Friday, December 12, 2008

DGS 2009 All-State Musicians

Special kudos and congratulations to the DGS 2009 All-State Musicians. See you all in Peoria!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008 Holiday Concert Rehearsal

The DGS Combined Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony, Combined Choirs, and District 99 Orchestra all rehearsed today for the December 12, 2008 Holiday Concert. The performance professionalism in each ensemble is currently at extremely high levels. Repertoire ranges from Corelli to Rutter, from Handel to Frescobaldi, from Mahr to Hazo. The range of music and high level of craftsmanship will ensure that audience goers tomorrow evening will be completely pleased.
Concert begins at 7:00 PM in the Main Gymnasium. Admission is free. See you all then!!!1

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

2009 All-State Musicians Announced

Eleven student musicians from Downers Grove South High School were selected, by competitive audition, to participate in the 2009 Illinois Music Educator’s Association All-State Band, Choir, Orchestra, Jazz Band. The extremely competitive performance auditions were held in October at Carl Sandburg High School.

“This is a tremendous honor for these students,” said Glenn Williams, Fine Arts Department Chairperson at South High. “All-State selection represents the pinnacle of musical achievement for a high school student musician. We are very proud of our students, and look forward to hearing their performances in January.”

In total, twenty-six student musicians were selected for All-State from Community High School District 99.

The All-State Band, Choir, Orchestra and Jazz Band will convene for a series of rehearsals in Peoria, IL, on January 28-31, 200. Their concerts will be held at the Peoria Civic Center on the evening of January 31, 2009.

All-State Band
Emily Gai – Senior - Clarinet

All-State Choir
Benita Thorat – Junior - Soprano II
Jeff Novak – Junior - Tenor I
Tom Reusz – Junior - Bass II

All-State Orchestra
Rahul Kamath – Senior – Viola
Emily Levine – Junior – Viola
Nikki Mihelich – Sophmore - Cello
Kari Prada – Senior – Viola
Michael Rau – Junior - Violin

All-State Jazz Band

Matt Kowalski – Junior - Trombone

All-State Composition
Cory Parkison - 2007 graduate - 2nd Place, Vocal Solo Category
Cory Parkinson - 2007 graduate - 3rd place, Vocal Ensemble Category

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

2008 DGS Empty Bowls Project

Student ceramists at Downers Grove South High School are working to provide clean and purifiend water for underresourced people around the world.
EMPTY BOWLS PROJECT 2008 was introduced to the DGS art community by staff members Molly O'Brien-Prusa and Kathy Myles. Between 25-30 student ceramic pieces will be up for SILENT AUCTION during the 2008 Winter Art Show. Funds from the bidding will be donated to POTTERS FOR PEACE, , an organization dedicated to teaching cultures how to make a low cost, ceramic water filtration system.
10 pieces will be auctioned from 6-6:45 PM on Thursday, December 11, 2008 during the opening of the Winter Art Show. The initial winners of the 10 pieces will be announced during the Holiday Concert which begins at 7 PM in the Main Gymnasium. The rest of the pieces will remain for public bidding during the Winter Art Show through Monday, December 14, 2008.
As an additional source of dedicated funds, Ms. O'Brien-Prusa has created an enclosed ceramic pot. Money can be donated into this piece during the run of the entire art show. At the conclusion of the Winter Art show, student artists will "smash" the pot and dedicate the funds inside the piece to POTTERS FOR PEACE.
"We are thrilled for our student artists and staff to have such an other-centered approach towards humanity." said Fine Arts Department Chair Glenn Williams. "By donating to POTTERS FOR PEACE, we are teaching cultures how to make their own water purification systems, we are giving them the gift of clean water for their entire lives."
For more information about the 2008 Empty Bowls project, contact Fine Arts Department Chairperson Glenn Williams at

Monday, December 01, 2008

Santa Parade 2008

Our Marching Mustangs participated in the 2008 Downers Grove Santa Parade on Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 1:00 PM. Although the weather outside was truly frightfuly, the student musicians marched and performed with an extremely high level of professionalism. Thanks to theses students, parent volunteers and families for their musical contribution to the community of Downers Grove!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2008 DGS Invitational - DGS Wind Ensemble

The concert was concluded by our very own DGS Wind Ensemble. Valerie McElroy, student teacher from DePaul, returned to conduct a rousing rendition of Kirkpatrick Fanfare. Dr. Bough guest conducted his own arrangement of the Neruda Concerto in Eb, a piece which featured Erica Bough as trumpet soloist. Mrs. Bough's sound was fabulous and she played extremely musically. After a pyrotechnical opening with Exultate, Schwanda, The Bagpiper and Vesuvius closed the evening with a rousing standing ovation from the capcity crowd in attendance. Great work tonight Wind Ensemble!!

2008 DGS Invitational - Jefferson Junior HS

The Jefferson Junior High School Symphonic Winds, conducted by Keith Carlson, performed second on the evening. The diversity and excellence of the repertoire was stunning. The student soloists in the pieces played with confidence, and the challenging rhythmic nature of the pieces was well executed. Dr. Thomas Bough from NIU also guest conducted the Jefferson Symphonic Winds, and the student musicians responded with poise and maturity.

DGS Invitational 2008 - O'Neill Middle School

The 2008 DGS Invitational was commenced by the O'Neill Middle School Band, conducted by Dave Balika. The band opened with a challenging arrangment of Light Cavalry Overture, and concluded with Dr. Thomas Bough from NIU guest conducting Tall Cedars. This challenging music was performed in a stellar manner, and the students responded well to Dr. Bough's conducting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

Even on a day when school is not in session, Downers Grove South High School student musicians still provide community service and patriotic commemoration.
On Tuesday, November 11, 2008, DGS junior trumpeters Brad Jones and Kelly Lamorena provided bugling services for the annual Commonwealth Edision Veterans Day cermony. The students played "To the Colors" and "Taps" during the 30 minute event, which honored not only Oakbrook Post VFW Veterans, but the numerous Commonwealth Edison Veterans in attendance at the ceremony. In addition to the Chief Operating Officer and other Com Ed VIP's, there were more than 150 Com Ed employees in attendance at this event.
"We are very proud of Brad and Kelly for their community service in this event." said Fine Arts Chairperson Glenn Williams. "They sounded fabulous, and the Veterans in attendance were most appreciate of their presence and musicianship."

Friday, October 31, 2008

D99 Strings at Butler University String Festival

In the wee hours of Thursday morning (5:10 AM to be precise,) our District 99 Symphonic Orchestra strings traveled to Butler University in Indianapolis for the Butler University String Festival. This regional event featured orchestras from Crown Point HS, Pike HS and Portage HS.

Our student musicians performed in the morning and were then given an hour long clinic with a guest conductor designed to help them improve their performance. This was followed by sectional and master class time with the Butler University faculty.

The evening concert featured each high school group playing one selection, with the Butler University Strings performing after the high school group. The culminating sonic experience was three pieces with the combined forces of all 5 string orchestras.

Great job Symphonic Orchestra strings - we're proud of you! Special thanks to Ms. Mullen and Mrs. Branch for their combined efforts to make this trip and festival possible for our student musicians.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dazzling Displays Delight DGS Daily

In addition to the permanent collecti0n of visual art work that hangs in offices and conference rooms around DGS, our visual art team does an amazing job of updating 10 different display cases around our building. This constant renewal process showcases student work in an amazing manner, and, does wonders to improve the look and feel of our campus. During events like Parent/Teacher conferences, this does nothing but make all of us look good!!!!

More Dazzling Displays

More Dazzling Displays

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WOW - Way to go Marching Mustangs!!!!

The 2008 Downers Grove South HS Marching Mustangs recently traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to compete in the fourth annual Youth In Music Championships.

Four years ago the Youth In Music Championships were just a dream and an idea. In those years the YIM Championships have grown from 9 to 20 bands and 1,400 to 6,000 in attendance. The YIM Championships have quickly become one of the premier marching band events in the Midwest.

The competitive results for the Marching Mustangs were impressive. A preliminary score of 81.4 gave the Marching Mustangs First Place in Class AA. This qualified the Marching Mustangs to return and perform in the finals competition in the evening.

In the evening finals, our Marching Mustangs scored 83.1, earning them 6th place overall. Additionally, the Drum Majors from DGS were selected as the 1rst place team of Drum Majors from the 20 groups that completed in preliminaries and finals.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of these student musicians” said Fine Arts Department Chairperson Glenn Williams. “Making finals and improving their score from prelims to finals is an impressive accomplishment.”

For more information about DGS Fine Arts or about the Marching Mustangs, contact Fine Arts Department Chairperson Glenn Williams at 630.795.8681,