Saturday, January 21, 2023

Purdue Fest 2023 - A Memorable & Inspiring Trip

The stage where DGS Jazz Ensemble performed at the prime-time spot! And took home a superior rating. Congrats to Lucas Ciocan, our junior tenor saxophonist for earning "best soloist of the room" for the entire day.

Waiting to watch DGS Lab Band! Congrats to tenor saxophonist Tom Yednock for getting outstanding soloist for their set.

DGS Workshop brought the house down in their performance! "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" had the room clapping, hooting, and hollering. John Foley (trumpet) and Mateus Dos Santos (piano) were recognized as outstanding soloists for the set.

Mr. Smith (DGN director) photo-bombing in the best way!

"This phone booth has a light?!??" - Delaney Wells

Two dude band directors in a pink room. (Before the fire alarm went off.)

"The kids taught me how to take it like this." - Mr. Smith

On our way to see "Dizzy Spellz" with Sean Jones on trumpet and Brinae Ali tap dancing & singing the night away. The show featured phenomenal musicianship, poetry, and an absolutely cathartic commentary that explores the black experience in America. 

All in all, what an incredibly inspiring and memorable trip. Until next year, Purdue!! 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Jazz Cafe 2023

 Jazz Cafe 2023 was an absolute hit! 

Jefferson, O'Neill, Eisenhower, and Lakeview bands joined us for a night of swingin' tunes.

Our very own Workshop Ensemble, Lab Band, and Jazz Ensemble sounded PHENOMENAL. 

We can't wait to report back from our time at the Purdue Jazz Fest coming up next week!

Future Mustangs in the Building!!! Jr. High Band Day

On Saturday, January 14th 7th & 8th Graders in Downers Grove showed up to DGS to partake in a day of music-making! 

The day began with sectionals, had a break for booster provided lunch (thank you!) and ended with a performance for parents. 

Full rehearsal with Director Aaron Kennedy in our beautiful Performing Arts Center! They sounded beautiful, especially for getting the music that morning. 

Woodwind sectional with Fine Arts Chair Jerry Lowrey!

Brass sectional with Director Robbi Hicks!

Percussion sectional with Coach Wally Pochron!

What a fun-filled day of music-making. Thanks to all that helped, took part, and came to the performance!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Downers Grove South Junior High Choir Festival!


Downers Grove South Junior High Choir Festival!

DGS Choirs invited singers from Lakeview Jr. High, Eisenhower Jr. High, O'Neill Middle School, and Jefferson Jr. High to join together as one for an amazing event.  It was incredibly exciting to see the bright future of DGS Choirs and inspiring to be a part of such a beautiful experience for everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2022

DGS FOFA Poinsettia Fundraiser Reminder!


Poinsettia Fundraiser FINAL Reminder
Hello from the DGS Friends of Fine Arts!  We hope you will continue to support our Fine Arts Community by contributing to the annual poinsettia fundraiser. You can place your orders by following these simple steps:
1. Use this LINK to access the Friends of Fine Arts Webstore link.  You can also access it through the District 99 Webstore home page. Simply click on the DGS Band Boosters from there.
2. Complete the form, double checking to make sure that all information is accurate.  
3. Disregard the membership information (unless you are contributing in addition to purchasing a poinsettia), and simply list the amount that you are paying in the comment space provided. Each poinsettia is $18 advanced purchase ($25 on the night of the concert)
4. List student name (if applicable) as well as the items you are purchasing (ex. 1 Poinsettia)
5. Click 'Add to Cart'
6. Follow the site as it leads you through the  payment information. 
7. Done!

All purchased poinsettias will adorn the Performing Arts Center, Learning Commons, and STEAM on December 8th and be made available for pickup at the conclusion of the festivities. Questions about the poinsettia fundraiser should be directed to FOFA President, Mrs. Ann Andreshak at  Please contact me if you have questions about the event as well. 

Once again, thank you for supporting the Fine Arts here at Downers Grove South High School. We look forward to seeing you all on December 8th!  

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

South High Vocal and Instrumental Students Recognized at the 2022 ILMEA District Festival!


Congratulations to the all of our amazing DGS vocal and instrumental student-musicians that were selected to perform in the Illinois Music Education Association District Festival. Students from across the Chicago region were selected by competitive audition to participate in day-long educational workshops with highly respected guest conductors, and present a culminating concert for family, friends, and educators.

Special congratulations to these students and a shout out to our wonderful faculty - Mrs. Belt-Roselieb, Mr. Hernandez, Mr. Kennedy, Dr. Pedroza, Ms. Hicks, Mr. Lowrey, and Ms. Zall as well as our entire community for supporting the endeavors of our amazing students. 

Thank you to the faculty, staff and Music Education majors at Elmhurst University for welcoming our students to campus as the festival host site.  Here are snapshots of some of the great moments that our students experienced throughout the day!

Monday, November 21, 2022

DGS Students Named All-STATE Musicians!!!!


10 Student Musicians from South High School have been selected through competitive audition to participate in the 2022-2023 Illinois music Education Association Al-State Bands, Orchestras, and Choirs. Students summitted video auditions which were evaluated by a panel of adjudicators. The top placing scores participated in the District Music Festival, held on November 19, 2022. The top placing scores from District Festivals around Illinois earned a nod as All-State musicians. Congratulations to:

Sebastian Blanco(10) - Bass II
Gianna Caponigro(11) - Soprano I
Scott Conley(11) - Bass II
Maija Flannery(11) - Soprano I
Kyle Kuper(10) - Bass I
Jack Melie(9) - Bass I
Abby Parson(11) - Alto I
Delaney Turner(12) - Alto I

Evangeline Selking(9) - Flute

Erika Andreshak(10) - Viola
Luidas Davies(12) - Violin II

"To not only complete such a rigorous audition process, but to also be placed among the top musicians in the entire state of Illinois is a testament to the work, dedication, and sacrifice that these students have made," said Fine Arts Department Chair Jerry Lowrey." Everyone here in the South High School Community is proud to have these wonderful students represent us at the Illinois Music Educators Conference in Peoria Illinois in January of 2023. Thank you all for your inspiration!" 

Congrats to Gretchen, Becca, Anthony, and Evangeline!

These four musicians got the opportunity to play in the ILMEA Senior Band on Saturday! 

Students audition by preparing challenging literature and submitting videos in October. The best musicians in the state get invited to play in their district bands. From there, students are chosen for ILMEA All-State, which performs in January at the Illinois Music Education Conference at the Peoria Civic Center. We are still waiting back to hear those results. 

Gretchen Hasselhorst (viewers left) on french horn, Becca Snouffer on clarinet, Anthony Lopez on trumpet, and Evangeline Selking on flute. Special shout-out to Evangeline, not only was she first chair but she also had multiple solos and knocked them out of the park! 

DGS is so proud of these students and can't wait to see who makes it into ILMEA band next year. 

(Their new album cover.)

DGS drum major and flutist Briyana Zeigler sang in the ILMEA choir!

Dr. Roxanne Stevenson, Director of Bands at Chicago State University was the guest conductor for the day. We hope to have her come to DGS to clinic in the near future! 

Concert time! 

Becca and Anthony are all smiles with department chair Mr. Jerry Lowrey!