Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More John Mackey at South High School

Composer John Mackey continued his residency at South High School, engaging in a question and answer dialog with Concert Band and Symphonic Band. Wind Symphony performed Xerxes and gained immediate feedback and insight from the composer. Wind Ensemble performed the challenging Kingfishers Catch Fire, working on performance nuances at an exceedingly deep level. Mr. Mackey's posistive demeanor and engaging, student centered manner make him a favorite of students in every level of performing ensemble.

Composer John Mackey coaches DGS student composer Zach Plata

John Mackey's residency at South High School in Downers Grove continued this morning as he spent time coaching student composer Zach Plata and a chamber woodwind ensemble. By listening to themes on Mr. Mackey's web site, Zach created an arrangement of John Mackey themes for a woodwind ensemble. Mr. Mackey spent time coaching both Zach and the student musicians in the ensemble on how best to continue to develop the arrangement. Mr. Mackey's opening words to Zach were "Write more of your own stuff and less of my stuff." Dialog also continued regarding creating effective transitions between themes, and as always, getting performers to interpret with effective dynamic contrast.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Composer John Mackey visits South High School in Downers Grove

Composer John Mackey is engaging in a "mini-residency" at South High School in Downers Grove on September 27-28, 2011. This evening, Mr. Mackey attended his first marching band rehearsal ever, experiencing his music being realized on the field by the Marching Mustangs.

The Marching Mustangs 2011 competition show titled River Visions, features works composed by Mr. Mackey, including Strange Humors, Hymn to a Blue Hour, and Kingfishers Catch Fire.

The only thing more palpable than the excitement in and around Mr. Mackey's arrival was the growth of the student musicians. Hearing direction from the composer of the music creates a unique sense of authority which creates tremendous relevance for the students. The subtle musical concepts being presented and rehearsed on the marching field tonight were impressive.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Marching Mustangs in the Marching Illini

Special "shout out" to South High School alums current marching in the famous "Marching Illini" at the University of Illinois. From left to right, let's hear it for Callie Sorce, alto saxphone; Shannon Rooney, mellophone, and Brad Jones trumpet.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

44th Chicagoland Marching Band Festival

The Marching Mustangs competed in Class 2A at the 44th Chicagoland Marching Band Festival at Wheeling High School. At the end of the evening, the Marching Mustangs earned the caption for Best Music Performance and Best Drum Majors. With a score of 72.00, the Marching Mustangs were 2nd place in Class 2A and 5th place overall out of 23 competing ensembles.

Enjoy the video below from the CMBF - the best performance by the Marching Mustangs thus far during the season.

Cross Town Classic Videos

Enjoy the combined choirs and marching bands National Anthem and the performance of the Marching Mustangs from the Cross Town Classic football game on Friday, September 23, 2011.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cross Town Classic Drum Major Gift Exchange

The drum majors from North and South High Schools in Downers Grove continued a standing tradition of exchanging show t-shirts after the half-time performance at the Cross Town Classic. After exchanging a salute with each other, the student leaders from each ensemble exchanged show t-shirts and well wishes for the rest of the marching season.

Cross Town Classic 2011

The annual Cross Town Classic football game took place this evening. While the football teams from North and South High Schools in Downers Grove squared off against each other on the field, the student musicians joined forces in multiple ways throughout the course of the evening.

Conducted by North High Band director and South High alum Bill Miller, the combined marching bands and choirs from both North and South joined forces to perform a stunning National Anthem prior to the game. In addition to sharing the field for the pre-game festivities, the bands performed a combined dance team number, featuring the Athenas from DGN and the Fillies from DGS. We are proud of every student musician that joined in the collaborative efforts to help celebrate just how much music is a part of the schools and the community here in Downers Grove.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Marching Mustangs - double header weekend videos

Enjoy the video recordings by Mr. Maguire from the Stagg High School compettion and from the Wheaton North High School competition. Both events were held on Saturday, September 17, 2011.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Barrage coming to District 99

On October 6, 2011 at 7:00 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium at North High School in Downers Grove, the District 99 Orchestra will be collaborating with the internationally-acclaimed ensemble, Barrage . Barrage is a high-octane fiddle-fest that features an international, multi-talented cast performing an eclectic mix of music, song and dance. The cast of Barrage features: six violinists/vocalists, one drummer, one bass player and a guitarist. Barrage performances offer up a diverse fusion of cultures, musical styles and incredible performance vitality. The music of Barrage continues to evolve - combining contemporary world music influences, layered vocal arrangemetns and pulsating modern beats and rhythms. The cast delivers the show with amazing energy and musical virtuosity that will take your breath away.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in the Fine Arts Office at either South or North. Get your tickets today - you won't want to miss this incredible concert.

Monday, September 12, 2011

33rd Lancer Joust Finals Performance

Enjoy your Marching Mustangs finals performance from the 33rd Lancer Joust.

33rd Lancer Joust - Prelims performance

Enjoy your Marching Mustangs prelims performance at the 33rd Lancer Joust.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mustang Marching Band at 33rd Annual Lancer Joust

On Saturday, September 10, 2011, the Marching Mustangs competed at the 33rd annual Lancer Joust at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois.

Competing in Class 2A in preliminary competition, the Marching Mustangs tied for third place, finishing in a tie in the caption award for Best Visual Effect. Additionally, the Marching Mustangs were one of 10 out of 25 bands that qualified to perform in the evening finals event.

During the finals, the Marching Mustangs place 6th overall. Great showing at the Lancer Joust - way to get your season off on the "right" foot!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Marching Mustangs - 09-09-11

Enjoy the Marching Mustangs and their halftime performance from September 9, 2011. Thanks to Quentin Maguire for the video.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Gaudete Brass Quintet at South High School

The Gaudete Brass performed and provided a professional musicianship master class for the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble at South High School in Downers Grove. Founded in 2004, this Chicago-based quinted is emerging as a national force on the brass scene, commissioning several recent works from notable composers around the world.

Tubist and founding member Scott Tegge teaches tuba/euphonium at both South and North High Schools in Downers Grove. This residency is, in part, to prepare for a performance on Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM in the South High School Auditorium. In November, the Gaudete Brass will perform a concerto with the South HS Wind Ensemble, and, will perform with the Lakeview Junior High School and Eisenhower Junior High School Bands on the same concert. Mark your calendars now - this is an event you want to be certain to attend!