Nebu J. Issabey Music School Program

  • Tiglat Issabey

    Music Director

    Phone (773) 863-3550

Remembering Maestro Nebu J. Issabey 


The late Nebu J. Issabey was born in Tabriz, Iran in 1930. He began violin lessons at age four, taught by his mother. In the next few years, he taught himself to play the piano. He later went on to study under the tutelage of the famous Italian violinist Luigi Pazanari, French violinist Tina Montofel, and later Joachim Blume and Carl Kaufhold while attending the Music Academy of Cologne, Germany.
In 1955, he founded the first Assyrian choir in Tehran, called the Nineveh Choir, which was later considered the leading choir in Iran. In 1966, the Iranian Fine Arts Institute was named the top-ranking choir in the country. Maestro Issabey and the Nineveh Choir performed for the Shah of Iran, where he was recognized.
After leading a notable career abroad as a musician, composer, and instructor, Maestro Issabey moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1973 and brought with him his dream to create an Assyrian national choir. He revived the Nineveh Choir, which later became known as the Assyrian National Choir. Also among his many contributions to the Assyrian community, Maestro Issabey composed “Roomrama” which he hoped would be recognized by Assyrians worldwide as the national anthem, unifying the Assyrian nation.
Maestro Issabey’s goal to share Assyrian culture through the international language of music was evident throughout his career. The music program at the AUAF is named in his honor and shares his mission of identifying and supporting Assyrian talents.

At the Assyrian Cultural Foundation, we feel that education and engagement in the musical arts are a vital part of the development of each individual. Music is a part of the cultural heritage of every human being, serving as a common thread for people around the world.

The Nebu J. Issabey Music Program is an intensive program intended to train students in their instrument of study. Our program offers both private lessons in piano, violin, cello, clarinet, flute, and group lessons in guitar. We also offer voice lessons.

Our goal is to identify Assyrian Americans with exceptional talents at an early age, encouraging them to develop their talents in order to become effective cultural leaders. We strive to empower Assyrian students and provide them with the tools they need to excel in pursuing artistic studies and careers. Our mission is to produce excellent Assyrian American musicians in a four-year study program.


Tiglat Issabey, Program Director

Barbara Bright-Read, Music Director Assistant & Music Program Coordinator

Rasson Betyonan, Lead Instructor

Kevie Yu, Violin Instructor

Stephanie Sorisho, Cello Instructor

Hanna Fujisaki, Piano Instructor

Edmond Ebrahimi, Guitar Instructor




Semester Schedule

Winter Semester: January 2nd to March 31st

Spring Semester: April 10th to June 30th

Summer Semester: August 1st to Oct 30th

Fall Semester: November 1st to December 15th

Break Schedule

Spring Break: Saturday, April 1st - Sunday, April 9th

Summer Break: SaturdayJuly 1st - Monday, July 31st

Labor Day: Monday, September 4th


Fall Break: 

Halloween: Tuesday, October 31st

Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 23rd


Christmas Break: Monday, December 18th to Monday, January 1st


Class Schedule

We would like to inform you that our Music Program registration period is scheduled as follows:

  • Summer registration will commence in July
  • Winter registration will commence in December

Please note that availability of spots for the program is limited. If spaces are available, you will be contacted to confirm your registration. However, in the event that the program has reached its maximum capacity, you will be placed on a waiting list.

We would also like to inform you that the tutoring program will be conducted between the hours of 4:30 pm to 8:45 pm.