Thursday, March 24, 2016

2016 Instrumental Music Day #99Learns #DGSPride @Dist_99

As a culminating activity to a chamber music unit, students in the South High School Bands participated in the 2016 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, Jeremiah Fredrickson, 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 and Wind Ensemble enjoyed master classes on performance and entrepreneurship presented by each of the judges for the day.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

DGS students earn three National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards #99learns #dgspride

"Struck" - Claire Pikul, artist.  National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Gold Medal Winner

"Hidden" - Alessandra Lane, artist.  National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 
Silver Medal Winner

"Paper Chase" - Claire Pikul, artist.  National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
Gold Medal Winner

Claire Pikul and Alessandra Lane
South High School in Downers Grove is pleased to announce that after competitive adjudication for National Scholastic Awards Claire Pikul has earned two Gold Medal Awards and Alessandra Lane has earned a Silver Medal Award.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teens. This year the Scholastic Awards received 320,000  submissions for the 2016 program year. Receiving a National Medal from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards places these student artists within the top 1% of all submissions from a national pool of art work.

Student work will be in exhibition at Carnegie Hall in New York, New York starting with an gala opening in June of 2016.

"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 Claire and Alessandra and their mentor teacher, Michelle Lynn, for earning this recognition at a national level."

"Both Claire and Alessandra are extremely talented and work extremely hard on a daily basis." said mentor teacher Michelle Lynn.  "These pieces were selected from a national pool of student work and are deserving of these awards."

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

Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 D99 Vocal Honors Recital #dgspride #99Learns

Congratulations to the student musicians from the North High and South High Choral programs for their wonderful performances in this evening's District 99 Vocal Honors Recital.

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, Beth O'Riordan, Ricardo Pedroza and Frank Piekarz for their work in coordinating this evenings recital.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016 National Scholastic Art Winners from Suburban Chicago Region

Congratulations to all of the visual artists from the Suburban Chicago Region that were recognized with Gold and Silver National Awards!


Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 Spring Pep Assembly - Jazz Ensemble! #DGSPride #99learns

2016 Vocal Fest #99Learns #DGSPride

Over 50 students participated today in 2016 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 21, 2106 at 7:30 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 21, 2016 at 7:30 PM at Gloria Dei Church.  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.

Dominic Balsamo
Alana Copeland
Cassidy Dresden
patrick Mitchell
Peter Szpytek
Lydia Walsh-Rock
Grace Zieman

Juliana Arhontas
Dominic Balsamo
Shannon Conniff
Alana Copeland
Cassidy Dresden
Michaela Dukes
Jillian Foster
Ashley Grudzinski
Mariam Mackar
Patrick Mitchell
Alex Nebelle
Peter Szpytek
Lydia Walsh-Rock
Tim Werner

VOCAL FEST HONORABLE MENTcute-ballerinas-clipart-02[1]ION
Amy Binder
Simone Black
Molly Carlson
Diana Cavanaugh
Michelle Cervantes
Vanessa Copeland
Emmanuelle Copeland
Grace Curry
Abby Davenport
Savannah Duax
Rita Foster
Ruthie Hedburg
Gabby Henderson
Gizel Issa
Emily Kasczk
Faith Ley
Korina Luco
Angelina Mucha
Natalie Olsen
Ben Paynic
Sam Selakovich
Akila Shanmughan
Jessica Windischman

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

District 99 Orchestra Concert #99learns #dgspride

Congratulations to the District 99 Concert Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra for presenting a fabulous concert this evening.  Special kudos to senior soloist Haley Beube for her tremendous performance of the first movement of Vivaldi's Concerto No. 2 in g minor (Summer.)  Both orchestras performed a wide range of repertoire, including a stunning full orchestra finale of the Scherzo from Symphony No. 7 by Anton Bruckner.

If you were unable to join us this evening in the auditorium, please experience the rebroadcast on the High School Cube by CLICKING HERE. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Well done DGS Winter Guard! #dgspride #99learns @DGSActivities

Congratulations to the DGS Winter Guard for their continuing success this season on the highly competitive Winter Guard International circuit.  This past weekend, the DGS Winter Guard competed at the WGI Regional competition in Flint, Michigan at Grand Blanc High School.  In the Scholastic A Division, the group made the evening finals, earning 11th place with a Division II rating from the panel of judges.  The team continues to improve significantly each week.  With only 4 more shows left, we are excited to see just how good this team can become!  Congratulations to the students, staff and parent volunteers affiliated with this show - thanks for your continued dedication to success!

District 99 Orchestra Concert - Tomorrow night! #99learns #dgspride

The District 99 Orchestra is making final preparations for their upcoming concert on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the auditorium at South High School.  Repertoire by Mozart, Offenbach, Saint-Saens and Bruckner will be performed.  Also featured will be senior soloist Haley Beube on violin.  Admission is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.
If you are unable to join us live in the auditorium at South High School tomorrow night, please join us virtually on the High School Cube by CLICKING HERE.

Great job 2016 Choir Show! #99learns #dgspride

Congratulations to the students and staff affiliated with the 2016 Choir Show.  The patrons in the packed house were stunned by the production, from costumes to technical elements, from the pit to the performers on stage.

If you were unable to join us live in the auditorium on Friday night, please experience the re-broadcast on the High School Cube by CLICKING HERE.  

Mustang Artists continue to garner recognition #99Learns #DGSPride

"Between the Lines" - Claire Pikul
"Graceful Melodies" - Jhenevie Oca

Congratulations to South High School visual artists Claire Pikul and Jhenevie Oca for their recent participation and success in the 2016 Fantastic Sam's "Swag Bag" competition.  Both photographs will hang in exhibition for the next month in the Woodrige Fantastic Sam's store at 7440 S Woodward in Woodridge.  Both students earned a free haircut and a "swag bag" from the Art Institute of Chicago.  Congratulations to Claire and Jhenevie and their mentor teacher Michelle Lynn for achieving this artistic success.

American Wind Band 2016 Concerto Winner Allie Brandt #99Learns #DGSPride

Allie Brandt was recently named as a finalist in the American Wind Band 16th annual scholarship competition.  25 high school and 8th grade students submitted a recorded audition.  11 finalists were chosen - six from 8th grade and 5 from high school.  On Saturday, March 12 the final competition was held at Gloria Dei Church in Downers Grove where each contestant played their solo live in front of a three-judge panel.

South High School sophomore Allie Brandt was chosen as winner of the high school division, earning a $1,300 scholarship to use for private lessons or summer camp.  Allie will play with the American Wind Band at their April 24th concert where she will also play her solo for the patrons in attendance.  Congratulations to Allie!

Honor Band of America participant Brianna Imgruet #99learns #DGSPride

Congratulations to South High School junior Brianna Imgruet for being selected to participate in the 2016 Honor Band of America.  The Honor Band of America is one of three national honor ensembles that are part of the Music for All National Festival, along with the Honor Orchestra of America and Jazz Band of America. Directed by Richard Floyd, the Honor Band performed in concert on Saturday, March 12, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana to a packed house to close the festival.  Congratulations to Brianna for being selected to be a part of this ensemble!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

2016 Choir Show #99learns #dgspride @Dist_99

Congratulations to the students and staff affiliated with the DGS Choirs for their wonderful 2016 Choir Show, featuring the music of Disney.  The ensembles, student soloists, pit band, costumes and technical artistry all combine to make this show a stunning success.

The public will have only one chance to view this production on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the auditorium at South High School.  Admission is free and seating is general admission, so arrive early enough to ensure yourself of a seat!

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Photographer's Forum Contest Finalist #99learns #dgspride

"Deer"  by Sydney Antiporek
South High School sophomore artist Sydney Antiporek has been selected as a finalist for the 36th Annual College and High School Photography Contest sponsored by Photographer's Forum magazine.  Over 10,000 photographs were submitted from North American and around the world, judged by a nationally recognized panel of adjudicators.  400 pieces were selected for awards and finalist status.  The finalist work for high school and college can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Congratulations to Sydney and her mentor teacher Michelle Lynn.  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Summer Study Opportunities in Music and Visual Art #99Learns

By geographical proximity, we are fortunate to live within a relatively short driving distance of a myriad of amazing summer music and art camps.  These camps cover a broad range of experiences:  shorter or longer, different types of music, different types of media, college residential, and much, much more.

Pursuing in depth musical or artistic study in a camp setting during the summer months is a great way to keep your student artist  motivated and moving forward when school is not in session.

To access a list of summer music and visual art camp experiences, please click here.

2016 Illinois High School Art Exhibition Results #99learns #DGSPride

South High school visual artists Claire Pikul and Arabella Zurbano earned awards at the third Illinois High School Art Exhibition being held at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago.  Arabella earned an Best in Show citation from the IHSAE panel of judges, and, was selected as a recipient for a $500 award.   Claire earned an Honorable Mention, $90 and art and photo supplies in addition to the citation for her submitted work.  Other participating artists from South High School in the exhibition are Chloe Lapen, Joshua Lilly and Emanuelle Copeland.

Now in the third year of operation, the IHSAE opening reception was attended by more the 2,500 people.  The show is comprised of the work of 325 student artists from 50 Illinois high schools.  Additionally, 30 colleges were represented at the college fair, which works to connect student artists to collegiate opportunities.  90 senior artists were awarded scholarships, part of over 5 million dollars in prizes and scholarships that were distributed to student artists during this show.

Special kudos to Claire Pikul and Arabella Zurbano and their mentor teachers, Michelle Lynn and Molly O'Brien-Prusa, for this outstanding recognition.

Monday, March 07, 2016

2016 IHSA State Solo and Ensemble Results #99learns #dgspride

Student musicians from South High School in Downers Grove participated in the 2016 Solo and Ensemble Contest sponsored by IHSA and hosted this year at Hinsdale South High School.

Students prepare solos and ensembles and play for an expert adjudicator, receiving both a score and a rating, and, formative feedback for improvement.  Additionally, students performing solos must play scales from memory, demonstrating technical mastery on their instruments outside of their prepared solo work.

In total, over 65 students participated in 50 different events.  38 students performed as soloists,  and more than 25 students formed 11 different ensembles during the course of the day.  Students from both the bands and the orchestras from South High School participated in this event.

Sophomore Allie Brandt, Senior Julia Poska and a Mallet Ensemble with Melissa Wang, Tiffany Wang, Ryan Stanuch, Sara Runchey and Chris Gergits earned a perfect score from the judge for their performance.  Additionally, junior Brian Piller, alto saxophone, and the Percussion Ensemble with Melissa Wang, Tiffany Wang, Ryan Stanuch, Sara Runchey and Chris Gergits earned a "Best in Room" citation.  This is a citation given by the judge for having the most superior performance in the room for that day.

"Regardless of rating or score, we are proud of every student for choosing to pursue musical growth through this process."  said Fine Arts Department Chairman Glenn Williams.  "The individual growth that occurs through studying and performing chamber music is substantial."

Here are the students that earned a Division I rating, described on the judges sheet as "a superior performance - outstanding in nearly every detail"

Carson Aldrich - trombone solo
Helena Beikircher - violin solo
Haley Beube, Helena Beikircher, Lucie Boyd, Tim Edwards - string quartet
Allie Brandt- clarinet solo (perfect score 40/40)
Allie Brandt, Danny King- clarinet duet
Jake Burrows, Gillian Rustik, Paul Kozak, Adam Rosiginal - brass quartet
Matt Burrows, Carson Aldrich - brass duet
Nicolette Cheaure - viola solo
Nicolette Cheaure, Nithan Nathan, Chandana Sooranhali, Tiffany Leung - string quartet
George DuFresne - flute solo
Michael Dukes - violin solo
Isabelle Genin - violin solo
Paul Gurnic - piano solo
Paul Gurnic - trombone solo
Haruya Kamitani - violin solo
Bella Kelly - violin solo
Matt Laczynski - trombone solo
Tiffany Leung - piano solo
Mary Mulcahey - flute solo
Aoife McGivern - viola solo
Bridget Moroney - clarinet solo
Kristina Mucha - clarinet solo
Kristina Mucha, Mary Eterno - clarinet duet
Nithin Nathan - violin solo
Andrew Pawelczyk - snare drum solo
Brian Piller - alto saxophone solo
Julia Poska - clarinet solo (perfect score 40/40)
Isaac Rutledge - flute solo
Joseph Shen - flute solo
Lauren Swain - bassoon solo
Melissa Wang, Tiffany Wang, Ryan Stanuch, Sara Runchey and Chris Gergits  keyboard ensemble - (perfect score 25/25)
Susan Zhou - clarinet solo

Here are the students that earned a Division II rating, described on the judges sheet as "An excellent performance - minor defects:

Haley Beube - violin solo
Michael Beube - violin solo
Riya Bhasin, Hailey Rodden - woodwind duet
Ayanna Gregory - cello solo
Larissa Gurnic - tuba solo
Hannah Hyzy - flute solo
Kelly Lyons - cello solo
Lauren O'Meara, Isaac Rutledge, Mary Mulcahey, Hannah Hyzy - flute quartet
Brock Royle - violin solo
Chandana Sooranhalli - violin solo
Paige Vondrasek - violin solo
Matt Weichec, Olivia Tyrrell, Brian Piller, Dan Piccoli - sax quartet