Saturday, January 30, 2010

IMEA All-State Jazz

Congrats to DGS musician Matt Kowalski for his performance with the All-State Honors Jazz Band!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Visual Art Senior Awarded Scholarship

DGS Senior Sunnie Farrar has been awarded a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Art after judging has taken place in the Senior Scholarship Competition.  Of the 16 high school seniors awarded scholarships, Sunnie was chosen as the second place winner.  This means her  scholarship to the American Academy of Art will be valued at slightly over $11,000.  "We are very proud of Sunnie and her growth as an artist while at DGS." said department chairman Glenn Williams.  "This award is certainly deserved based on Sunnie's fabulous artistic process, and, the continued high level of work she produces."  For information about the arts at Downers Grove South High School, contact Glenn Williams at

Monday, January 25, 2010

2010 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Results

2010 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
"Tread" by Kevin O'Connor
The Fine Arts Department at Downers Grove South High School is pleased to announce the results of the judging from the 2010 Scholastic Art Awards held at Downers Grove North High School. 18 area high schools submitted more than 1,400 works of art for adjudication, with South High School contributing 144 pieces and portfolios. 37 DGS student artists won 58 awards, including 1 American Vision Award, 15 Gold Key Awards, 17 Silver Key Awards, and 25 Honorable Mention Awards. These pieces will be unveiled at the Opening Reception on Sunday, February 7, 2010 from 1-4:00 PM at Downers Grove North High School. The works will continue in exhibit for one week following the opening reception.

“We are extremely proud of the artistic success of our students.” 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, or, go to our department blog at

2010 Scholastic Art Award Winners – Downers Grove South High School
American Vision Award
Kevin O’Connor – Ceramics & Glass - "Treads"

Gold Key Award
Maggie Cipriano – Photography; Sunnie Farrar – Digital Art; Hayley Gomoll – Photography;
Nithin Gade - Painting; Adam Kotel – Photography; Michael Hernandez – Drawing; Michael Hernandez – Portfolio; Lauren McGrath – Photo Portfolio; Lauren McGrath – Photography (2); Kevin O’Connor – Ceramics & Glass; Jessica Ponce – Mixed Media;
Jill Radecki – Ceramics & Glass;
Rachel Riggin – Photography; Oliver Sydello – Painting;

Silver Key AwardChristopher Banach – Ceramics & Glass; Julianna Estall – Drawing; Julianna Estall - Mixed Media; Aura Evans – Mixed Media; Claire Hayse – Photography;
Michael Hernandez – Painting; Lauren McGrath – Photography(4);
Mariah Miller – Painting; Ashley Moore – Sculpture; Oliver Sydello – Painting;
Caitlyn Rahe – Ceramics & Glass; Lindsay Widdel – Mixed Media;

Honorable Mention
Carlos Aguirre – Sculpture; Gashawn Antoine – Drawing; Erik Binter – Ceramics & Glass;
Maggie Cipriano – Photography; Nick Clouston – Mixed Media; Julia Dumlao – Photography;
Julianna Estall – Painting (2); Claire Hayse – Photography; Michael Hernandez – Drawing;
Emily Johnson – Drawing; Brad Kizior – Ceramics & Glass; Allison Koch – Photography (2);
Adam Kotel – Digital Art (2); Margaree Lachowiez – Ceramics & Glass;
Shannon Markert – Drawing; Paige Mitler – Drawing; Amy Nagle – Ceramics & Glass;
Brianna Richardson – Ceramics & Glass; Kevin Silver – Ceramics & Glass;
Breanne Stromberg – Painting; Lindsay Widdel – Fashion; Dane Wiedemann – Drawing

Winter Guard - CHAMPIONS!!!!

Special congratulations are due to the newly revived DGS Winter Guard, coached by Beth Refsnider. This unit emerged victorious at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit competition held Saturday, January 25, 2010 at Naperville North High School. The DGS Winter Guard placed first out of 14 participating schools. "We're very proud of the team and their success." said Department Chairman Glenn Williams. "The future is bright for Guard at DGS."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2010 Purdue University Jazz Festival

Student musicians from Downers Grove South High School participated in the 20th Purdue University Jazz Festival this past weekend in West Lafayette, Indiana. The musical results of student achievement in jazz performance were impressive.

For 20 years, more than 65 high school and middle school bands have competed in this annual event, which features groups from Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Downers Grove South High School accomplished something that only three high schools in 20 years have been able to achieve, namely, having two ensembles selected as Honor Bands. Additionally, 10 outstanding soloist awards were given by the judges to the more than 1,200 participating student musicians. Of those 10 outstanding soloist awards, 3 were given to DGS jazz musicians.

The renowned DGS Jazz Ensemble was named the Honor Band for the Fowler Hall performance site. Senior trombonist Matt Kowalski and senior baritone saxophonist Lauren Wood were named the two outstanding soloists for Fowler Hall for the day. Additionally, Mike Ruth, Danny Jama, Elliot Bild and Kelly Lamorena were recognized by the judging panel as outstanding musicians and soloists.

The DGS Jazz Lab band was named the Honor Band for the North Ballroom performance site. Freshmen alto saxophonist Christian Siki was named one of two outstanding soloists for the site for the day. Additionally, Will O'Dell, Josiah Williams and Paul Carlquist were recognized by the judging panel as outstanding musicians and soloists.

The DGS Jazz Combo also performed in the Faculty Lounge, earning a Division II rating. Junior trumpeter Elliot Bild and sophomore alto saxophonist Michael Ruth were recognized by the judging panel as outstanding musicians and soloists.

"We are extremely proud of how our student musicians performed this weekend, both on and off the stage." said department chairperson and director Glenn Williams. "This success is directly due to student effort and commitment to excellence in jazz performance."

Come and hear our award winning DGS jazz groups on Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM in the DGS auditorium as they join jazz groups from Downers Grove North in sharing the stage with the renowned NIU Jazz Ensemble with guest artist John Fedchock. Tickets are available at the door.