John Shaffer didn't get serious about music until after high school. After getting a degree in philosophy, he majored in cello at Manhattan School of Music, followed by a Master's at Northwestern. He has taught in the area for 25 years and currently teaches some students at New Trier, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, and Niles North High Schools. Recently, he has played in the Northbrook Symphony for several seasons. John has also sung in choruses professionally, and has worked under Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Andrew Davis, Carlo Maria Giulini and others. John's three sons all played in MYA, the oldest being in the original MYA Orchestra.