Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 IMEC All-State Concert #99Learns #DGSPride @Dist_99 @DGS_Bands #imec2016

Congratulations to the 2016 All-State and Honors ensembles for giving an amazing performance on Saturday, January 29, 2016 in Carter Arena in the Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois.

All-State Orchestra
Nicolette Cheaure, viola
Kristyn Krajewski, harp

All-State Choir
Alana Copeland, soprano II

All-State Honors Band
Bridget Moroney, clarinet
Kristina Mucha, clarinet
Julia Poska, clarinet

All-State Honors Choir
Juliana Arhontas, soprano I
Sean McCarthy, tenor II
Patrick Mitchell, tenor I
Jeremy Ursache, bass II

All-State Composition Contest
Gabrielle Henderson, 2nd place, vocal/jazz category

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mustang Musicians at 2016 IMEC Jazz Concert #dgspride #99learns @ILMEA1 @Dist_99

 Congratulations to Gabby Henderson (All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble,) Brianna Imgruet (All-State Honors Jazz Ensemble) and Dan Piccoli (All-State Honors Jazz Ensemble) for their performances tonight as part of the ensembles for the 2016 IMEC Jazz Night.  From top to bottom, every ensemble was polished, poised and professional.  Special shout out to Mr. Roselieb.  In his role at president of the ILMEA Jazz Division, Mr. Roselieb organized the evening and the jazz portion of the conference. It was a great night to be a Mustang!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 Madrigal Singers #imec2016 #99learns #DGSPride @ILMEA1

Congratulations to the South High School Madrigal Singers for a stunning performance at the 2016 IMEC in Peoria, Illinois.  The students sang a challenging program of repertoire with artistry and sonic maturity.  The music teachers from around Illinois in attendance left inspired by the professional presentation of these Mustang musicians!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Madrigal Singers prepare for IMEC Performance #99Learns #DGSPride #peoriaorbust

Congratulations to the Madrigal Singers for a stunning performance tonight in preparation for their upcoming IMEC presentation.  The ensemble presented their entire program for friends and family in the choir room at South High School. If the sounds tonight are any indication, the choral music educators from Illinois in attendance on Thursday afternoon will walk away artistically inspired!  Great work Madrigal Singers - we are all so proud of you!

2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Award Winners from South High School #99Learns #DGSPride

Please enjoy this visual recap of the South High School Award winning artists from the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Chicagoland Region.  

The exhibit opens on Sunday, February 7, 2016 from 1-4 PM in the main lobby at North High School in Downers Grove.  

District 99 Strong Presence at pending IMEC in Peoria, IL #99Learns #DGSPride #Peoriaorbust

On January 27-30, 2016, the annual Illinois Music Education Conference will take place in Peoria, Illinois. In addition to the 31 student musicians at Downers Grove North High and Downers Grove South High who have been selected to participate in All-State ensembles, South High’s Madrigal Singers and North High’s Wind Ensemble will be featured performers during the conference, which is attended by thousands of student musicians and educators statewide.

The DGS Madrigal singers were selected through a competitive taped submission process to participate. National Certified Board Teacher Laura Coster conducts the DGS Madrigal Singers. Click here to watch a video of them practicing for the conference.

"Performing at the prestigious IMEC is a tremendous honor for us," says Fine Arts Department Chairman Glenn Williams. “It's a credit to our student musicians that the South High Madrigal Singers have been selected to perform.” The Madrigal Singers will perform at both the ILMEA All State Convention as well as the American Choral Directors Association Regional Convention in Chicago later in February.

Several DGS seniors who are members of the Madrigal Singers commented about their upcoming performances:

·        “We’re going to be representing all of DGS, so we’re putting in the extra effort so that we represent our school well,” says senior Megan Luckett.

·        “Being part of the DGS Madrigal Singers and performing at All-State makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger,” says Mariam Mackar. “We have a good reputation of being a really profound type of group.”

·        “It’s good to be nervous—that means you have a respect for your audience,” notes Peter Hunt Szpytek.
·        “I’m really excited to perform, and our teacher Ms. Coster is really pushing us to reach our full potential,” says Sam Del Rosario.

Other members of the Madrigal Singers include: Tanner Cameron, Matthew Chiaro, Alana Copeland, Leah Crandell, Matthew Dignan, Cassidy Dresden, Mia Fallara, Ashley Grudzinski, Gabrielle Henderson, Emily Kaszyk, Sean McCarhty, Patrick Mitchell, Ben Paynic, Nicole Perillo, Kevin Purackel, Emily Qualizza, Jeremy Urasache and Lydia Walsh-Rock.

“DGN senior and composer Jeremy Pike, an All-State composition contest award winner, will have his composition performed live by the DGN Wind Ensemble on Thursday, January 28, during the Composer Showcase at the 2016 IMEC,” says Teague.

In addition to student representation at the conference, District 99 faculty members also have leadership roles in the organization, including:

DGS - Joy Belt-Roselieb, All-State Honors Choir Organizational Chair
DGN/DGS - Jennifer Mullen, District 1 Orchestra Division Representative
DGN - Beth O'Riordan, District 1 Choral Division Representative
DGS - Craig Roselieb, Jazz Division President
DGN - Brayer Teague, ILMEA President-Elect

Also at the conference, South High music teacher Greg Hensel and English teacher Amy Stoops will present to other educators about the benefits of implementing literacy coaching techniques in music classes.

“Professional organizations run on the spirit of volunteerism, and District 99 is among the leaders in the state of Illinois with staff involvement in their professional
organization,” says Williams.

“You would be hard pressed to find another district in Illinois that has so many student musicians honored or so many faculty contributing to the professional leadership of the association,” notes Teague.

Monday, January 25, 2016

DGS Visual Arts - what a program! #99Learns #DGSPride

Please enjoy this brief video that summarize the projects in each media strand in the South High School Visual Arts curriculum.  

2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards #99Learns #dgspride

Katie Turyna Desolation

Claire Pikul - St. Michael
The Fine Arts Department at South High School in Downers Grove is pleased to announce the results of the judging from the 2016 Chicago area regional Scholastic Art Awards held at Downers Grove North High School. 1,053 student artists from 30 area high schools submitted 2,894 works of art for adjudication.  30 South High School visual art students merited 67 awards, including 29 Gold Key Awards, 21 Silver Key Awards, and 17 Honorable Mention Awards. These pieces, and all the award winning pieces from the entire regions, will be unveiled at the Opening Reception on Sunday, February 7, 2016 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

Gold Key Awards (29)
Sydney Antiporek, Photography
Nicole Augustyn, Ceramics and Glass
Emanuelle Copeland, Painting
Micki Harris, Design
Kevin Kirkolis, Ceramics and Glass
Kristyn Krajeweski, Drawing and  Illustration
Alessandra Lane, Photography (2), Digital Art, Art Portfolio 
Julia Lucadello, Ceramics and Glass
Juliette Moushon, Photography (2), Art Portfolio

Jhenevie Oca, Photography, Digital Art
Claire Pikul, Photography (3), Digital Art (6)
Jasmine Samuels, Ceramics and Glass
Gabby Senne, Ceramics and Glass
Katie Turyna, Digital Art, Art Portfolio

Silver Key Awards (21)
Lauren Ackerman, Photography
Allison Adams, Painting
Annemarie Elser, Photography
Stephanie Huerta, Ceramics and Glass
Kristyn Krajewski, Mixed Media
Baliee Krucek, Ceramics and Glass
Alessandra Lane, Digital Art
Gabriele Macenis, Drawing and Illustration
Analy Martinez, Photography (2)
Paige Massey, Photography
Juliette Moushon, Digital Art
Jhenevie Oca, Photography
Claire Pikul, Photography, Digital Art (3)
Stan Smid, Ceramics and Glass
Katie Turyna, Photography, Digital Art
Lindsay Valero, Digital Art

Honorable Mention Awards (17)
Payton Froats, Digital Art
Autumn Ganahl, Ceramics and Glass
Kristyn Krajewski, Mixed Media
Alessandra Lane, Digital Art, Photography
Chloe Lapen, Painting
Lana Mancione, Photography
Shalyn Martinek, Ceramics and Glass
Jhenevie Oca, Photography
Peyton Parker, Drawing and Illustration
Claire Pikul, Digital Art, Photography
Katie Turyna, Digital Art (4)
Maria White, Photography

Saturday, January 23, 2016

2016 Purdue Jazz Festival Recap #99Learns #dgspride @DGS_Bands

Congratulations to the student musicians in the jazz program from South High School in Downers Grove for an outstanding showing at the 2016 Purdue Jazz Festival.   Three big bands and two chamber ensembles performed and competed with more than 100 high school ensembles from five states in the Midwest.  In addition to receiving a score from the panel of adjudicators in each room, each group received real time formative feedback from each judge in an audio recording.  Having a set of unbiased, professional judges provide a formative “sonic snapshot” is essential to the continuing growth of both individual students and the ensembles. 

Each ensemble received a Division I rating from the panel of judges.  This is the highest possible rating on the scoring rubric.  In addition to the outstanding ensemble performances, 24 students were recognized by the panel of judges for displaying outstanding musicianship either in improvised solos or in their ensemble playing.

The Piccoli Chamber Ensemble earned “Outstanding Performance” for their room, meaning they were one of the top two ensembles for the day.  Additionally, junior Dan Piccoli earned a ½ scholarship to the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Camp for being selected as one of the top soloists in the entire room for the day. 

“We are proud of these student musicians for their dedication to individual and group excellence in jazz performance.” said director Glenn Williams.  “On and off the stage this student musicians represented our school and community in the finest possible manner.  I’m fiercely proud to travel with these students.”

Piller Chamber Ensemble – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Matt Laczynski, trombone; Brian Piller, tenor saxophone; Brianna Imgruet, trumpet; Tiffany Wang, drums; 

Piccoli Chamber Ensemble – Division I Rating and Outstanding Performance Award
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Michael Tegeler – trombone; Dan Piccoli – saxophones; Anthony Calabria – trumpet.   Named as the top student soloist in the room for the day, Dan Piccoli earned a ½ Scholarship to the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Camp.

Jazz Ensemble – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Jesse Knight, bass;  Adam Zlotnicki, trumpet; Michael Tegeler, trombone; Matt Laczynski, trombone;  Kristina Mucha, clarinet;  Gabrielle Henderson, vocals; Dan Piccoli – alto saxophone; Brianna Imgruet, trumpet.

Jazz Workshop – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards – Harry Kamutani, drums;  O’Shay Jackson, baritone saxophone;  Alyssa Gawron, trumpet;  Carson Aldrich, trombone; Isaac Rutledge, alto saxophone; Joe Daniele, trombone.

Jazz Lab Band – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Tessa Lawler, baritone saxophone; Bella Kelly, violin; CJ Nortier, alto saxophone; Myles Henderson, piano;

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Scholarship Auditions - February 9, 2016

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Muskegon, Michigan, is one of the nation’s leading arts immersion camps.  BLFAC is a non-profit summer school of the arts specializing in two-week arts programs for intermediate and high school students. 

Because there is a strong tradition of highly qualified District 99 students attending Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the institution actively recruits in our schools.  Additionally, BLFAC sends a representative to our building each February to hear interested students play and sing.  From those ‘mini auditions’ BLFAC frequently awards merit-based scholarships to attend the camp.  This year’s BLFAC scholarship auditions will be held on Tuesday, February 9th during from 7:30 AM until 5A.  If you are interested in playing or singing a short audition for the BLFAC rep, please express your interest on a sign-up sheet in the Fine Arts Office (B122.)  Students interested in the visual arts may also present their work for scholarship consideration at this time as well.   Please see Mrs. Moroney or your music teacher to sign up for a time

What should you be prepared to play or sing in your audition?  Plan to perform 2-3 min of music that you have been working on with a private music teacher, or in class.  This could be an etude, a solo, or a piece of literature that you have really enjoyed studying.  Pick something that shows off your abilities!

The Blue Lake representative will share some basic information with the student to take home to parents.  In the meantime, you are encouraged to check out Blue Lake’s website at  

Many DGS musicians have received significant scholarships to attend Blue Lake as a result of these mini-auditions.  Please consider this fabulous opportunity!

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Middle School Choir Festival #99Learns #DGSPride

The stage and the risers were overflowing with singers tonight in the auditorium at South High School this evening.

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 2016 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, specifically:  Jennifer Rickert from Lakeview, Janet Hecht from O'Neill, Alex Buda from Jefferson, and Puja Ramaswamy from Eisenhower.  

Based on what we heard and saw tonight, the sonic future continues to be bright for our Mustang Choirs here at South High School.