Joe Sonnefeldt grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago. He learned the value of serving others from his mother, a Registered Nurse and his father, a Chicago Firefighter. Joe is a Notre Dame High School graduate and received his Bachelor of Music from the American Conservatory of Music.
A professional musician, Joe has spent three decades sharing his skills and knowledge with the youth in his community by offering lessons. He has worked at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights as a music instructor and band staff member for 25 years.
As a freelance musician, Joe has recorded numerous commercial jingles, performed with local bands, and played in pit orchestras for various Broadway productions in Chicago-area theaters. Joe is a proud member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208 and serves on the board of the Theater Musicians Assoc., Chicago chapter. Joe was recently endorsed by the Illinois AFL-CIO State Federation, which represents nearly 900,000 union members and is the voice of all working families in the state.
For nearly twenty years Joe has lived in Mount Prospect where he raised two children who attended District 57 schools and Prospect High School. As a young parent Joe’s deep concern for public education prompted him to become involved in electoral politics by volunteering for local school referendum campaigns in 2000 and 2003. He later volunteered for President Obama’s first presidential campaign, going to Missouri and Indiana to knock on doors. From 2012-2016, Joe served as Secretary of the Wheeling Township Democratic Organization.
Joe decided to use his experience as an educator and activist to run for his local school board and in 2011 he was elected to the Mount Prospect School District 57 Board of Education. That same year Joe established “District 57 Music Scholarships, NFP” to provide financial assistance to students who need help with the various costs of participating in district music programs.
Joe was re-elected to the District 57 School Board in 2015 and began serving as Board President the following year. In 2016 Joe was awarded the “Shining Star” for Youth Service by the Village of Mt. Prospect.