Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 Scholastic Art Awards

The Fine Arts Department at Downers Grove South High School is pleased to announce the results of the judging from the 2009 Scholastic Art Awards held at Downers Grove North High School. 18 area high schools submitted works of art for adjudication, with South High School contributing more than 120 pieces and portfolios. 56 DGS student artists won 90 awards, including 1 American Vision Award, 23 Gold Key Awards, 33 Silver Key Awards, and 33 Honorable Mention Awards. These pieces will be unveiled at the Opening Reception on Sunday, February 8, 2009 from 1-4:00 PM at Downers Grove North High School. The exhibit will continue for one week following the opening reception.

“This is the highest award total for DGS Visual Artists in recent memory.” said Glenn Williams, Fine Arts Department Chairperson at South High. “Scholastic Art Awards represent a high point of artistic achievement for a high school Visual Artist.” For more information about DGS Visual Art, contact Glenn Williams at

2009 Scholastic Art Award Winners – Downers Grove South High School

American Vision Award
Suse LaGory – Photo-Digital - "Sustainance"

Gold Key Award
Shaina Kasanoff – Photo - Digital (5); Allison Koch – Photo – Analog; Sarah Kurey – Jewelry; Suse LaGory – Photo-Digital (4); Grace Magliola – Ceramics; Andrea Piekarczyk – Painting, Graphic Story, Drawing (3); Jessica Ponce – Drawing; William Premo – Painting, Drawing (2); Lisa Pulchrat – Ceramics; Sierra Terry – Computer Art; Britney Trezzo – Drawing;
Lindsay Widdel – Drawing; Abby Zurliene – Drawing.

Silver Key Award
Amber Bandukwala – Drawing; Nisha Chauhan – Drawing, Painting (3);

James Dreveny – Drawing; Julianna Estall – Drawing; Kate Even – Painting;

Sunnie Farrar – Drawing; Rebecca Fenske – Ceramics; Neetu Hariharan – Jewelry;

Shania Kasanoff – Photo Digital (4); Dan Kendzierski – Ceramics;
Allison Koch – Photo Analog;Suse LaGory – Photo Digital (5); Elena Matos – Painting;
Michael McDonald – Sculpture; Robyn Mikyska – Drawing; Natalie Murray – Drawing;
Andrea Piekarczyk – Drawing (2); Kari Prada – Drawing; William Premo – Sculpture;
Jenn Sapko – Drawing; William Schrimsher – Drawing; Katie Sowa – Photo Digital;

Bing Zhu – Drawing.

Honorable Mention
Molly Aguinaga – Ceramics; Ashley Artus – Ceramics; Kathleen Baschen – Mixed Media; Bill Bodell – Drawing; Nisha Chauhan – Painting (3); Allison Crosby – Sculpture;

Kate Even – Painting; Sunnie Farrar – Drawing; Brad Hattan – Drawing;

Claire Hayse – Photo Digital; Michael Hernandez – Drawing; David Huether – Drawing;

Shania Kasanoff – Photo Digital; Tiffany Kolodziej – Design/Graphic; Hannah Loek – Digital Art; Gerardo Mascorro – Photo Digital; Samantha McCready – Photo Digital; Ryan Moser – Drawing; Daniel Mosiman – Jewelry; Julia Pinelli – Photo Digital; Cassandra Pinter – Jewelry;

William Premo – Drawing; Teresa Rodriguez – Ceramics; Tony Ruggerio – Ceramics;

Hayley Rumph – Ceramics; Ashley Seyfert – Ceramics;
Breanne Stromberg - Drawing; Katie Talbot – Photo Digital; Lindsay Widdel – Drawing;
Nick Wilson, Drawing; Lauren Wozniak – Drawing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jazz Cafe 2009

Special thanks and kudos to the student musicians from Lakeview Junior High School, Brian Ohlsen, director; O'Neill Middle School, Dave Balika, director; Jefferson Junior High School, Keith Carlson, director; and Eisenhower Junior High School, Maria Zurbano, director, for thier participation in the 2009 Jazz Cafe at DGS. More the 400 concert patrons heard just over three hour of music in the DGS Cafetorium. "In terms of quality and quality, the sonic future at Downers South is extremely bright." said Fine Arts Department Chairperson Glenn Williams.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DGS Jazz @ the 2009 Purdue Jazz Festival

Our DGS Jazz Ensemble and Lab Band "hit the road" on January 16-17, 2009 to perform in and compete at the 2009 Purdue University Jazz Festival. Both ensembles merited "Division I" ratings, the highest possible rating available from the national panel of adjudidcators. In addition to excellent ensemble performances, these student musicians were selected by the adjudication panels as Oustanding Soloists:

Alex Bahaveolos, trombone
Elliot Bild, trumpet
Carmine Calabria, drum set/vibes
Hank Gordon, bass
Matt Kowalski, trombone
Zach Munoz, bass
Justin Proksa, tenor saxophone
Mitch Reeter, trombone
Mike Ruth, alto saxophone
Callie Sorce, alto saxophone
In addition to earning Division I Awards, both the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band were given "Outstanding Performance" awards by their room adjuducation panels. This means that in their separate rooms, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band were chosen as "second place" during the course of the day.

Congratulatons to these individuals and to our DGS ensembles for such a tremendous showing ath the 2009 Purdue Jazz Festival!

Columbia College Faculty Sextet Recital

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, nearly 3,000 students from Downers Grove South High School enjoyed sleeping in during a late arrival due to the start of second semester. The diligence of the jazz musicians was evidenced in their attendance at an early morning (8:30 AM) performance of the renowned Columbia College Faculty Jazz Sextet. This amazing group performed in the bandroom for our 50+ jazz musicians for 45 minutes, then separated into instrument groups and led initmate master classes for the student musicians. Participating Columbia College Faculty were Scott Hall - trumpet; Geof Bradfield - tenor saxophone; Peter Saxe - piano; Bill Boris - guitar; Dan Anderson - bass; Tom Hipskin - drums. Special thanks to Columbia College for this outreach and to Scott Hall for taking the initiative to set up this experience for our DGS student musicians.

Columbia College Faculty Combo Master Classes

Our DGS student musicians were treated to master classes and clinics from the Columbia College Faculty this morning. Scott Hall worked with brass players, Geof Bradfield with the saxophone sections, Dan Anderson with the bassists, Tom Hipskin with the drummers, Bill Boris with the guitarists, and Peter Saxe with the pianists. Tremendous amounts of information relating to jazz performance was shared in a short window of time. The student musicians departed the clinics ready to integrate new ideas and techniques into their performance practice.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

'Tis the Season of Jazz at DGS!

DGS Jazz Musicians are busy preparing for a flurry of jazz events that are certain to warm the spirit of all who attend.

On January 16-17 the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band will attend the Purdue University Jazz Festival in West Lafayette, Indiana. The groups will compete against jazz ensembles from more than 70 high schools around the midwest, and, they'll receive expert adjudicator feedback on how to improve as an ensemble.

On Tuesday, January 20, the student musicians will be treated to a performance and a rehearsal clinic from the Columbia College Faculty Combo. This renowned Columbia Ensemble will perform for students in both jazz bands, then, faculty members will listen to each ensemble and offer suggestions for improvement.

On Thursday, January 22, the musicians will participate in the DGS Jazz Cafe'. This annual event features student musicians from DGS sender schools Eisenhower, Jefferson, Lakeview and O'Neill. The event begins at 6:30 PM in the DGS cafetorium and admission is free. In addition to some of the hottest jazz music in the Western Suburbs, charitable donations will be accepted for the group Potters for Peace, an organization that teaches underersourced cultures how to make water purification devices. For more information go to

Finally, our DGS jazz musicians will perform alongside the renowned Northern Illinois University Jazz Band, directed by Ron Carter, featuring internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff - The District 99/NIU Jazz Festival is Friday, February 6, 2009 at 7:00 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium at Downers Grove North HS. Adult tickets are $8, student tickets are $6, and they are available at the door. In addition to performing with the NIU band, our student jazz musicians will work side by side with NIU musicians, Ron Carter, and Lew Soloff.

Be certain to catch all of these events to provide a warm sonic blast for the deep midwestern winter!