Thursday, January 31, 2013

D99/NIU Jazz Festival

What could be better than four jazz ensembles from District 99 followed by the renowned NIU Jazz Ensemble directed by Ron Carter?  Having guest artist Lew Tabackin perform with the NIU band and clinic the student musicians during the day.  Lew's incomparable musicianship was apparent on both tenor saxophone and flute tonight.   Great job tonight Mustang musicians - we're proud of your continued performance success!

2013 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

The Fine Arts Department at South High School in Downers Grove is pleased to announce the results of the judging from the 2013 Chicago area regional Scholastic Art Awards held at Downers Grove North High School.  25 area high schools submitted more than 2,973 works of art for adjudication.  55 South High School student artists won 120 awards, including 33 Gold Key Awards, 31 Silver Key Awards, and 56 Honorable Mention Awards.  These pieces will be unveiled at the Opening Reception on Sunday, February 10, 2013 from 1-4:00 PM in the auditorium foyer at Downers Grove North High School.  The works will continue in exhibit for one week following the opening reception.

“We are exceedingly proud of both the process followed by our student artists, and, of the products they all create.” said Glenn Williams, Fine Arts Department Chairman 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

2013 Scholastic Art Award Winners – Downers Grove South High School

 Gold Key Award Winner
What Suffocates The Land
Samantha Arreguin, artist

Gold Key Award Winner
The Poisen Apple
Crystal Ponce, artist

Gold Key Award
Sammie Anselmo – Photography & Mixed Media (4); 
Samantha Arreguin – Photography & Mixed Media (2);
Danielle Conrad – Photography ; Abby Dalton - Photography; Natalie Denz - Drawing;  
Aura Evans – Mixed Media; Kelly Isaacson – Ceramics & Glass; Anna Jedralski - Drawing; Josh Johnson - Photography (2); Egle Keturakyte - Drawing; Trevor Lane - Photography; Kristine LaRue - Photography (2); Cassandra Lueken - Photography; Kate Moore – Ceramics & Glass;  Lori Niehaus – Photography; Melissa Orton - Jewelry;  Natalie Pelekh – Drawing ;  Crystal Ponce – Mixed Media & Drawing (2);

Abby Ray – Mixed Media; Tyler Richardson – Ceramics & Glass; Thomas Stice – Ceramics & Glass;
Szilard Tamas - Drawing; Hannah Wood – Ceramics & Glass

Gold Key Award – Portfolio
Sammie Anselmo; Tiffany Boak; Danielle Conrad; Aura Evans; Crystal Ponce; Taylor Wold

Silver Key Award
Karolina Ambrazaite – Photography (2); Sammie Anselmo – Photography & Mixed Media (2);  Samantha Arreguin – Photography (2);  Danielle Conrad – Photography (2);  Abby Dalton – Digital Art;  Mikaela Damon – Drawing; Natalie Denz – Drawing (2);  Aura Evans – Drawing & Painting (3);  Egle Keturakyte – Drawing & Painting (2);  Trevor Lane – Painting;  Kristine LaRue – Digital Art & Photography (2);  Kailei Malauskas – Design;  Robert Mara – Ceramics & Glass;  Kate Moore – Ceramics & Glass;  Crystal Ponce – Drawing;  Jacquelyn Rubik – Mixed Media;  Jordan Spivak – Digital Art;  Thomas Stice – Drawing (2);  Michael Taus – Painting;  Taylor Wold – Mixed Media;
Jane Woywood – Drawing

Honorable Mention
Karolina Ambrazaite – Photography; Sammie Anselmo – Digital Art & Photography (4); Samantha Arreguin – Photography & Drawing (2);  Michael Baer – Photography;  Matthew Baker – Ceramics & Glass; 
Tiffany Boak – Photography (2);  Kelly Cavanaugh – Photography;  Caitlin Clemens – Ceramics & Glass;  Ralph Jayson Daguit – Mixed Media;  Abby Dalton – Photography & Digital Art (2);  Mikaela Damon – Drawing & Mixed Media (2);  Aura Evans – Drawing;  Madeline Gard – Ceramics & Glass;  Grace Goodwyn – Ceramics & Glass;  Migle Gvildyte – Ceramics & Glass;  Anna Jedralski – Drawing;  Hamlet Jimenez – Drawing;  Josh Johnson – Drawing (2);
Kristine LaRue –Digital Art;  Josh Meyers – Drawing;  Kate Moore – Ceramics & Glass; Matthew Morlock – Ceramics & Glass; Crystal Panganiban – Digital Art; Crystal Ponce – Mixed Media;  Adriana Quintana – Painting;  Abby Ray – Photography;  Karen Ruggiero – Drawing;  Alveena Saeed – Jewelry;  Jose Sanchez – Photography;  Adam Shehadeh – Reprise;  Caroline Skubal – Ceramics & Glass;  Jessica Stacko – Photography & Digital Art (5);  Thomas Stice – Mixed Media;  Merlyn Thomas – Painting;  Emily Ullrich – Photography;  Giuseppe Vattimo – Painting; Rachel Wen – Ceramics & Glass;  Taylor Wold – Photography (2)

Honorable Mention Award – Portfolio
Sammie Anselmo;  Josh Johnson; Kristine LaRue; Natalie Pelekh;  Adriana Quintana

Monday, January 28, 2013

Welcome to the South HS Class of 2017!

Mustang musicians helped to welcome the Class of 2017 to South High School tonight for the Open House.  The Jazz Ensemble swung hard prior to the event, and All-State vocalist Caitlin Carr performed a gorgeous national anthem.  Thanks to all of these student musicians for their sonic contributions to the learning community at South High School this evening, and welcome to all the musicians and artists in the South High School Class of 2017!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mustang Musicians at the IMEC All-State Concert

There was at least one student musician from South High School in each of the six All-State and Honors ensembles during the IMEC concluding concerts in the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday, January 26, 2013.  These student musicians played and sang at a high level, and expanded their learning through connecting with the guest conductors and other student musicians from Illinois.  Continuing to define performance excellence at an All-State level, several Mustang musicians earned notable spots, including junior Andrew Molina, principal cellist in the Honors Orchestral; senior Dan Leahy, featuring soloist with the Honors Chorus, and senior Josiah Williams, principal trombonist in the Honors Band.   The learning community from South High School was represented with musicianship and dignity throughout the rehearsals and performances during the week.  Way to go South High School All-State musicians!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

South HS Jazz at the IMEC All-State

South High School Jazz was well represented at the 2013 IMEC in Peoria, Illinois.  Sender school Lakeview Junior High School performed to a capacity crowd on Thursday night, featuring Lakeview and South HS alum Michael Ruth.  Senior Ian Williams performed on the Jazz Concert on Friday night with the All-State Honors Combo, directed by Dana Hall.  Making All-State as a pianist is a high honor in Illinois as only 5 performers are accepted.  Ian's performance prowess was acknowledged further as a member of the combo, a spot typically reserved for the most proficient performer on jazz piano.  As a jazz musician, it was a great week to be a Mustang!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

South HS Jazz 2013 Purdue Jazz Festival Highlight Reel

Enjoy these highlights from Jazz Lab Band and the Combo from the 2013 Purdue University Jazz Festival.

South HS Jazz at the 2013 Purdue Jazz Festival

39 Mustang jazz musicians performing in two big bands and one combo traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana this weekend to participate in the 2013 Purdue Jazz Festival.   Performing for adjudicator feedback and competing against over 75 other ensembles from around the midwest, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab, and the Combo all earned Division I ratings with scores averaging in the 90's.

The South HS Combo earned an Outstanding Performance award from the judging panel, putting them second place in their room for the day.  In the combo, seniors Julia Wood (bass) and Michal Witek (guitar) earned special praise from the adjudication panel in the combo room, each earning a 1/2 scholarship to the Western Illinois University Jazz Camp in Macomb, Illinois for their outstanding musicianship during the combo performance.  

Additionally, 18 Mustang jazz musicians earned a total of 23 outstanding musician/soloist awards, given by the panel of adjudicators for solo or ensemble performances that are exceptional:

Morgan Baade, baritone saxophone
Lee Biederman, baritone saxophone
Chris David, alto saxophone
Marjorie Fera, trumpet
Sean Hux, tenor saxophone (2)
Tommy Leinart, piano
Bridget Moroney, clarinet/tenor saxophone
Joe Perillo, drums
Chris Plantz, drums
John Shimanek, trumpet
Christian Siki, alto saxophone (2)
Danny Tedeschi, trombone
Michael Tegeler, trombone
James Weiss, tenor saxophone
Ian Williams, piano (2)
Julia Wood, bass (2)
Michal Witek, guitar (2)
Kat Woltman, bass

"We are proud of these students musicians and their continued commitment to jazz performance excellence." said director Glenn Williams.  "The ensemble excellence and vast student soloist recognition is earned only through the hard work of the players in the ensembles."

Friday, January 18, 2013

South HS almunus Mariah Pulice on American Idol

South High School Fine Arts is proud to support 2011 alumnus Mariah Pulice as she excels on American Idol.  Hear Mariah's story and listen to her singing at the link below!

Mariah Pulice on American Idol

Thursday, January 17, 2013

South HS Jazz Ensemble Jazz Cafe Highlight Reel

Enjoy this sonic highlight reel for the South HS Jazz Ensemble from the 2013 Jazz Cafe.

2013 Jazz Cafe

Seven jazz ensembles from 5 different schools featuring more than 160 student jazz musicians performed to a capacity crowd in the cafetorium tonight for the 2013 Jazz Cafe.  Special congratulations to the future Mustang Musicians from the sender schools of Eisenhower Junior High School, Jefferson Junior High School, Lakeview Junior High School and O'Neill Middle School for their fabulous performances this evening.  If the performances tonight are any indication, the sonic future is very bright indeed for jazz at South High School in Downers Grove.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

South HS Jazz Ensemble selected to participate in 2013 Swing Central Festival

The 2012-2013 South HS Jazz Ensemble, Craig Roselieb, director

Savannah, Georgia – Twelve of the nation’s top high school jazz bands have been selected to participate in the eighth annual SWING CENTRAL JAZZ High School Jazz Band Competition & Workshop, an event produced by the Savannah Music Festival (SMF). Pianist/composer Marcus Roberts leads a group of 19 esteemed musicians/educators as the Associate Artistic Director, along with Associate Director Jim Ketch, trumpet player and Director of Jazz Studies at UNC Chapel Hill.

Participating students work with jazz masters across three days, perform in showcases on Savannah’s River Street, play in competition rounds, and attend a variety of SMF performances during their stay, which takes place from March 27 through 29, 2013. “It was difficult process to select our twelve high school bands from a very strong group of applicants. We look forward to hosting talented young musicians from as far away as California while welcoming first-time participants from the Savannah Arts Academy,” remarks Associate Artistic Director Marcus Roberts. “We will have a great group of world-class musicians working with these bands in team settings during the festival. I’m looking forward to it.”

In 2013, the nationally recognized SWING CENTRAL JAZZ program features the following bands going head-to-head for $13,000 in cash awards:

Agoura High School Studio Jazz Band from Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA) 
Agoura High School Jazz “A” from Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA) 
Charleston School of the Arts Jazz from Charleston School of the Arts (Charleston, SC)
Camden Creative Arts Jazz Band from Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy (Camden, NJ)
Denver School of the Arts Jazz Workshop Orchestra from Denver School of the Arts (Denver, CO) 
Downers Grove South High School Jazz Ensemble from Downers Grove South High School (Downers Grove, IL) 
Grissom High School “A” Jazz Band from Grissom High School (Huntsville, AL)
Lower Moreland High School Jazz Ensemble from Lower Moreland High School (Huntingdon Valley, PA) 
Overton High School Blue Jazz Ensemble from Overton High School (Memphis, TN)
Savannah Arts Academy Jazz Band One from Savannah Arts Academy (Savannah, GA) 
Tarpon Springs High School Jazz Ensemble I from Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, FL)
The Lovett School Jazz Ensemble from The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA) 

The 2013 SWING CENTRAL JAZZ clinician team includes:

Jim Ketch, Marcus Printup, Terell Stafford 
Bill Kennedy, Stephen Riley, Jack Wilkins
Wycliffe Gordon, Ron Westray, Paul McKee 
Dave Stryker
Jason Marsalis, Leon Anderson, Herlin Riley
Carlos Henriquez , Rodney Jordan,  Rodney Whitaker 
Marcus Roberts,  Aaron Diehl, Dan Nimmer, Bill Peterson

As part of SWING CENTRAL JAZZ, each participating band receives a visit from a clinician in February to help them prepare for the event. On March 28, all bands perform in public showcases at Rousakis Plaza on River Street. On March 29, select combos perform on Reynolds Square. Competition rounds take place all day on March 29 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, and are webcasted for family and friends who aren’t able to make the trip to Savannah. Each band plays three selections: “Billie’s Bounce” composed by Charlie Parker and arr. by clinician Paul McKee, “Such Sweet Thunder” composed by Duke Ellington and arr. by Billy Strayhorn and “Oh!” composed and arr. by Ernie Watkins.The three top-scoring bands each receive an honorarium and vie for the coveted Faircloth Award ($5000 for first, $2500 for second and $1000 for third place) and perform the opening set at the SMF production “Saxophone Summit” (featuring Ted Nash, Charles McPherson, Walter Blanding, Joe Temperley and many others) at 7:00 p.m. that night. Other competitors receive a $500 travel stipend.

SWING CENTRAL JAZZ is sponsored by Wet Willie’s Management Corp. and Bob & Jean Faircloth, and in part by Garibaldi’s CafĂ©. Additional support for finale concert is by Rus & Jan Boekenheide and Georgia Public Broadcasting, and is also shared by Mr. & Mrs. W. Mack Webner.

The Savannah Music Festival presents a world-class celebration of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah, Georgia. The 2013 festival runs from March 20 through April 6, including more than 100 performances of world-class jazz, classical, blues, bluegrass, gospel and other genres of American and international roots music in intimate venues throughout the historic district of Savannah. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: RYAN MCMAKEN at 912.234.3378 x104 or