In her spare time, Nora enjoys adventurous cooking and baking, doting on her two cats, and maintaining an impressive shoe collection.

Professional Experience

  • Concerts/Cabaret
  • Education
  • Master’s Degree


  • Chicago/Midwest

Interested in touring?

  • Yes

Maestra Expertise

  • Instrumentalist/Pit Musician

Primary Instruments

  • Clarinet
  • Clarinet (A)
  • Clarinet (Bass)
  • Clarinet (C)
  • Clarinet (Eb)
  • Saxophone
  • Tin Whistle