Note to Remember Appreciation

The 7th Annual Sycamore Music Boosters “A Note to Remember” event held on February 14 at Blumen Gardens was a tremendous success!   It is with deep gratitude that we thank our sponsors and donors that helped support our mission: “Enriching the quality of music education, performance and awareness in the Sycamore schools and community.”

Our appreciation is extended to the following Sponsors that helped make this event so successful:   Kohls, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists, Prairie View Animal Hospital, NB & T, KishHealth System, Ideal Industries, Inc., Shaw Media – the Daily Chronicle and the Midweek, PianoForte and David Graham, Oral and Maxillo Facial Surgeons for Northern Illinois-Dr. Todd Anderson and Dr. David Junck, Floor to Ceiling, Carmine’s Subs, Austin’s Violin Shop, American Midwest Bank, Law Office of Richard L. Turner, Law office of Riley Oncken, Special Needs Products, The Suter Company, Castle Bank, Quinlin and Fabish Music, Spex Express, Bob and Diane Hammon, and Vanatta Piano Service.

Our gratitude is also expressed to the following businesses and community members for their contributions: Jazz in Progress, Blumen Gardens, Wendy Tritt of Trittenhaus Design, Invironments Magazine-Morningstar Media Group, Gia DaVini of Chocolate Shivers, Victoria Shipman of Essentials by House of Interiors, Le Print Express, New Values Magazine, Lion’s Club Community Board, Ralph Helm, all of our outstanding performers, and our wonderful Music Boosters families and friends.

Thank you to the following businesses and families for their donations: Buffalo Wild Wings, Charter Fitness, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chipotle, Cottone Family, Country Inn & Suites, Culver’s of Sycamore, Curves, Dairy Queen, D & D Jewelry, Dolce Vita Salon, Dr. Todd Curtis-Orthodontist, Eggsclusive Café, Elgin Youth Symphony, Energym, Farm and Fleet, Kevin Flaherty, Hillside Restaurant, HyVee, Kishwaukee College, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra,  Kishwaukee YMCA, Kuiper’s Family Farm, Los Rancheros, Lou Malnati’s, McDonald’s of Sycamore, Midwest Museum of Natural History, Nat’s on Maple, NIU Community School of the Arts, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists, Panera Bread, Parkway Restaurant,  PJ’s Courthouse Tavern, Polka Dots Bakery, Potbelly’s, Prairie View Animal Hospital, Reclaimed by Jil, Rosita’s Restaurant, Seattle Sutton, Spex Expressions, Sports of All Sorts,  Stagecoach Players, Stephen Alan Salon, St. Mary’s Church Sycamore, Sycamore High School, Sycamore High School Orchestra, Sycamore Park District and Golf Club, Sycamore Sports Boosters, and Thirty-One Brand Gifts – Robyn White.

Please accept our apologies if we mistakenly omitted someone. We extend our sincere gratitude to everyone that assisted in making this “Note to Remember” event a huge success!

 

 

Ken Olson, Sycamore Music Booster President

Kris Selig, A Note to Remember Chair

NUMEROUS SYCAMORE MUSIC STUDENTS GIVE “BEST OF DAY” PERFORMANCES AT SOLO & ENSEMBLE EVENT

SycS&E 2015-Best of Dayamore High School (SHS) music students recently performed at the annual IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest held at Harvard High School.  Musicians in orchestra, band, and/or choir had the opportunity to perform a solo, usually with piano accompaniment, or in various ensembles in front of a judge. Performers receive a performance rating of Division I (the highest rating), II, III, IV, and V.

At the end of the day, each judge chooses one stand out performance and selects a “Best of Day” performance.  While there were many outstanding performances and perfect scores received by the students, 6 SHS musicians were awarded the prestigious “Best of Day” award! Congratulations and special recognition goes to the following Sycamore High School Solo & Ensemble “Best of Day” Award recipients (pictured here left to right): Front row- Rachel Hecht for Mixed Woodwind Ensemble, Emma Olson for Oboe Solo and Mixed Wind Ensemble, Jordyn Schultz for Mixed Wind Ensemble; Back row-Megan Graham for Mixed Wind Ensemble, Ben Van Wienen for Trumpet Solo, and Alex Cuthbert for Mixed Wind Ensemble.

SHS Band Director Ken Goodman comments, “Participating in the Solo and Ensemble event is a great way for music students to challenge themselves.  Their goal is to prepare, practice, perform a piece well, and to have fun!” Family, friends and fellow musicians are encouraged to attend performances as it is a fantastic way to listen to many top high school musicians in our area. Congratulations to all Solo & Ensemble participants and those that received “Best of Day” performance awards.

 

Sycamore Music Boosters Induct 2015 Music Hall of Fame Members

 

514-SHS Music Hall of Fame 2015 097The 2015 Sycamore High School Music Hall of Fame inductees were recently honored and officially inducted during an afternoon ceremony in the Sycamore High School Auditorium. In its third year, the ongoing Sycamore High School Music Hall of Fame awards program each year will honor and recognize a variety of Sycamore High School alumni and music advocates who have demonstrated superior participation and/or support of the Sycamore music programs.  This year’s inductees include Paul Marchese, Eric Montzka, and Karl Montzka, each a Legacy Award recipient. Sycamore Music Boosters President, Ken Olson, along with Hall of Fame Committee Chair, Madelyn Anderson, introduced each inductee and presented them with their certificate award and commemorative tile. After brief speeches by each inductee, the audience enjoyed performances with Karl playing piano, Paul strumming his Ukulele, and Eric on drum set. Brothers Karl and Eric performed a duet; Paul sang and played the Ukulele accompanied by Karl, and as a special treat, Eric, Paul and Karl performed as a trio together on the stage.

The 2015 ILMEA All-State Music Students were also recognized and presented a Certificate of Recognition at this ceremony. Sycamore High School had 17 music students representing the community at the prestigious All-State Festival in Peoria this past January. Additionally, the Sycamore High School Symphonic Band had the honor to perform at the ILMEA Music Conference this year. Ken Olson recognized this prestigious accomplishment and presented a commemorative plaque to SHS Band Director Ken Goodman.

514-SHS Music Hall of Fame 2015 068The Music Hall of Fame display case, located across the hall from the Auditorium, was unveiled with all three inductees sharing the honor of removing the drapery and enjoying the updated elegant and beautiful Music Hall of Fame display case. The ceremony concluded with a light reception.

This Music Hall of Fame includes four award categories, each of which will recognize different ways in which SHS alums and members of our community have contributed to the ongoing standards of excellence in our music programs. Nominations for any or all of these categories are now being collected for the next awards of 2016 with thesubmission deadline of October 1, 2015. More information, nomination forms, and instructions may be found at: www.sycamoremusicboosters.com.

Sycamore Music Boosters would like to thank the following people for their hard work and dedication in making the Music Hall of Fame happen: Sycamore High School Principal Tim Carlson, Superintendent Kathy Countryman, Chauncey Carrick, David Olson, Jim Dombek, Sycamore Music Boosters President Ken Olson, Music Hall of Fame Committee Chair Madelyn Anderson, Ken Olson and the Hall of Fame committee, Sycamore Music Boosters Publicist Deb Loitz, Sycamore High School Music Department Chair Scott Mertens and the entire Sycamore High School Music Department staff.

The Sycamore Music Boosters is a volunteer organization comprised of families and friends of students enrolled in music education classes in Sycamore Schools. Their mission statement is, “Enriching the quality of music education, performanceand awareness in the Sycamore schools and community.” To learn more about the Sycamore Music Boosters please visit the web site already listed and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Sycamore Music Boosters Announce Scholarship Deadlines

Sycamore Music Boosters is pleased to announce scholarship applications are now being accepted for Summer Music Camp support, Senior Music Scholarships, and Continuing College Music Scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to help the growth of the individual music student as well to build the Sycamore Music Program.
Any Sycamore School student in grades 6 – 11 enrolled in the band, orchestra, or choir music program is eligible to apply for a scholarship for Summer Camps including residential camps and day camps. Any Sycamore High School graduating senior intending to major in music in college may apply for the Senior Music Scholarship with three being given, one in each of the following areas; choir, band, and orchestra. The Continuing College Music Scholarship is available to one or several Sycamore High School graduates that are currently an undergraduate college junior or senior majoring in music.
Deadlines for various scholarships are as follows: Summer Music Camp Scholarship applications must be submitted to the student’s music teacher by April 2, 2015. Senior Music Scholarship applications must be submitted by May 1, 2015 and Continuing College Music Scholarship applications must be submitted by July 15, 2015 to Scholarship Chairperson Lisa Smith.
All scholarship information and applications are now available at http://www.sycamoremusicboosters.com. You may also contact the Scholarship Chairperson, Lisa Smith, via e-mail at lisasmith1615@comcast.net .

SYCAMORE MUSIC STUDENTS ATTEND IN PRESTIGIOUS ALL-STATE ILMEA CONFERENCE

511 - SHS All State 2015 015Seventeen Sycamore High School students were selected to participate in the 2015 Illinois Music Education (ILMEA) Conference recently held at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois. This is the 6th time Sycamore High School has been represented at the prestigious All-State Conference and Sycamore again has one of the largest contingents in the state of All-State musicians in attendance. Students were selected via a rigorous audition process from the district IMEA festival held earlier this year. Illinois has 9 districts throughout the state, and each district was able to send their top students to be represented at this All-State Conference. Scott Mertens, Sycamore School District Music Department Chair comments, “The all-state music experience is unlike any other musical experience.  Students from the entire state come together, are placed into performing ensembles, and put together a concert of challenging music in less than three days.  It is a unique and exciting opportunity for high school musicians that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The Sycamore High School Symphonic Band has also been invited to perform and be a part of this year’s ILMEA Conference. Last year SHS Band Director, Ken Goodman, submitted an audition recording of the Symphonic Band, which earned them an exciting experience performing on the stage at this year’s conference. Ken Goodman comments, “It is a prestigious honor for us to be invited to perform at ILMEA this year, and a special opportunity and experience for all of the Symphonic Band students.”

All-State musicians were treated to a special rally as they departed for the weekend festival. Fellow students, faculty, and family gathered in the Choir Room for a brief send-off. Sycamore Music Department Chair Scott Mertens comments in a brief speech, “These students were not selected for All-State just because of their talent, but also because of their dedication and choice to spend extra time practicing the audition music. They chose to do something, and do it well.” He also acknowledged the private teachers of these students and their parents and families for their unending support.

Congratulations to the following students from Sycamore High School who have the distinguished honor of being selected for All-State:

All-State Honors Choir: Lauren Brazeau, Falon Findley

All-State Choir:  Collin Koneczny, Thalia Schuesteff, Kara Strohm

All-State Honors Orchestra: Jessica Luo, Kailey Mulligan

All-State Orchestra:  Brett Brancato, Seth Kates, Baylie Petit

All-State Orchestra Winds:  Rachel Hecht, Jordyn Shultz

All-State Honors Band:  Ella Rose Atkins, Emma Olson, Ben Van Wienen, Gracia Watson, Evan Jacobs

During the festival weekend, participants attended numerous rehearsals, attended workshops, panel discussions and master classes, and performed a concert at the Peoria Civic Center.  The opportunity for students and staff to attend this festival was made possible by the Sycamore Music Boosters. Profits from their annual fundraisers are dedicated to support the students and staff of Sycamore music students. Their annual A Note to Remember event is scheduled for Saturday, February 14 at Blumen Gardens from 7:00 – 11:00 pm and will feature the Mardra & Reggie Thomas Ensemble, Jazz In Progress, the Sycamore High School (SHS) Jazz Ensemble, SHS Jazz Choir, and other student ensembles. Tickets are $25.00 and are available to purchase at the Sycamore High School main office or by calling 815.751.8388.

For more information about the Sycamore District music programs, Sycamore Music Boosters, and A Note to Remember, please visit http://www.sycamoremusicboosters.com and follow Sycamore Music Boosters on Facebook and Twitter.Symphonic Band 2014-15-Cropped #2

Sycamore Music Boosters Announce Sycamore High School 2015 Music Hall of Fame Inductees

Paul Marchese ProKarl Montzka #2Eric Montzka Drums

The ongoing Sycamore High School Music Hall of Fame awards program will annually honor and recognize a variety of Sycamore High School alumni and music advocates who have demonstrated superior participation and/or support of the Sycamore music programs.  Sycamore Music Boosters is pleased to announce the 2015 Sycamore High School Music Hall of Fame inductees include Paul Marchese, Eric Montzka, and Karl Montzka.

In its third year, the Sycamore Music Boosters will host an official ceremony to induct the 2015 Music Hall of Fame honorees on Saturday, February 14, in the Sycamore High School Auditorium at 2:30 pm.  This brief afternoon program will include a formal introduction of each inductee and may include musical performances and short tribute speeches. The Sycamore High School All-State musicians will also be recognized during this ceremony. The updated 2015 trophy case located across the hall from the auditorium will be unveiled and the program concludes with a light reception. The public is welcome and invited to attend this free ceremony.

Paul Marchese, Legacy Award recipient, is a 1994 Sycamore High School graduate and vocalist. He was a member of the concert choir, jazz choir, madrigals, and performed in musicals throughout high school.  He participated in solo and ensemble contests, was selected for IMEA All-District Choirs and the IMEA All-State Choir, and was awarded a Sycamore Music Booster Senior Music Scholarship. Paul earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Carthage College.  He then earned a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Nebraska and was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honors society.  Since earning his degrees, he has taught at all levels of music education, from kindergarten to college level coursework.  He has been active as a Director of Liturgical Music for different churches throughout his career.  Among his many areas of music involvement, he has developed numerous music programs, created men’s and women’s chorales, and has been an adjudicator for numerous solo and ensemble contests and organizational contests in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Eric Montzka, Legacy Award recipient, graduated Sycamore High School in 1985, and participated in the orchestra playing violin; in the concert band and musicals as percussionist; and in the marching band playing snare drum. His senior year he played drum set in the All-District Jazz Band and was awarded the Arion Award for musical achievement. Throughout high school and college he also played percussion in the DeKalb Municipal Band and tympani in the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Eric received a Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from Northern Illinois University. Then in Chicago, he received the opportunity to work with a number of fantastic musicians including John Scofield, Maynard Ferguson, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Karrin Alison, Chris Potter, Dave Douglas, Howard Levy and Von Freeman.  From 1998-2010 he was a member of Patricia Barber’s quartet, and toured more than 25 countries over five continents and appeared on five recordings distributed by the Blue Note record label.  Eric also maintained an informal private lesson studio until 2013 and taught at Northbrook High School and Chicago’s Merit School of Music.

Karl Montzka, Legacy Award recipient, a 1988 Sycamore High School graduate, played violin in orchestra, French horn in band and orchestra, and piano in the jazz band all four years at Sycamore High School. He was part of the IMEA District and All-State Jazz Band his senior year. Karl played in the pit orchestras for the Sycamore High School, Stagecoach, and DeKalb High School musicals. He attended Northern Illinois University as a Piano Performance major, and was a member of the NIU Jazz Ensemble. He then began working professionally in Chicago as a freelance pianist/keyboardist and educator. He taught jazz piano at Northeastern Illinois University, DePaul Community Music School, Music Institute of Chicago, and New Trier High School. Karl also taught piano improvisation at the Colorado Suzuki Institute. Additionally, he performed “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, was the keyboardist for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and performed with his group, the Karl Montzka Organ Band, at the Chicago Jazz Festival and Iowa City Jazz Festival. Karl also had the honor of playing a USO tour of Afghanistan with Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, and has played for numerous Broadway shows in Chicago including Lion King, Wicked, Billy Elliot, The Book of Mormon and Sting’s The Last Ship. Most recently, he was keyboardist/associate conductor for Dee Snider’s Rock and Roll Christmas Tale.

These inductees will also be honored and announced at the annual A Note to Remember event on February 14 at Blumen Gardens from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Tickets are $25.00 and are available at the Sycamore High School main office, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists 3266 Resource Parkway office in DeKalb, Kar Fre Flowers, Riccardi’s, and Shawn’s Deli, via E-mail at Note2Remember@gmail.com or by calling 815.751.8388. For more information, please visit http://www.sycamoremusicboosters.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  

Mardra & Reggie Thomas Ensemble Headline 7th Annual “Note To Remember” Event

On Saturday, February 14, the Sycamore Music Boosters is excited to welcome headliner Mardra and Reggie Thomas Ensemble, Jazz In Progress, Sycamore High School (SHS) Jazz Ensemble, SHS Jazz Choir, and a SHS String Ensemble as they host its 7th annual night of jazz and classical music entitled “A Note to Remember”. This fundraiser will be held at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore from 7:00pm – 11:00pm. Additionally, three Sycamore High School alumni will be introduced and honored as our 2015 SHS Music Hall of Fame inductees. An elegant, sweet and savory hors d’oeuvres buffet and coffee bar will be included along with a raffle and silent auction of hundreds of gifts and prizes generously donated by local businesses.

Mardra Thomas is a well-known jazz vocalist and known in the Broadway world for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in concert and on the theatre stage. According to her bio, her music career was sparked in the St. Louis area when she performed for the opening of Dizzy Gillespie’s 70th Birthday Concert. Shortly thereafter she found herself trading scat solos with world-class trumpeter Clark Terry while performing with the East St. Louis Lincoln Big Band under the direction of renowned educator and former NIU jazz educator Ronald Carter. Her sultry voice can be heard in radio and TV spots and is released on CD recordings such as “Fade To Blue”(Max Jazz Records), “Standard Times (Victoria Records), as the Flying Jazz Kitten in Sharon Burch’s recently released “Freddie the Frog” music educational book/CD series (Mystic), featured vocalist on Michigan State University’s Professors of Jazz last release “Better Than Alright”, and has a new CD entitled “Matters Of The Heart” scheduled for release spring of 2015. She has shared the stage with diversified greats including: Bill Pierce, Clay Jenkins, Dennis Mackrel, Don Vappie, Ernie Adams, Harold Jones, Jeff Campbell, Kim Richmond, Lou Marini, Randy Brecker, Rodney Whitaker, Victor Goines, and on many occasions with her husband pianist/organist Reggie Thomas in their ensembles, as they will be featured together at A Note to Remember this year.

Pianist Reggie Thomas is currently the Associate Professor and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University. He has performed internationally in Canada, Italy, Poland, Senegal, and England, and his recordings include work with Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, Clark Terry, and Mike Vax, as well as recordings as a leader and with his jazz vocalist wife, Mardra. His bio states Reggie is co-author with Wynton Marsalis and others on the important jazz teachers’ resource Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz (GIA Publications). He is a consultant/clinician for Jazz at Lincoln Center, working with the Essentially Ellington Program and the Band Director Academy. He presented “Creating Music Through Improvisation” at the Carnegie Hall Music Educator’s Workshop (NY). He is an active college clinician/adjudicator, has directed All State Jazz Bands, Combos and Jazz Choirs in numerous states, and has served on summer jazz faculties across the country and abroad.

Jazz In Progress formed from the interest of several local musicians wanting to establish a musical group. Rehearsals began in March 2012, under the direction of Dave Lehman with approximately 20 musicians. Jazz In Progress made their public debut on June 30, 2012, as a part of the Celebration Chorale “Salute to the USO” concert.  One year later they were happy to be a part of “Freedom”, with the same group. Jazz In Progress has been privileged to play at several local events and venues including the NIU College of Education Jazz Bistro, the Gavin Wilson Family Variety Show, the grand opening of DeKalb Sycamore Chevy, Heritage Woods, Bethany Healthcare, St. Mary’s Lancer Legacy Ball, Downtown Sycamore’s Tuesdays on the Town, and two shows at the Hopkins Park Dee Palmer Bandshell.  This is their second time performing at A Note to Remember.

The 2015 Sycamore High School Music Hall of Fame inductees will also be introduced at this event. Three Sycamore High School Alumni have been chosen as Legacy Award recipients and will be announced soon. A separate induction ceremony including the unveiling of the updated 2015 trophy case is scheduled for February 14 in the Sycamore High School Auditorium at 2:30pm; the public is invited to attend and admission is free to this ceremony.

Sponsors for A Note to Remember currently include Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists, Prairie View Animal Hospital, Dr. Todd Anderson – Oral & Maxillo Facial Surgeons of Northern Illinois, NB & T, Ideal Industries, KishHealth Systems, American Midwest Bank, Floor to Ceiling, Austin’s Violin Shop, Law Office of Riley N. Oncken, Special Needs Products, Quinlan & Fabish Music Company, Carmine’s Subs, InVironments Magazine, LePrint Express, New Values Magazine, and Shaw Media – the Daily Chronicle and the Midweek. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; please see our web site to download the sponsor form at http://www.SycamoreMusicBoosters.com.

A limited number of tickets are available for this adult-only event at $25.00 per person which includes musical entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, coffee bar, silent auction and raffle.  A cash bar will also be available. Seating opens at 7:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now at the Sycamore High School main office, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists 3266 Resource Parkway office in DeKalb, Kar Fre Flowers, Riccardi’s, Shawns Coffee Shop, via E-mail at Note2Remember@gmail.com or by calling 815.751.8388. For more information, please visit http://www.SycamoreMusicBoosters.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Sycamore Music Boosters is a group of families and friends of students enrolled in music education classes in Sycamore Schools.  This fundraiser will aid in the purchase of instruments, uniforms, and scholarships for Sycamore’s talented musicians.

ReggieandMardraThomas #2Jazz In Progress-Group