Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 DuPage ACT-SO Results

Congratulations to Gabby and Myles Henderson for their participation in the 2015 DuPage ACT-SO competition.  Gabby participated in the film making, music vocal and music instrumental (piano) categories.  Myles participated in the music instrumental (classical) category.  Gabby received a bronze medal in the film making category and a gold medal in the music vocal category.  Myles earned a bronze medal in the instrumental classical category.

ACT-SO is an acronym for the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. It is an academic mentoring and enrichment program that provides career exploration and a competition in 27 categories encompassed by the Sciences, Humanities, Business, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts. ACT-SO is the principle youth initiative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The mission of ACT-SO is to promote academic and cultural excellence among high school students of African descent and showcase their intellect and skills. The DuPage County ACT-SO Chapter includes students in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Will, and parts of Cook County. The chapter is hosted by DuPage County Branch NAACP and is co-sponsored by College of DuPage and the DuPage Regional Office of Education.

During the summer, Gabby will travel to Philadelphia to compete on a national level.  Well done Myles and Gabby!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Instrumental Music Day

As a culminating activity to a chamber music unit, students in the South High School Bands participated in the 2015 Instrumental Music Day.  Students in Concert Band and Symphonic Band have spent up to 6 hours of class time preparing solo and small ensemble repertoire.  Today the students performed for each other and for three professional outside expert adjudicators, Catie Hickey, Alex Beltran, and Stefanie Abderhalen.  In addition to receiving a score and a rating for their performance, the students also received immediate formative feedback and a handwritten evaluation sheet.

Students in  Wind Symphony listened to a master class on listening to and analyzing music by Catie Hickey and Alex Beltran or a flute recital by Stephanie Abderhalen.

The individual growth through the process of preparing and performing chamber music has been significant.  Thanks to Mr. Hensel for organizing and implementing this event for our student musicians.

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 District 99 Vocal Honors Recital

Congratulations to the student soloists and the ensembles for being selected to participate in the 2015 District 99 Honors Vocal Recital this evening at Gloria Dei Church in Downers Grove.

Initiated over 20 years ago, the District 99 Honors Vocal Recital showcases the finest vocal musicians in District 99 in an annual collaborative performance. This event symbolizes what is best in District 99 - it is collaborative, it is predicated on excellence, and it is all about students.

Leading up to this recital, both South and North High Schools hold independent vocal festivals. These festivals, held during the school day, are adjudicated by professional musicians and teachers from outside of District 99. The expert panel of adjudicators provide each student performing event with immediate formative feedback, and, with a score based on the quality of their performance. Each school then holds a run-off competition, where the best events are selected by the panel of adjudicators to perform on the District 99 Honors Vocal Recital. In total, more than 100 chamber music events are adjudicated during the Vocal Festivals at North and South High Schools.

In addition to the District 99 team of teachers working with the student musicians, a superior staff of private voice teachers coach and accompany the student singers through the performance preparation process at both South and North High Schools. These teachers are integral to the student success manifested during this recital.

Special thanks to District 99 music faculty and staff - Pattie Barnes, Joy Belt-Roselieb, Laura Coster, Gina Meehan, Beth O'Riordan, Ricardo Pedroza and Frank Piekarz for their work in coordinating this evenings recital.  In addition, we extend our appreciation to Private Voice Instructors who have served as mentors to our students: Kathrin Danzmayr, Todd Diehl, Colleen Lingenfelter, Ann McMann, Holley McKee, Gretel Mink Hansen, Jann Mochelle, Ingrid Mueller, Angela Presutti-Korbitz, and Stephanie Singer.  

For more information about the District 99 Honors Vocal Recital, contact Brayer Teague at North High School or Glenn Williams at South High School. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the D99 Orchestra

Congratulations to the members of the District 99 Concert Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra for presenting a tremendous concert this evening.  Special kudos to Shatien Jordan and Monica Lim for their solo performance on the first movement of Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor.  The evening concluded musically with a combined rendition of Grainger's Molly on the Shore as a celebratory sonic greeting card for St. Patrick's Day.

2015 South High School National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Recipient

South High School in Downers Grove is pleased to announce that after competitive adjudication for National Scholastic Awards senior Jennifer Shi has earned a Silver Medal for her Mixed Media work titled The Inside Story, which is pictured above.

 The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teens. This year the Scholastic Awards received 255,000 submissions for the 2015 program year. Over 68,000 works in art and writing were recognized at the regional level. Of those, 16,668 earned Gold Keys – and were considered for National Awards.  

Student work will be in exhibition at Carnegie Hall in New York, New York starting with an gala opening in June of 2015.

"Earning a national award from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the pinnacle of success for a high school artist." said Fine Arts department chairman Glenn Williams.  "We are extremely proud of Jennifer and her mentor teacher, Marcia Hansen, for earning this recognition at a national level."

"Jennifer is extremely talented and works extremely hard on a daily basis." said mentor teacher Marcia Hansen.  "This piece was selected from a national pool of student work and is deserving of this award."

For more information about South High School visual art, contact Glenn Williams, department chairman, at

Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 South High School Vocal Fest

Nearly 50 students participated today in 2015 Vocal Festival.  Students prepared and performed art songs for an adjudicator.  Immediately after the performance, the judge provided the student performers with immediate formative feedback on their performance.  This feedback is done in front of an audience of observers in a master class setting, so the audience members can learn from the teaching as well as the performer.

After a day of performing, there are after school call-backs for students to earn a spot in the District 99 Honors Vocal Festival on Monday, March 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM at Gloria Dei Church.  We are extremely proud of every participating performer today for making the investment into studying and performing these songs.

Special congratulations goes to the students that earned special recognition from the judges, and, that earned a spot to perform on the D99 Honors Vocal Festival on March 23, 2015.   Thanks also to the parents volunteers from today who provided hospitality and who assisted with the logistics of the festival during the course of the day.

Honors Recital Participants
Monday, March 23, 2015 7PM
Gloria Dei Church, Downers Grove, IL

Michelle Cervantes
Josh DuBois
Melanie Frewen
Jessica Ley
Anthony Mackar
Patrick Mitchell
Peter Szpytek
Lydia Walsh-Rock

Michelle Cervantes
Alana Copeland
Josh DuBois
Melanie Frewen
Gabby Henderson
Jessica Ley
Anthony Mackar
Patrick Mitchell
Alex Nebelle
Allie Puccillo
Peter Szpytek

Lydia Walsh-Rock

Michelle Cervantes
Alana Copeland
Josh DuBois
Melanie Frewen
Gabby Henderson
Jessica Ley
Anthony Mackar
Patrick Mitchell
Alex Nebelle
Allie Puccillo
Peter Szpytek
Lydia Walsh-Rock

HONORABLE MENTcute-ballerinas-clipart-02[1]ION
Kiehl Carlquist
Diana Cavanaugh
Gisselle Cervantes
Brett Cohen
Shannon Conniff
Emily Dahowski
Michaela Dukes
Ashley Grudzinski
Emily Kasczk
Ben Paynic
Samantha Ruiz
Enrica Uhlen
Jeremy Ursache
Claire Wagner
Elyse Warnecke
Stephanie Welker
Tim Werner

District 99 Orchestra Prepares for Tuesday Night Concert

Members of the District 99 Concert and Symphonic Orchestras were in stage rehearsals today in preparation for tomorrow night's March Orchestra Concert.

Don't miss the concert, held tomorrow night, March 17, at 7:00 pm, in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium of North High School.

Out-of-town family and friends who are unable to hear the concert live may view the live stream, on the web HERE, or by clicking the High School Cube logo below.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Featured artist - Besiana Useni

Please enjoy the work of senior artist Besiana Useni.  These images and many others are on exhibition in the display case the the "A" and "C" hallway intersection until mid-April.

Great work Besiana - well done!

2015 Summer Study Experiences

Living in the Midwest, we are fortunate to have close proximity to a myriad of summer student opportunities in both art and music.  Students can intently focus on their passions and expand their horizons by participating in these experiences.

Friends of Fine Arts (FOFA) provides a process to apply for summer study as do many other community and civic organizations.  A list of summer study experiences has been created in an effort to centrally locate this information for students and families.  As always, please consult with your teacher when seeking to find the summer study experience best suited for you.

Information about summer study experiences can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

2015 Summer Study Experiences 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sounds & Images of #NYNouveau

DGS Welcomes artist and educator Benje Daneman

 South High School welcomes guest artist and educator Benje Daneman today.  Based in New York City, Benje is on a tour of the midwest performing and working on a variety of projects.  Benje spent time working with the jazz chamber ensemble and presented brass master classes in every band period.  Benje presented both pedagogical information, and, information on how to pursue a career pathway as an independent artist and educator.

Cleveland Institute of Art 2D3D National Art + Design Competition

Jurors awarded students from ten states—including Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin—thousands of dollars in cash and scholarships in Cleveland Institute of Art's 2015 2D3D National Art + Design Competition. The winning artworks were selected by a panel of CIA faculty, from entries by 1,635 students representing over 450 American high schools in 39 states.

In addition to the Best in Category and Best in Show awards, jurors offered a "Juror's Special Merit Award" and "Runner-Up Awards" in each category. Categories included Craft, Design, Digital Arts, and Visual Arts.

Senior Hannah Wood earned a runner-up award for her piece “Washed Away.”  Hannah earned a $100 award from the jurors as a runner-up.

After reviewing the work of 1,635 entries, six CIA faculty jurors made their final selections on February 23. In addition to cash awards and scholarships, all category winners were awarded valuable art supplies from contest sponsor Faber-Castell.
The following Digital Photo AP students from South High School earned Honorable Mentions from the panel of jurors:

Emma Hansen
Hannah Wood (2)
Jose Sanchez
Julliette Moushon
Kailey Holzman (2)
Marissa Medina (2)
Megan Albers
Mitch Wisniewski
Tiffany Nguyen 

Elyse Lane

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Winter Band Concert #2 - Well done!

Congratulations to the student musicians in Concert Band and Wind Symphony for presenting a fabulous concert this evening.  The range of repertoire was wide and the execution from both ensembles was at a high level.

If you were unable to join us in the auditorium tonight, or, if you want to re-experience the concert, please tune into the archived version on the High School Cube by CLICKING HERE.