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

SYCAMORE & DEKALB HIGH SCHOOL BANDS GIVE JOINT CONCERT

Symphonic Band 2014-15-CroppedThe Sycamore High School Symphonic Band and the DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble are pleased to announce they will perform a joint concert at DeKalb High School on Thursday, January 22 at 7:00 pm in the high school auditorium. Both ensembles have been invited to perform at the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) 2015 All-State Conference the end of this month, so Sycamore High School Band Director, Ken Goodman, and DeKalb High School Band Director, Steve Lundin, organized this event as a preview concert for an audience. Ken Goodman comments, “This is an excellent opportunity for the students in our ensembles to come together and ready ourselves for the upcoming ILMEA performance. This concert serves the dual purpose of preparing the students through a live concert performance and featuring these two outstanding ensembles at a concert that will entertain and impress an audience.” The public is invited to this free concert, and all are welcome to attend.
Last spring, both directors submitted audition recordings of their ensembles, which earned them a place on the stage at this year’s ILMEA conference. Goodman comments, “It is a prestigious honor for us to be invited to perform at ILMEA this year. Both schools have been well-represented in many past years, and both Sycamore and DeKalb often have some of the largest contingents of All-State musicians in attendance.”  The Sycamore High School Symphonic Band will perform at the ILMEA conference on Saturday, January 31 at 9:00 am at the Peoria Civic Center. The DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble will perform on Thursday, January 29, at the Peoria Civic Center at 8:15 pm. The public is welcome to attend any or all of the ILMEA music performances. Admission is required at the Peoria Civic Center.

NEW BAND TRAILER FOR SYCAMORE HIGH SCHOOL

The Sycamore High School Band recently received a new equipment trailer made possible by the Sycamore Music Boosters. When the Music Boosters learned of the need for a trailer to haul percussion and other equipment to games, competitions, and events, the Music Boosters were eager to assist with this larger purchase. Sycamore Music Boosters President Ken Olson explains, “The funds raised from the Sycamore Music Boosters “A Note to Remember” fundraiser over the past 6 years have been dedicated toward larger purchases to benefit the music department.  Our first major purchase from these funds was the new grand piano for the high school auditorium and now our second major purchase has been the marching band trailer.  We hope to continue to make “A Note to Remember” a successful fundraising event in order to fill the needs of the music department that are beyond the means of the school district and benefit the greatest number of students involved in music activities.”

Ken Goodman, Sycamore High School Band Director comments, “This new trailer will provide a safer and easier work environment for students and parent chaperones and tremendously improve unloading and loading efficiency.” Goodman also expresses, “Thank you to the Music Boosters for their generous donation of the new music trailer and incredible financial support of the music program.  I am proud of the partnership that we have, and I am truly thankful for the benefits that this partnership has provided to our students.”

Sycamore Band Trailer     Pictured here are many of the Sycamore Music Boosters volunteers and Sycamore School District Music Educators with the new trailer. Thank you to Rondo Truck and Trailer and LarCal Custom Decals in the assistance of purchasing and personalizing the trailer.

The 7th annual “A Note to Remember” classical and jazz gala is on February 14 at Blumen Gardens from 7:00 – 11:00 pm. Tickets for this adult-only event are $25.00 per person, and include musical entertainment, sweet and savory hors d’oeuvres, dessert buffet, coffee bar, raffle and silent auction. A cash bar is also available. A limited number of tickets are available and past years have sold-out. Tickets may be purchased at the Sycamore High School main office, Kar Fre Flowers, Riccardi’s, Shawn’s Coffee Shop, via email at Note2Remember@gmail.com or by calling Clare Dempsey at 815.751.8388. For more information about this event, please visit our Web site listed below.

Sycamore Music Boosters is a volunteer organization composed of families and friends of students enrolled in music education classes in Sycamore Schools with the focus and goals to promote excellence in music education. They continue to support school music programs including funding for equipment purchases, field trips, music camp & college scholarships, High School/Middle School musicals, and numerous other music activities.  For more information about the Sycamore Music Boosters or “A Note to Remember”, please visit: http://www.sycamoremusicboosters.com or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Raffle basket donations needed

On Saturday, February 14, 2015, the Sycamore Music Boosters will host a special night of jazz and classical music and savory treats and desserts entitled “A Note to Remember” from 7:00 – 11:00 PM at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore. Along with the great music and culinary delights, one of the highlights of the evening is a raffle of spectacular gift baskets and prizes created with the donations from our music families! We are asking our grade 4-12 music students to donate an item to add to our baskets to be raffled at the event.
We welcome items of all kinds and value! If you are looking for ideas, here are some items that have worked great in the past:

Sports tickets
College, professional and SHS Sport clothing
Sports posters and books
Musical DVD’s
CD’s
iTune Cards
Theatre tickets
Memorabilia
Lotions and Spa items
Musical scores or sheet music
Chocolates and sweet treats
Restaurant or movie gift certificates
Cookbooks
Beverages
(For adult beverages please do not bring to school – contact the number
below to arrange pick-up)

If you are able to contribute to the baskets or would like to donate an item for our raffle/silent auction, please give the item to your music instructor by Friday, January 30. Arrangements can also be made for pick-up if necessary. Contact Lori Grant, coordinator with any questions at 815-757-9895 or email her at lgrantbuckeye89@gmail.com . Tickets to this adult-only event can be purchased in the main office at the high school, Kar Fre Flowers, Northern Rehab, Ricaradis, and Sean’s Coffee House. Tickets are $25/person.

Thanks for all the Support!

The 42nd annual Sycamore Music Boosters Autumn Craft and Treasures Market held during the recent Pumpkin Festival weekend at the Sycamore High School Field House was a tremendous success!   It is with deep gratitude that we thank all of our Music Booster families – each parent, student, family member, friend, teacher and staff member that volunteered at the Craft Fair fundraiser! Whether you baked pies, worked a shift, sent a donation, attended the craft fair, or helped in any other way, you helped support our mission: “Enriching the quality of music education, performance and awareness in the Sycamore schools and community.” Our appreciation is also extended to the Craft Fair vendors, Sycamore School District Administration, Athletics, and Custodial Staff, the Suter Company, Italian Dreams, Country Store and Catering, Elleson’s Bakery, and Sycamore Park District.  We extend our sincere gratitude to everyone that assisted in making this another successful fundraiser during the Pumpkin Festival weekend!

With much appreciation,

Ken Olson, Sycamore Music Booster President

Autumn Craft and Treasures Market Committee: Cathie Lohse, Amy Cuthbert, Peggy Diemer, Brian Jungmann, Deb Loitz, Kathy Reuter, Bob Atkins, Lisa Smith