Friday, January 31, 2014

DGS Winter Guard Festival

Downers Grove South High School will be hosting a Winter Guard Festival on Sunday, February 16 from 11AM to 3PM.  Downers Grove South is located at 1436 Norfolk St., Downers Grove. 

There are twenty-four groups from four states currently scheduled to perform at this festival.  Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for ages 5 to 10 and seniors age 60 and older; and children younger than 5 are free.  Concessions will be available.  This event is sponsored by the Midwest Color Guard Circuit.

The twelve member team from Downers Grove South is coached by Jessica Dunkel and Michael Bailey.  Their 2014 show “T.I.M.E.” features musical excerpts from What Is Time; No Clock; Time Is On My Side; Time Waits For No One; and Time After Time.

For additional information, please feel free to contact Craig Roselieb at (630) 795-8500 or

Thursday, January 30, 2014

NIU Brings down the house!!!!!!!

After a fabulous afternoon of master classes and clinics, the D99 jazz ensembles opened up for the renowned Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble, director by Ron Carter.  The NIU band brought down the house with exquisite repertoire played with maturity and soul.  District 99 Jazz owes a huge debt of gratitude to Ron Carter.  Coming to D99 since 1997, Professor Carter has brought numerous guest artists to North and South, and, has worked over time to improve the level of jazz performance in the student musicians at North and South. Thanks Ron Carter for all you have done for jazz education, and, for jazz in District 99!

NIU/D99 Jazz Festival Streaming on the High School Cube

If you are unable to join us in the auditorium tonight, please watch the concert remotely on the High School Cube.  Featured tonight are all four D99 jazz bands and the renowned NIU Jazz Ensemble directed by Ron Carter.

To view the streaming concert, click here.

NIU/D99 Jazz Festival Tonight!

District 99 is pleased to host - in concert tonight - the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble, annually ranked as one of the top collegiate Jazz Studies programs in the nation.

This evening's concert, which will begin at 7:00 PM in the Downers Grove South High School Auditorium, will feature opening selections by four District 99 bands (DGN Jazz Lab, DGS Jazz Lab, DGN Jazz Ensemble, DGS Jazz Ensemble).

Tonight's concert will feature jazz-great Donald Harrison, who is currently in residence at NIU as a guest-artist.  Harrison, as well as NIU Professor Ron Carter, will be working with District 99 music students in educational clinics this afternoon.

Tickets ($8 adult/$6 student) are available for purchase at the door.  Don't miss this great night of jazz in District 99!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 South High School IMEC All-State Musicians

10 student musicians from Downers Grove South High School were selected, by competitive audition, for participation at the 2014 Illinois Music Education Association All-State Band, Choir, Orchestra, and Future Music Educators’ Symposium.  The extremely competitive performance auditions were held in October at Carl Sandburg.

“This is a tremendous honor for these students,” said Glenn Williams, Fine Arts Department Chairman at South High.  “All-State selection represents the pinnacle of musical achievement for a high school student musician.  We are very proud of the continued success of our student musicians at the All-State level, and look forward to hearing their performances in January.”

Notable this year was the accomplishment of senior cellist Andrew Molina, who earned the first chair spot in the Honors Orchestra for the second consecutive year.

The All-State Band, Choir, Orchestra and Jazz Band convened for a series of rehearsals with nationally renowned guest conductors during the 2014 Illinois Music Education Conference in Peoria, IL, from January 22-25, 2014.  Their concerts were held at the Peoria Civic Center on the evening of January 24, and the afternoon of January 25, 2014.

All-State Choir
Caitlin Carr – (12) – Soprano II
Scott Conger – (12) – Bass I (Honors)
Mariah Copeland – (12) – Soprano I (Honors)
Andrew Mahlan – (12) - bass II (Honors)
Brian Moroney – (12) – Bass II
Lian Lucansky – (12) – Alto II
Josh Rogers – (12) – Bass II (Honors)

All-State Winds & Percussion (Classical)
John Shimanek – (12) - Trumpet (Honors)

All-State Orchestra Strings
Andrew Molina – (12) – Cello (Honors)

Future Music Educators’ Symposium

Kelsey Richardson – (12)

2014 South High School Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Results

2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
Chicagoland Region
American Vision Award nominee
Lost by Maria Padilla

The Fine Arts Department at South High School in Downers Grove is pleased to announce the results of the judging from the 2014 Chicago area regional Scholastic Art Awards held at Downers Grove North High School. 1,059 student artists from 30 area schools submitted 2,430 works of art for adjudication.  51 South High School visual art students merited 127 awards, including 47 Gold Key Awards, 37 Silver Key Awards, 43 Honorable Mention Awards, and 1 American Vision Award nominee. These pieces, and all the award winning pieces from the entire regions, will be unveiled at the Opening Reception on Sunday, February 9, 2014 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

American Vision Award Nominee
Maria Padilla (Photography)    Lost

Gold Key Awards
Lizbeth Alcantara (Jewelry)
Karolina Ambrazaite (Photography - 2)
Michael Baer (Digital Art, Mixed Media -2 )
Dawson Busdeker (Digital Art)
Quinn Cursio (Photography)
Abigail Dalton (Art Porfolio, Photography, Digital Art - 2)
Emily David (Mixed Media)
Jill Domabyl (Jewelry)
Julie Dudasik (Photography)
Anna Fischer (Painting)
Kailey Holzman (Photography)
Natalie Hutchison (Photography- 2)
Egle Keturakyte (Drawing)
Cassie Lueken (Digital Art)
Insiya Mansoor (Jewelry)
Erin Motyl (Photography)
Tiffany Nguyen (Photography - 2)
Lori Niehaus (Digital Art - 2, Photography)
Maria Padilla (Photography – 4)
Crystal Panganiban (Digital Art)
Caroline Purcell (Drawing)
Jose Sanchez (Photography)
Maria Serna-Sanchez (Drawing)
Gianna Smith (Mixed Media)
Rachel Smith (Drawing)
Jessica Stacko (Mixed Media, Photography, Art Portfolio)
Merlyn Thomas (Drawing (2) )
Marisa Tolomeo (Art Portfolio, Painting)
Jane Woywood (Mixed Media)
Tyler Zowaski (Ceramics & Glass)

Silver Key Awards (20 students, 37 awards)
Karolina Ambrazaite (Photography, Digital Art, Art Portfolio)
Brianna Creek (Art Portfolio, Photography)
Abigail Dalton (Art Portfolio, Painting, Digital Art, Photography - 2)
Emily David (Digital Art)
Emma Hansen (Painting)
Matthew Harms (Ceramics & Glass)
Kailey Holzman (Digital Art, Mixed Media, Photography)
Jessica Hoos (Drawing)
Egle Keturakyte (Drawing, Art Portfolio)
Nicole Landrosh (Ceramics & Glass)
Lian Lucansky (Ceramics & Glass)
Cassie Lueken (Photography)
Erin Motyl (Photography - 2)
Tiffany Nguyen (Photography)
Maria Padilla (Digital Art, Art Portfolio)
Crystal Panganiban (Digital Art)
Jose Sanchez (Digital Ast)
Jessica Stacko (Digital Art, Photography, Mixed Media - 2, Art Portfolio)
Joanna Szumny (Digital Art)
Marisa Tolomeo (Drawing, Mixed Media)

Honorable Mention
Karolina Ambrazaite (Photography)
Michael Baer (Photography - 2)
Quinn Cursio (Photography)
Abigail Dalton (Digital Art)
Peter Dignan (Comic Art)
Ann Elapunkal (Ceramics & Glass)
Anna Fischer (Painting
Paige Ford (Drawing)
Haakon Fredriksen (Ceramics & Glass)
Kirsten Gard (Design)
Kavita Grover (Drawing)
Emma Hansen (Ceramics & Glass)
Kaitlyn Hong (Painting - 2)
Jessica Hoos (Drawing)
Natalie Hutchison (Photography)
Tomoki Kamitani (Drawing)
Egle Ketuarakyte (Mixed Media)
Jessica Lucadello (Ceramics & Glass)
Cassie Lueken (Photography, Digital Art -2)
Diana Melstrad (Digital Art)
Erin Motyl (Art Portfolio)
Tiffany Nguyen (Digital Art)
Lori Neihaus (Digital Art)
Maria Padilla (Photography)
John Perdue (Painting)
Kelly Pringle (Ceramics & Glass)
Jose Sanchez (Digital Art)
Maggie Sias (Digital Art)
Gianna Smith (Digital Art - 2)
Jessica Stacko (Photography, Digital Art - 2)
Merlyn Thomas (Art Portfolio, Painting)
Marisa Toloemo (Mixed Media)
Hannah Wood (Photography - 2)
Jane Woywod (Digital Art)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 ILMEA All-State Conference/IMEC Recap

The 2014 Illinois Music Education Conference will be historically remembered for South High School and for Community High School District 99.  

Congratulations to the record number of student musicians who performed as members of the All-State Band, All-State Honors Band, All-State Choir, All-State Honors Choir, All-State Orchestra, All-State Honors Orchestra, All-State Honors Jazz Band, and the All-State Honors Jazz Combo.  Congratulations to our two District 99 students who were selected to participate in the prestigious "Future Music Educators Symposium."  Congratulations to the DGN Jazz Ensemble for their inspirational performance at the convention that garnered wide-spread acclaim.  Congratulations to our award winning composer who submitted an original composition to the All-State Music Composition Contest, and won first-place in his category.  Congratulations to a student musician for earning principal cellist in the Honors Orchestra for a second consecutive year.  

Congratulations to DGS Fine Arts Department Chairman, Glenn Williams, for being named as the 2014 All-Sate Jazz Band Conductor.  

A professional organization and a convention exist through a spirit of volunteerism.  We send a special thank you to all of our District 99 music faculty who made innumerable volunteer contributions to the success of the conference as Organizational Hosts, District Chairpersons, Piano Accompanists, Sectional Coaches, Sound & Audio Technicians, and as a member of the ILMEA Board of Directors.  The success of a conference that brings over 10,000 music students and music teachers together takes many hands.  District 99 should be fiercely proud of the contributions made to support the 2014 Illinois Music Education Conference.  


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Middle School Choral Festival

Students the South High School Choirs as well as student vocalists from Eisenhower, Lakeview, Jefferson and O'Neill gathered after school and this evening for the 2014 Middle School Choral Festival.  Students participated in sectionals, had a pizza dinner, and presented a short performance.  The night concluded with the massed choirs performing two numbers together.  Special thanks to the students and directors from our articulated sender schools for taking the time to provide this experience for these singers.  Based on what we heard and saw tonight, the sonic future continues to be bright for our Mustang Choirs here at South High School.

Downers Grove South HS Marching Band Day in Darien, Illinois

January 20, 2014 was officially proclaimed "Downers Grove South High School Marching Band Day" in the city of Darien by the Honorable Mayor Kathleen Moesle Weaver and and Darien city council.

The proclamation was passed by the Darien city council to honor the Marching Mustangs for their performance success at the 2014 All-State Sugar Bowl on January 2, 2014 in New Orleans, LA.  The Marching Mustangs were named Grand Champion of the field show competition associated with the Sugar Bowl.  As a result of earning that title, the Marching Mustangs were bestowed with the honor of unfurling and holding the American-shaped flag for the National Anthem during the 2014 All-State Sugar Bowl pre-game show.

"We are extremely proud of the student musicians in the Marching Mustangs and how they continue to represent our school and our communities with excellence on a national level." said department chairman Glenn Williams.  "We are especially thankful to the city of Darien for recognizing the continuing hard work of  these student musicians."  In addition to the mayoral proclamation, the event will now also reside on the "Hall of Fame" wall in Darien city hall.  Way to go Marching Mustangs - keep up the great work!

24th Purdue Jazz Festival

The Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Chamber Ensemble from South High School in Downers Grove performed and competed at the 2014 Purdue Jazz Festival.  Jazz Ensemble I earned a Division I rating, Jazz Ensemble II earned a Division II rating.  Numerous student musicians from both ensembles were cited by the adjudication panels for their Outstanding Musicianship.

From Jazz Lab Band:  Nikil Chari, drums;  Amanda Field, alto saxophone;  Tyler Jankowski, drums; Noelle Kohnke, drums;  Joe Kreidl, baritone saxophone;  Matt Laczynski, trombone; Jonathan Nelson, bass;  Eric Petro, guitar;  Kat Woltman, bass;  Susan Zhou, piano, and Adam Zlotnicki, trumpet.

From Jazz Ensemble:  Nathan Gresik, trumpet;  Jack Herstowski, guitar;  Brianna Imgruet, trumpet; Cassie Plata, tenor saxophone;  John Shimanek, trumpet and James Weiss, tenor saxophone.

Outstanding Musicianship citations for the Jazz Chamber Ensemble will be announced in the coming week.

In addition to a rating, each ensemble received adjudicator feedback on their performance.  Students also attended a concert, clinics and master classes with the Grammy nominated band Snarky Puppy.  "This is the finest high school jazz festival in the midwest." said director Glenn Williams.  "We are thrilled to participate in this event each year."  For more about jazz at South High School, contact Glenn Williams at

Friday, January 10, 2014

Millikin University Choir @ South High School

Led by renowned conductor Brad Holmes, the Millikin University choir performed today for the South High School music students during 4th and 5th periods.  With a vibrant tone and musical phrasing, the ensemble performed a variety of choral repertoire.  Our Mustang musicians were mesmerized by the sonic prowess of this excellent ensemble.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Jazz Cafe 2014

Although the temperatures outside were a bit chilly, the music inside was burnin' at the 2014 Jazz Cafe.  Featuring more than 150 student jazz musicians from 5 different schools in 7 ensembles, this event was a crowd favorite from the opening note to the final closing chord.  Special shout out to the directors and students from the South HS articulated sender schools for making this such a fabulous evening:  Dave Balika, O'Neill Middle School;  Keith Carlson, Jefferson Junior HS;  Brian Ohlsen, Lakeview Junior HS and Matt Janus, Eisenhower Junior High School.