Thursday, February 28, 2013

Winter Choir Concert RE-SCHEDULED

The 2013 South High School Winter Choir Concert 

has been re-scheduled:

Thursday, March 7, 2013
7:30 PM
South High School Auditorium.

Please note the modified start time of 7:30 PM.   Venue doors will open for concert patrons at 7:00 PM.  Thanks in advance for your flexibility, and, your support of Mustang musicians through your ongoing concert attendance.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Rehearsal with Yo-Yo Ma

Members of the District 99 Orchestra attended an open rehearsal of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma.  The CSO is preparing for a weekend concert series Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Yo-Yo Ma .  In addition to learning invaluable observational insight into the rehearsal procedures of a major symphony orchestra, the student musicians were treated to a post-rehearsal conversation with Yo-Yo Ma.  During the conversation, Yo-Yo Ma shared insight into performance preparation and his philosophy of performance.  Thanks to Ms. Mullen for creating this experience for the student musicians in the D99 Orchestra.  

You can hear the D99 Orchestra on Tuesday, March 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM the Clarence Johnson Auditorium at North High School in Downers Grove.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


All District 99 Activities are cancelled for this evening, February 26, 2013, due to inclement weather.

This includes the Winter Choir Concert.

No decision has been made, yet, about the potential of rescheduling this concert.  A decision will be made in the next few days whether or not to postpone the concert to a date in the near future, or, whether to cancel the concert.

The safety of all members of our District 99 learning community is a primary concern.  Thanks in advance for your flexibility and understanding as we work to make an effective decision about whether to cancel or postpone the Winter Choir concert.  Stay tuned to this blog and other D99 forms of electronic media to stay up to date about the future of the Winter Choir Concert related to postponement or cancelation.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

DGCC & D99 Collaborative Concert

Congratulations to the students of the North High A Cappella Choir, the South High Madrigal Singers, the District tCongratulations to the students of the North High A Cappella Choir, the South High Madrigal Singers, the District 99 Orchestra, and all of the musicians of the Downers Grove Choral Society, for a wonderful “Choral Collaboration” this afternoon on District 99’s North campus.  Each ensemble performed with great artistic sensitivity and attention to musical detail.

Our appreciation is extended to District 99 Fine Arts team members Pattie Barnes (Collaborative Pianist), Laura Coster (DGS Madrigals conductor), Bill Miller (DGN Auditorium Manager), Jennifer Mullen (D99 Orchestra conductor), Beth O’Riordan (DGN A Cappella Choir conductor), and Frank Piekarz (DGN A Cappella Choir conductor), all who played a role in preparing students for this afternoon’s Choral Collaboration.  We also thank the North High Music Boosters and the South High Friends of Fine Arts for providing refreshments for the reception.

Special congratulations is extended to North High Fine Arts faculty member Beth O’Riordan for her solo work in theBenedictus of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Missa Brevis St. Joannis de Deo.

An finally, District 99 thanks DGCS Music Director, Mr. Justin Sisul, for his vision to create this afternoon’s collaborative artistic venture.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

27th Annual Midwest Music Festival

The South High School Wind Symphony, directed by Mr. Hensel, and the South High School Wind Ensemble, directed by Mr. Roselieb, both performed in Group I today at the Midwest Music Festival at the Lemont High School Performing Arts Center.  The panel of adjudicators was Dr. Robert Spradling, Western Michigan University; Dr. Joseph Hermann, Tennessee Technological University, and Dr. Robert Rumbelow, University of Illinois.  Wind Symphony performed Washington Post by Sousa and Scootin' on Hardrock by David Holsinger.  Wind Ensemble performed Commando March by Samuel Barber and Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar, arranged by Earl Slocum.

Performing in the auditorium and in the Group I category, Wind Symphony earned a Division II rating from the panel of adjudicators.  Wind Ensemble, also performing in Group I in the auditorium, earned a Division I rating from the panel of adjudicators.

Congratulations to the students musicians and their conductors for their ongoing preparation, and, the sonic success exhibited today at the Midwest Music Festival.

Enjoy this highlight reel from the performances of both ensembles today.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Downers Grove Choral Collaboration

A Choral Collaboration, with students from District 99 choirs

Sunday, February 24, 2013
3:00 pm
Downers Grove North High School
Clarence Johnson Auditorium
Downers Grove, IL

Free concert open to the public; free-will offering at time of performance.


Franz Josef Haydn, Missa Brevis Saint Joannis de Deo (Little Organ Mass)
with students from District 99 high school choirs and the D99 Orchestra


Beth O'Riordan, soprano

Johannes Brahms, A German Requiem, London version with four-hand piano
Celeste Martino, soprano
Aaron Wardell, baritone

Special Guest Artists
Madrigal Singers, Downers Grove South High School
A Cappella Choir, Downers Grove North High School

Careers in music - Acoustical Engineering!

Mr. Scott Pfeiffer from Threshold Acoustics (and Ben's dad!) visited the orchestra classes today and gave a fascinating presentation about acoustics. Having worked on the renovation of Orchestra Hall, where we will be attending a Chicago Symphony Orchestra rehearsal next week, he taught us about the acoustic considerations when redesigning the hall for the Chicago Symphony.  The students were incredibly engaged by Mr. Pfeiffer’s presentation. Thank you, Mr. Pfeiffer, for taking the time to share your knowledge with us!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

46th Annual Elmhurst Jazz Festival

The Jazz Ensemble from South High School in Downers Grove  was honored and proud to be invited to participate in the 46th Annual Elmhurst Jazz Festival today.  Clinicians included Byron Stripling, Denis DiBlasio, Dennis Mackrel and Bobby Floyd.  The ensemble performed today and then had an interactive clinic immediately after performing with each clinician.  After hearing four other outstanding high school jazz ensembles, the guest artists performed an hour long concert with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band directed by Doug Beach.

The collaborative culture was pronounced.  The exchange of ideas was rich.  The South HS Jazz Ensemble performed with sonic maturity and poise and represented the school and community in a remarkable way today at this midwest jazz institution.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Band Concert - 02-19-13

Concert Band and Wind Ensemble presented their 2013 Winter Concert tonight.  Repertoire highlights included Frank Ticheli's Amen by Concert Band and Edward Elgar's Engima Variations  Wind Ensemble.  The evening concluded with a combined rendition of Todd Stalter's Rampage!  

"We continue to be proud of these student musicians and their sonic achievement." said department chairman and band director Glenn Williams.

Best of luck to the Wind Ensemble as the prepare to compete at the 27th Midwest Music Festival at Lemont High School on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Downers Grove Arts Scholarships

Please find below information regarding to music related scholarships, one for current juniors and one for current seniors.

Juniors: the Downers Grove Music Club has a ‘Rising Stars’ Scholarship that can significantly help off-set the costs associated with Summer Music Camps.  Please see the information below.

Seniors:  the Downers Grove Rotary awards an annual scholarship of $2,000 to a deserving District 99 student with a strong music background.  The student does not need to be a music major/minor to apply for this scholarship, and financial need is not a criterion.  Please read the information below for more details on how to apply.

Downers Grove Music Club Rising Stars Music Awards

This is to announce the availability of the Downers Grove Music Club Rising Stars Music Awards (formerly referred to as scholarships).  The application is available via the website for the DG Music Club.  The website address is  The Music Award information and application is available in the Educational Opportunities section of the website or it can be accessed directly at this link: 

Please make this monetary award opportunity available to all Juniors enrolled in music at both South and North.  Six awards will be given and each recipient will receive $400 toward furthering their musical education through continued study during the summer.  As outlined in the actual application, the requirements of the application are as follows:

  • Purpose:  to recognize SIX District 99 High School Music students for excelling at a high level of achievement;
  • Eligibility:  current high school Juniors who are actively pursuing music are eligible to apply;
  • Requirement:  the award recipients are required to perform the following year at the Downers Grove Music Club’s Rising Stars program scheduled annually in April;
  • How to Apply:  complete the written application, along with an optional recording;
  • Selection Criteria:  the merit of the applicant’s musical accomplishments and, if provided, the quality of the applicant’s musical performance.
  • Award Notification:  the announcement of the Rising Stars Music Award recipients will be made at the spring awards ceremonies at both Downers Grove North and South.

The application must be submitted either via hardcopy, postmarked no later than April 1, 2013.  Or it must be submitted electronically with a date and time stamp of no later than 11:59 pm April 1, 2013.  

  • mailing address:  Downers Grove Music Club, Attn: Rising Stars Music Awards, P.O. Box 551, Downers Grove, IL  60515
  • email address:

This year we are testing the response to allowing applicants to submit an optional audio/video recording of a musical performance.  This is completely optional. All applications, both those with the optional recording and without the optional recording will be given equal consideration.  

Last year's winners are performing on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:30 pm.  In addition, former Rising Star DGN alumnus and cellist Josh Zajac will be performing as well as future DGS jazz musicians currently in the Lakeview Jazz Band.  Also, the newly formed, student run A Cappella group at the College of DuPage will be included on the program.  The location is the Faith United Methodist Church at the corners of 59th and Fairview in Downers Grove.  Faculty, friends and family are welcome to attend this exciting event.

Rotary Music Scholarship applications now being accepted!

The Rotary Club of Downers Grove is now accepting applications for their annual Charles Dickerman Music Scholarship. Each year the Rotary Club of Downers Grove gives a $2000 scholarship check to a deserving high school senior who resides in the District 99 attendance area. Charles Dickerman was a founding member of the Rotary Club of Downers Grove. He was a nuclear physicist at Argonne National Laboratory who had undergraduate degrees in both physics and music. Charles stayed involved in music throughout his life and was an avid bagpiper.

Download a Scholarship Application form at .

All applicants must have their forms postmarked by March 8, 2013. If selected as a finalist, candidates must be available for an interview and audition in the evening of April 8, 2013.

The qualifications to apply for this scholarship are:

  • Be a graduating senior attending a public, private, parochial or home school, and reside in the High School District 99 attendance area.
  • Plan to pursue a post-secondary education program
  • Have participated in high school curricular music activities and/or extracurricular music activities.
  • Composers and/or arrangers qualify for this scholarship.
  • Pursuit of an undergraduate music major or minor is not required.
  • Financial need is not a criterion for selection

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 Chicagoland Scholastics Art Exhibit

Congratulations to the 55 Mustang artists with 120 award winning pieces on display at the 2013 Chicagoland Regional Scholastics Art Exhibition.  The show, sponsored by D99 and held at North High School in Downers Grove, runs from 02-11-13 until 02-15-13.  The show is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.  The show is open for viewing from 8 AM until 9 PM  Monday through Thursday, and from 8 AM until 3 PM on Friday, February 15, 2013.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Photographer's Forum 33rd Annual College & High School Photography Contest

Shed by Cassandra Lueken

Sponsored by Nikon, the Photographer's Forum 33rd Annual College and High School Photography contest received just over 16,000 submissions from the U.S., Canada, and around the world.

1,400 submissions, the top 8%, have been selected as as finalists in this prestigious contest.  These finalist images will appear in the hardcover book Best of College and High School Photography 2013.  

South High School is pleased to announce that Taylor Wold and Cassie Lueken have been selected as finalists for this prestigious award, and their photographs will appear in the forthcoming publication.

"We are thrilled for these student artists and extremely proud of their work." said Fine Arts Department Chairman Glenn Williams.

For more information about visual art and digital photography at South High School, contact Glenn Williams at