Saturday, February 27, 2010

DGS Wind Ensemble @ Midwest Music Festival

Congratulations to the renowned DGS Wind Ensemble for their performance at the 34th annual Midwest Music Festival on Saturday, February 27, 2010. The group performed Pieces of Eight by Jenkins and Band Dancing by Stamp. 38 bands from 30 high schools performed in three rooms for judges comments, ratings, and an overall ranking. The DGS Wind Ensemble earned a Division I rating and placed 6th out of the 38 performing ensembles. Adjudicators raved in the comments about the blend and balance and overall tone quality of this outstanding ensemble.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

DGS Winter Guard Making History

The Downers Grove South Winterguard team is making history in their inaugural season.
The brand-new team started out on a high note when they finished first out of 14 winterguards at their first competition at Naperville North High School on January 24th. Today, they remain undefeated in their class, adding three more first-place trophies from the competitions they have attended in Illinois and Indiana.
“Since this is our first winterguard season, we weren’t sure how we would place at competitions. Our success has been an amazing experience,” said instructor Beth Refsnider. “I couldn’t be more proud. This is an incredibly fun and hard-working group of students, and it makes me so happy to see that their hard work and diligence is being recognized.”
The students are excited to represent DGS and spread the word about their new winterguard team.
“Winterguard is such a unique sport,” said freshman Anna Burton. “It's hard work, sweat, tears, and six foot flags all thrown together to get a special sport that's pleasing to watch and fantastic to participate in.”
Winterguards practice and perform inside school gymnasiums with flags, wooden rifles, and sabers. Each team has a different piece of music and theme that they pick, and a typical performance time is 3 – 6 minutes long. Students spin, toss, and dance, all while moving around to make different forms throughout the show. They are judged on the “General Effect” of their show, how they dance, how they spin, and how they work together as a group.
The Downers Grove South winterguard’s show is entitled “A Little Help From My Friends” and features the music of Joe Cocker.
“I love our show, because it’s about friends helping each other out and having fun,” said Junior Captain Amanda Garza. “We're all great friends and we enjoy having the opportunity to perform and have fun and do what we love to do."
The students in the winterguard are: Kristen Bennett, Anna Burton, Jessica Colip, Jenn Felseker, Taylor Froats, Amanda Garza, Olivia Germann, Becky Hays, Christine Hood, Kara Kastenholz, Megan Schreck, Suzanne Segredo, and Molly Strantz. The team is young, with 5 freshmen, 4 sophomores, 3 juniors, and 1 senior.
The DGS winterguard is excited to continue on with their successful season. “I love competition days,” said Burton. “I love waking up and being with the people I love for excessive amounts of time. I love coming to a new school and getting the performing jitters and just performing with all that I have. I love seeing the other guards, whom I aspire to be as good as, and just being with other people who love this sport as much as I do.”
The Downers Grove South Winterguard performs next at the Lake Park High School Competition in Roselle, Illinois on March 6th. They finish their season at the Lincoln Way East High School Competition in Frankfort, Illinois on March 21st. For schedules for these competitions, go to

DGS Choirs off to Big Apple

Close to 90 students, parents and staff with the DGS Choirs departed this morning at 4:45 AM for New York city. Despite the early time and several inches of freshly fallen snow, the student musicians arrived both in a timely and exhuberant manner.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DGS Choirs Bon Voyage Concert

In preparation for a trip to New York City on February 26, 2010, members of the DGS Choirs prepared to travel by presenting a concert. The opening three numbers were performed by the entire choral program (minus A Cappella Choir,) all standing on the stage simulatanouesly. Every ensemble was equisitely prepared and the repertoire was engaging and diverse. Well done Mustang choral musician!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

DGS Wind Symphony @ 2010 Metamora Concert Band Festival

Congratulations to the members of the DGS Wind Symphony who performed on Saturday, February 20th at the 2010 Metamora Concert Band Festival. The ensemble performend THE VIKING, by Karl King, INCIDENTAL SUITE by Claude T. Smith, and SYMPHONIC DANCE NO. 3 "FIESTA" by Clifton Williams. Clinician Fred Allen from Stephen F. Austin University in Texas was amazed how well a "second" band performed such a challenging program. Great work both on and off the stage by these Mustang Musicians!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

2010 Wind Ensemble - Hindemith Symphony

The DGS Wind Ensemble is preparing all three movements of Paul Hindemith's Symphony in Bb over the course of the school year, targeting a performance of the entire Masterwork at the Illinois State University State Concert Band Championship in late April. Enjoy the final 45 seconds of the third movement, performed on Thursday, February 18, 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Winter Band Concert

Congratulations to the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble for their spectacular performances tonight at the Winter Band concert.  Concert Band performed with precision and sonic aptitude beyond their chronological years;  Wind Ensemble opened the evening by performing Movement III of Paul Hindemith's Symphony for Band in B-flat.  The second photograph here captures the culminating piece of the evening, To Tame The Savage Seas.  With over 100 musicians on stage, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble combined to perform this closing number.  Well done tonight Mustang musicians!

DGS Scholastics Gold Key Winners

Kudos and congratulations to the 2010 DGS Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Gold Key winners:

Back row: Adam Kotel, Nithin Gade, Kevin O’Connor, Sunnie Farrar, and Oliver Sydello

Middle row: Rachel Riggin, Jessica Ponce

Front row: Hayley Gomoll, Lauren McGrath, Michael Hernandez, Jill Radecki, and Maggie Cipriano

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition Success

Congratulations to DGS violinist Michael Rau and his CYSO’s S*M*A*K string quartet for finishing first in the Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition at Chicago's Northeastern University on January 31st.

The S*M*A*K string quartet also received a special prize for having the most audience supporters.

For additional details on other CYSO participants in the Rembrandt competition click here

For details on the Rembrandt Competition click here

Monday, February 08, 2010

More 2010 Scholastics Images

More award winning images from the 2010 Scholastic Art Show from DGS Visual Artists.

Scholastics Art Show Images 2010

This is just a few of the award winning images from DGS Artists on display at the 2010 Scholastics Art Show, being held at North High School in the Auditorium Lobby and Foyer just off the Main Street entrance.  This show is open to public viewing from 8 AM - 4 PM from Monday, February 8 until Friday, February 12, 2010.

Friday, February 05, 2010

DGS Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band

A few visual moment from the recent DGS Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band performance.  Every District 99 band played with professionalism and poise - great work Mustang Jazz Musicians!!!

NIU Jazz Ensemble w/John Fedchock

A fabulous day of jazz immersion concluded with the NIU Jazz Ensemble, led by Ron Carter, and featuring guest soloist John Fedchock.  Mr. Fedchock's fluency is matched only by his artistry.  Amazing evenving indeed......

Thursday, February 04, 2010

John Fedchock Clinic

Iconical jazz trombonist John Fedchock gave a clinic about jazz improvisation to the District 99 jazs tudent musicians this afternoon.  Sitting in with the NIU rhythm section on a Bb blues and So What was DGS senior bassist Hank Gordon.

Ron Carter and DGS Jazz Bands

Professor Ron Carter worked with students from Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Ensemble today.  Professor Carter's incomparable teaching style continues to ignite the passion for jazz music with our DGS student musicians.

Elmhurst Symphony Concerto Audition Results

DGS Fine Arts is proud to announce that senior violinist Michael Rau received the Third place award while particiapting in the 2010 Stanger Young Artists' Concerto Auditions on January 23, 2010. 

"Michael is a special person, musician and violinist." said department chairperson Glenn Williams.  "I have every confidence that one day he'll perform regularly with a major symphony orchestra."

To hear Michael and the renowned District 99 orchestra, please attend our concert on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 in the DGS Auditorium.  Michael Rau and other senior soloists will be featured during the course of the performance.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Personal Super Heroines

Spirit week this week causes me to publicly reflect on three of my personal super heroines....................  Thanks to Ms. Lynn, Mrs. Dipert and Mrs. Hansen for having school spirit in abundance.

2010 D99/NIU Jazz Festival

The internationally acclaimed Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble will be in Downers Grove this Thursday, February 4, for a 7 PM concert at the Downers Grove South High School Auditorium. High School Jazz Bands from both DGN and DGS will open the show, followed by the NIU band and guest trombone soloist John Fedchock. Tickets may be purchased at the door.