Monday, January 30, 2017

DGS Winter Guard Starts Competitive Season with Success @Dist_99 #99Learns #DGSPride

The DGSWG placed second Saturday in the Scholastic A class at the Stepperette's show at Naperville North High School.  The scoring recap in Scholastic A class is below:
Lockport - 58.92
DGSWG - 54.21
Victor Andrew - 52.25
Minooka - 51.95
Naperville Central - 51.72
Congratulations to the students and staff affiliated with the team for such a strong start to the season.  Thanks to all the fans who were able to attend the event and cheer for the team!  
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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mustang All-State Musicians at the 2017 IMEC @Dist_99 #DGSPride #99Learns #IMEC2017

Congratulations to the student musicians who participated in the 2017 IMEC as All-State Musicians in at the Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois.   Students worked with inspirational conductors and teachers for several days to prepare and present a concert of challenging repertoire. Even with limited rehearsal time,  each ensemble presented a stunning performance of challenging repertoire to a capacity crowd in both the Theatre for the Jazz Concert and Arena in the Civic Center for the All-State and Honors Concerts in Peoria.  Several District 99 students were featured during the concerts as soloists or in principal chairs in each of the ensembles.  

Special kudos also to the music go to the music faculty in District 99 for personifying the spirit of professional volunteerism that keeps ILMEA a vibrant organization: Brayer Teague is the President-Elect of ILMEA, Craig Roselieb is the President of the Jazz Division;  Jennifer Mullen is the co-chair of the District 1 Orchestra Division;  Beth O'Riordian is the co-chair of the District 1 Choral Division; Laura Coster is the co-chair of the  District 1 9/10 Honors Choir;  Joy Belt-Roselieb is the Organizational Chair for the Honors Choir;  Frank Piekarz and Laura Coster led sectional rehearsals for both choirs.  

All the District 99 students and staff extend a heartfelt "thank you" to the staff and volunteers and staff from ILMEA who contributed to creating this experience for our student musicians.   

Allie Brandt (11) Bb Clarinet - Honors Orchestra (principal clarinet)
Danny King (11) Bb Clarinet - Honors Band
Kristina Mucha (12) Bb Clarinet - Honors Band
Susan Zhou (12) Bb Clarinet - All-State Band (principal clarinet)

Matt Burrows (11) - Bass II - All-State Choir
Vanessa Copeland (12) - Alto II - All-State Choir
Sean McCarthy (12) - Tenor I - Honors Choir
Lydia Walsh-Rock (12) - Soprano I - Honors Choir

Nicolette Cheaure (11) Viola - Honors Orchestra

Brianna Imgruet (12) Trumpet - Honors Jazz Band
Adam Zlotnicki (12) Trumpet - All-State Jazz Band

Grace Zieman (12) - Vocal Ensemble - 3rd Place - "Orange"

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Announced @Dist_99 #99learns #DGSPride

2017 American Vision Award nominee
Emmanuelle Copeland, artist

Gold Key Award
Stephanie Stewart, artist
Gold Key Award
Claire Pikul
"Birds of a Feather"

Gold Key Award
Caroline Grannan
"Ocean Tide"

The Fine Arts Department at South High School n Downers Grove is pleased to announce the results of the judging from the 2017 Chicago area regional Scholastic Art Awards held at Downers Grove North High School. 1,130 student artists from 40 different schools supported by 117 different teachers submitted 2,619 works of art and 71 art portfolios  for adjudication.  34 South High School visual art students merited 65 awards, including 18  Gold Key Awards, 23 Silver Key Awards,  24 Honorable Mention Awards, and one American Vision Award nominee. American Vision Award nominees are considered the "Best of Show" by the judging panel and only five pieces from the entire region are selected for this prestigious honor.  Also, special kudos to senior artist Claire Pikul for meriting 2 Gold Keys in Art Portfolio, the most comprehensive and challenging category for an artist to earn and award in this event.  These pieces, and all the award winning pieces from the entire regions, will be unveiled at the Opening Reception on Sunday, February 5, 2017 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 (18)
Lauren Ackerman  - Photography
Sidney Antiporek - (2) - Digital Art, Photography
Patricia Barcenas - Painting
Emmanuelle Copeland - (2) - Drawing and Illustration
Jessica Foster - Photography
Mya Glover - Photography
Caroline Grannan - Ceramics and Glass
Natalie Lazuka - Ceramics and Glass
Paige Massey - Photography
Michelle Mo - Painting
Claire Pikul - (5) - Art Portfolio (2); Digital Art (2); Photography 
Stephanie Stewart - Drawing and Illustration

Silver Key Awards (23)
Sydney Antiporek - Silver (2) - Photography
Valerie Blackmore - Ceramics and Glass
Ivy Bukowski - Digital Art
Emmanuelle Copeland - (2) - Drawing and Illustration; Painting
Laurie Cox - Painting
Payton Froats - (2) - Photography
Emma Gannaway - Photography
Mya Glover - Photography
Samantha Mark - Drawing and Illustration
Shalyn Martinek - Sculpture
Marisa-Rene McGivern - Photography
Michelle Mo - (2) - Painting
Kailee O'Connor - Ceramics and Glass
Samantha Perkins - Photography
Katherine Roth - Photography
Stephanie Stewart - (2) - Painting
Aubrey Vernon - Mixed Media

Honorable Mention Awards (23)
Megan Albers - Digital Art
Ivy Bukowski - Digital Art
Emmanuelle Copeland - Drawing and Illustration
Michelle Hopkins - Drawing and Illustration; Printmaking
Marisa Kasher - Ceramics and Glass
Nina Kovaltchuk - Digital Art
Hope Krska - Drawing and Illustration
Tylie Loya - Drawing and Illustration
Shalyn Martinek - Sculpture
Marissa-Rene McGivern - Photography
Michelle Mo - Painting
Jessica Niehus - Drawing and Illustration
Kaitlyn O'Toole - Photography
Claire Pikul - (5) - Digital Art (4); Photography
Hailey Rodden - Photography
Isabella Taylor - Ceramics and Glass
Aubrey Vernon - (2) - Mixed Media

Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 Purdue Jazz Festival @Dist_99 #99Learns #DGSPride

Congratulations to the student musicians in the jazz program from South High School in Downers Grove for an outstanding showing at the 2017 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 from South High School 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, 22 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 “Judges Award ” for their room, meaning they were noticed by the judging panel for a particularly high level of sonic artistry during their performance. Additionally, senior Dan Piccoli earned a ½ scholarship to the Indiana University Summer Music Clinic 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 and have them represent our learning community in such a professional manner.”

Photos and videos, archived on the Mustang Band Booster Web Site by Mr. Brandt, can be located by CLICKING HERE.

Piller Chamber Ensemble – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Gabe Coughlin, bass; Bella Kelly, violin; Matt Laczynski, trombone; Brian Piller, tenor saxophone; Erik Seelander, trumpet

Piccoli Chamber Ensemble – Division I Rating and Judges Award
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Jesse Knight, bass; Andrew Pawelczyk, drums; Dan Piccoli – saxophones; Adam Zlotnicki, trumpet;  Named as a top student soloist in the room for the day, Dan Piccoli earned a ½ Scholarship to the Indiana University Summer Music Clinic.

Jazz Ensemble – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Allie Brandt; clarinet; Jesse Knight, bass;  Dan Piccoli – alto saxophone; Brian Piller, tenor saxophone; Adam Zlotnicki, trumpet; 

Jazz Workshop – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards – Blake Cassani, alto saxophone; Kyle Kotula, trombone;  Nate Luczak, trombone. 

Jazz Lab Band – Division I Rating
Outstanding Soloist Awards:  Matt Campbell, tenor saxophone; Agne Giedraityte, piano; Sam Guagliardo, trumpet; Harry Kamitani, violin; Isaac Rutledge, alto saxophone; 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 Jazz Cafe @Dist_99 @DGS_Bands #99Learns #DGSPride

Congratulations to the over 170 student musicians from seven different jazz bands from five different schools that participated in the 2017 Jazz Cafe tonight at South High School in Downers Grove.  The varied repertoire during the course of the evening (27 different compositions) provided the audience with a stunning breadth and depth in jazz performance.

Special kudos to the students and directors from our sender schools for participating this evening:  Matt Janus and the Eisenhower Junior High School Jazz Band, Keith Carlson and the "Friends of Jazz" from Jefferson Junior High School, Brian Ohlsen and the Lakeview Junior High School Jazz band, and Dave Balika and the O'Neill Middle School Jazz Band.  With so many students performing at such a high level, the sonic future burns brightly for Downers Grove and the surrounding communities.  

If you were unable to join us at South HS tonight, view the rebroadcast virtually on the High School Cube by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Middle School Choir Festival @Dist_99 #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 2017 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.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

DGS Choirs Coffee House - this Friday night! @Dist_99 #99Learns #DGSPride

Come join student musicians from the South High School Choirs this Friday, January 6, 2017 from 6-9:30 PM in the cafetorium.  This coffee house will feature student performers in an informal setting sharing a wide variety of musical repertoire.  $5 donation suggested with proceeds going towards the upcoming DGS Choirs Tour to New York City.  This event is a great way to start your weekend while supporting some fabulous student musicians. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Marching Mustangs Ybor City Parade Video Links @DGS_Bands @Dist_99 #99Learns #DGSPride

Here is the entire Ybor City New Year's Eve Parade video - you can catch the Marching Mustangs at 12:43 into the video.

CLICK HERE for local Tampa television station new coverage from the parade which features the Marching Mustangs in several clips.  

Monday, January 02, 2017

Mustang Bands at the 2017 Outback Bowl @Dist_99 #99Learns #DGSPride

113 student musicians from the Mustang Bands recently participated in serious of events centered around the 2017 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida.  In addition to experiencing theme parks in Orlando and Tampa, students participated in a myriad of performances and took part in an adjudicated music competition.

The Marching Mustangs performed for thousands of spectators in the Outback Bowl New Year's Eve Parade in Ybor City, Florida.  The Marching Mustangs were also part of a massed band halftime show for the 2017 Outback Bowl that featured more than 1,700 student performers comprised of 14 high school bands from 9 states and a large dance ensemble.  The DGS Wind Ensemble/Wind Symphony and DGS Jazz Ensemble/Lab Band took part in a competition that provided both formative and summative feedback for the student musicians.

The 2017 Outback Bowl competition and festival results for South High School Bands are as follows:
  • The DGS Wind Ensemble/Wind Symphony placed 3rd overall and earned a Division I rating from the judging panel.
  • The DGS Jazz Ensemble/Lab Band finished first place in their class, earned a Division I rating from the judging panel and were named Grand Champion of the Jazz Division.
  • Senior Dan Piccoli was named the Outstanding Jazz Soloist of the competition by the panel of judges.
  • The Marching Mustangs were awarded 3rd place out of 14 band in the Ybor City New Year's Eve parade competition.
  • The Marching Mustangs were awarded Third Place out of 14 bands by the Outback Bowl Committee in the Best Crowd Appeal Category.
Some of the best feedback, however, came from the Outback Bowl personnel, tour guides and hotel personnel who consistently remarked on the professionalism and poise of the Mustang Band students on the tour.  This tour was a fabulous way to start the New Year, and, set the tone for what will be a great year to be a Mustang!

For more information about the tour, including images and videos, follow on Twitter @DGS_Bands.