Thursday, April 27, 2017

Free Concert by the CYSO in D99

The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra will present a FREE concert at North High School this Sunday, April 30, at 3:00 PM.  

Details may be found HERE.

Since its first season in 1946, CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra has achieved international recognition for its excellence and innovation in orchestral performance. The orchestra is known as an important training ground for the cultivation of the next generation of professional musicians. In fact, you can hear CYSO alumni playing in more than 40 orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Presidents Own, Cleveland Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, among many others. See some of CYSO’s notable alumni.
The Symphony Orchestra is a leader in the performance of contemporary orchestral music among youth. Among its honors are eleven ASCAP awards for adventurous programming; three Illinois Council of Orchestras Youth Orchestra of the Year awards; two Illinois Council of Orchestras Programming of the Year awards; broadcasts on National Public Radio and WFMT; and international tours to the music capitals of Central and Western Europe, Asia and South America, and our 2014 tour of China. Read more about Symphony Orchestra touring.

Monday, April 24, 2017

DGS Caracole Yearbook earns Awards

On Friday, April 21, 2017 the Northern Illinois School Press Association (NISPA) held their annual awards conference.  The 2015-2016 South High School Yearbook earned the following citations from the panel of judges:

Honorable Mention Award for Coverage
Honorable Mention Award for Theme
Honorable Mention Award for Photography
Silver Certificate for Excellence in Journalism

Additionally, on Saturday, April 22, 2017, Yearbook student staff members Jessica Plzak and Sara Snaidauf placed 6th  at the IHSA Journalism Sectionals for Yearbook Theme Development.

Congratulations to all the student staff members from the 2015-2016 DGS Yearbook and their faculty sponsor, Ms. Katherine O'Truk.

Friday, April 21, 2017

RAKU Day 2017

Facilitated by DG South visual art teachers Kathy Myles and Molly O'Brien-Prusa during a cool spring day, DGS student ceramicists from Ceramics II and Ceramics Studio classes today participated in the 17th annual Raku/Primitive Firing event at South High School in Downers Grove.  Raku pottery is created with a specific ceramic firing process that uses extreme temperatures, fire and smoke to create unique patterns and designs. Western-style raku usually involves removing pottery from the kiln while at bright red heat and placing it into containers with combustible materials. Once the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which effects the colors in glazes and clay bodies. The drastic thermal shock also produces cracking (known as crackling since it is deliberate).The student work that emerges from the smoke and fire of the day is visually stunning.

Karl Mankert, our RAKU "guru" from Chicago Kiln Service, was impressed by the work, and, the work ethic of the South HS ceramicists.  In addition to providing the equipment for the RAKU day, Mr. Mankert coaches and teaches the student artists in the subtle techniques of RAKU firing.  Special thanks to Friends of Fine Arts (FOFA) for supporting Mr. Mankert's visit and his work with student artists.

Look for these brilliantly developed pieces during the coming Spring Art Show starting on Thursday, May 18, 2017. It is a great day indeed to be a Mustang artist!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

2017 District 99/Woodridge Public Library Art Show

Congratulations to the student artists and faculty affiliated with 2017 D99/WPL Art Show.  The opening was a vibrant event and the library foyer was packed with patrons!  
The show remains on exhibit until the end of April for public viewing during normal library hours.

A visual summary of the category award winners is below.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

District 99 Named One of the Best Communities for Music Education in 2017

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has named District 99 as one of the best communities in the nation for music education. The award recognizes the outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, and students at Downers Grove North High and Downers Grove South High, as well as the entire community, who make music education part of the curriculum.

According to The NAMM Foundation, awards are made to districts that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to comprehensive music education. It evaluates funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction to select the winning districts.

“We are privileged to offer a broad and dynamic music program that impacts the lives of thousands of students each year,” says Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele. “One very important gauge of the quality of a school system is the extent to which it supports and celebrates the arts, and this award speaks to and reinforces our strong commitment to the fine arts.”

The Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) award program started in 1999; this year, District 99 is one of 10 school districts in Illinois recognized by The NAMM Foundation.

“This award is a tremendous honor, as well as a testament to both the skills of our students and the quality of our music educators,” says Fine Arts Department Chair at North High Brayer Teague. “It also highlights the positive ripple effect that music has in engaging the entire community.”

“I cannot imagine teaching in a more supportive community than District 99,” says Fine Arts Department Chair at South High Glenn Williams. “As we foster appreciation for music in our students, we also enrich the lives of those in our community with our programs and performances.”

Both Downers Grove North High School and Downers Grove South High School offer comprehensive programs that include concert bands, jazz bands, orchestra, and choirs as well as courses in AP Music Theory, Guitar and Digital Music composition.  Abundant curricular and extra-curricular opportunities exist for students, including frequent community performances like marching and singing at Independence Day and Memorial Day parades in Downers Grove. Instrumental and choral ensembles from D99 have been accepted to perform at state and national conventions. They also create special programming for preschool children, middle school students, alumni groups and older adults. In addition, student musicians represent the schools outside the community; for example, recent performances have taken place at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Sugar Bowl, and Disneyworld.  Students also continue to participate in a 25+ year old musical and cultural exchange with a music school in Beitigheim-Bissingen, Germany.

“We have been awarding the Best Communities for Music Education for 18 years, and it is heartening to see how many parents and community members check to see if their schools have been recognized,” says Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation Mary Luehrsen. “Parents are choosing to live where schools are committed to music education offerings that are part of the curriculum.”

Click here for additional information about the 2017 Best Communities for Music Education.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Caliope Magazine earns national award

Downers Grove South High School’s literary and fine arts magazine, Calliope, received first place from Kettle Moraine Press Association (KEMPA) and earned an Excellent rating from National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) for its 2016 spring edition, “ZZzzzzzz.”
The 2016 spring edition was edited by DGS students Grace Decarlo, Akila Shanmugham, Eve Dygdon, Michelle Mo, and Charley Malloy and highlights the work of over 40 DGS students. Faculty sponsors include Mr. Zach Kuhn, Ms. Michelle Lynn and Ms. Jenneine Rowley.
“Calliope celebrates the creative young minds and many talents of our students,” says Michelle Lynn, DGS Fine Arts Teacher and co-sponsor for the Calliope. “Each step in the process – from the many exceptional works submitted for the magazine, to the collaboration on design and production – is a masterful work of art that we’re proud to be a part of.”
Calliope is the Literary Magazine produced for and by DGS students. Students involved in Calliope learn aspects of the design and layout process, decide on a theme for each issue, and select the poetry, prose and artwork that go into each publication.
To learn more about Calliope, watch this short video:

Monday, April 03, 2017

DGSWG17 Midwest Color Guard Performance "Connected"

Enjoy this performance of the Downers Grove South Winter Guard 2017 Competition Show "Connected" recorded at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit Finals on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at LaPorte High School in LaPorte, Indiana.  

Sunday, April 02, 2017

2017 Downers Grove South Winter Guard concludes historic competitive season

Congratulations to the students and staff affiliated with the DGSWG17 for concluding the competitive season on a historic note.

The guard competed this past weekend at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit Championships at LaPorte High School in LaPorte, Indiana.  After a strong showing in prelims, the guard competed in finals on Sunday, ending the season in 8th place out of 18 competing units in the Scholastic A Class with a score of 80.04.  This is the highest place and highest score in the history of the DGS Winter Guard,

Special congratulations to the DGSWG17 seniors for leaving such a strong legacy.  Extreme gratitude is also extended to the student and parent volunteers who supported the unit throughout the course of the 2017 competitive season.

DGS Choirs in NYC and at Carnegie Hall!

Congratulations to the 61 DGS Choirs students, staff, and parent chaperones who recently returned home from a tour of New York City.  In addition to performances at Carnegie Hall and Queen's College and clinics with internationally renowned choral music educators, the students and tour participants experienced exceptional sights and sounds in the unique manner that can only be provided by New York City.  

The students were selected to sing through Choirs of America. Once a year, the COA president invites proven high school choirs to perform at their National Festival in New York City. The invitation was based on DGS Madrigal Singer performances last year at both the Illinois Music Educator’s Convention in Peoria and the American Choral Director’s Central Division Convention in Chicago, which were by recorded audition.  This year, the guest conductor for the COA Choral Convergence spectacular was Z. Randall Stroupe.  

Artistic Director of Choirs of America Christopher Nolan said "The South High School Choirs were invited by our artistic staff based on a consistent tradition of passion, artistry, and excellence.  We were truly honored to have the choirs from Downers Grove South featured as part of our event this year."