Merit School of Music

Justin Berchtold

Faculty: Band, Merit Music in Communities


DePaul University BM – Music Performance 2020
Naval School of Music – Graduate with merits 2013


Justin Berchtold is a clarinetist, teaching artist, conductor, and entrepreneur based out of Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from the Naval School of Music with merits in 2013, Justin would go on to serve as the Concertmaster and Principal Clarinetist of the Marine Forces Pacific Band from 2013-2015. He was the featured soloist on the 2014 Marine Corps Live Recording of the Year in Frank Techeli’s Blue Shades. Justin also performed on saxophone in Hawaii’s popular salsa band Son Caribe in 2016 and 2017.

Currently, Justin can be found performing his favorite music – chamber music – in and around Chicago. He also serves as the Music Director of Community Congregational Church in Villa Park.

While Justin’s core love of music originates in performing, he also continuously strives to hone his craft as a music educator. He is a conductor and woodwind instructor for Sistema Ravinia’s Lawndale Band program and teaches in school clinics with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s education program.

He has an active private studio of clarinet and saxophone students where his focus goes much further than instrumental proficiency. Justin strives to create artists that embrace the journey of both music and life: “Music has given me everything in life that I love the most. I feel a sense of duty to pay forward all of the mentorship I’ve received along the way.”

Justin graduated with his BM in Music Performance from DePaul University in 2020. During his time there, Justin worked closely with the renowned pedagogue Julie DeRoche to develop his own methods and tools to teach clarinet.

Favorite Musician:

Chick Corea. I admire him for many things, but mostly for his remarkable ability to speak any style of music…even the ones that don’t exist.