Annual Autumn Craft & Treasures Market

The 44th annual Autumn Craft & Treasures Market, sponsored by the Sycamore Music Boosters, is part of the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival weekend October 29 & 30, 2016. This event will be held at the Sycamore High School Fieldhouse, Saturday, October 29 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, October 30 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. There are over 250 vendors featuring a wide variety of quality crafts, handmade wood products, specialty items such as wool products, candles, spices, candies, antiques, ceramics and much more. Craft & Treasures Market admission fees are:  Adults $2.00; Senior Citizens $1.00; Students Kindergarten – 12th grade $1.00; children under 5 free.  Free Parking.  A handicapped lot will be available on the North side of the field house just off Johnson Avenue.  There will be golf cart shuttles running during operating hours. Please note: No animals allowed except those used for special needs assistance.   Various student music groups perform on Saturday.

Visitors numbering in the thousands come every year from all over Northern Illinois to browse and purchase items for sale.  Over 200 adult and student volunteers help exhibitors, supervise traffic, operate the concession stand and work at admissions, guard posts and various other jobs. Raffle tickets for a chance to win $10,000 will also be available to purchase at the Autumn Craft & Treasures Market. Raffle tickets are $20 for 1 ticket or $100 for 6 tickets. This cash raffle is a fundraiser for Make a Difference DKC and Sycamore Music Boosters; for more information on this please visit

Vendor applications are being accepted as space is available and applications submitted will be put on stand by and admitted if space is still available. For vendor information and application, contact Amy Cuthbert, Vendor Chair via E-mail at Additional information can be found at our web site at

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. Sycamore Music Boosters began years ago with a group of parents interested in supporting school bands. In 1972, the band booster club enlarged its interest to encompass all music programs and the then named “Antique Craft & Treasures Market” was born.  Incorporated in 1978 as a non-profit organization, the Sycamore Music Boosters 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.

Craft & Treasures Market Vendor Space Still Available

The Sycamore Music Boosters are still accepting vendor applications for the annual Autumn Craft & Treasures Market during the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival on October 29 and 30.  Vendor booth sizes are 10’ x 12’ and cost is $150.00 for both days. Application deadline is September 1st, 2016.  There is an additional $30.00 fee for applications received after September 1.  Applications received after deadline go into standby. For more information or to reserve a booth, please contact Vendor Chair, Amy Cuthbert, at  Space is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Sycamore Music Boosters Award Continuing College Music Scholarship

Sarah Grant-Continuing Ed ScholarshipSycamore Music Boosters is pleased to announce Sarah Grant is the recipient of their annual Continuing College Music Scholarship. This scholarship award is designed to assist Sycamore High School graduates in continuing their music education in college. Sarah Grant was awarded this scholarship in recognition of her outstanding musicianship, music and academic achievements, and overall participation in music.

Sarah Grant, a Sycamore High School graduate from 2014, is starting her junior year at Butler University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She has been highly involved member in a variety of Butler ensembles including the Butler University Symphony Orchestra serving as Co-Principal Bassist, Ballet Pit Ensemble, Composer’s Orchestra, and Chamber ensembles. Sarah has performed with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the DeKalb Municipal Band. She currently is serving as a Stagehand at the Schrott Center for the Arts, a Recording Technician and Stage Manager at Eidson-Duckwell Recital Hall, is a private Double Bass instructor, and was a High School Girls Division Cabin Counselor this summer at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She also recently returned from a Butler University Music History study abroad program in Paris, France. Additionally, Sarah is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon: Kappa Chapter serving as Secretary for this professional music fraternity, Indiana Music Education Association, National Association for Music Education, GrammyU, and Butler University Music Industry Association. As a scholarship recipient, she will continue to pursue her dedication to music while completing her last years of college music education with the hopes to become an Orchestra Director and/or General Music Teacher at a secondary level.

The Sycamore Music Boosters support all students in grades K-12 in various music programs offered within the district and comprises of a group of volunteers families and friends of students enrolled in music education classes in Sycamore Schools. For more information about Sycamore Music Boosters, please visit or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  For more information on scholarships, please contact Laurie Emmer, Scholarship Chair, at

Sycamore Music Boosters Award Scholarships

Sycamore Music Boosters is pleased to announce the recipients the 2016 Summer Music Camp Scholarship and Senior Music Scholarships.

The Sycamore Music Boosters Summer Music Camp Scholarship is awarded to various Sycamore students currently enrolled in the music program that are attending a selected music camp over the summer.  The following recipients of the Summer Music Camp Scholarship from the Sycamore Middle School include: Ava Knapp, Conrad Drufke, Catherine Haub, Aidan Dempsey, Gina Misitano, Mitch Edwards, Robert Carpenter, Alaina Dean, Peyton Buys, Margaret Hancock, Jaxon Lang, Gwynneth Boynton, Samantha Franklin, Constance Wedel, Avery Scott, Erin Templin, Sam Crutcher, and Chloe Hardy.

The following recipients of the Summer Music Camp Scholarships from the Sycamore High School include: Madeline Kessler, Kjelden Breidenbach, Kallista Matthias, and Tsavo Walker.

The Sycamore Music Boosters Senior Music Scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors who are majoring in music in college.  This year, 4 seniors were recognized and awarded $500 each to assist with college tuition; these recipients include Ben Van Wienen, Gabriella (Ella Rose) Atkins, Mary Flaherty, and Emma Olson. Ben Van Wienen was awarded the Lundbeck Family Scholarship. A trumpet player, he will be attending St. Olaf College and pursuing a degree in Music Education. Gabriella (Ella Rose) Atkins, will be attending St. Olaf College and majoring in Trombone Music Performance. Vocalist Mary Flaherty will be attending Luther College and majoring in Music Education and Voice Performance. Emma Olson, will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and majoring in Oboe Performance.

The Bette J. Lundbeck Scholarship was awarded to Will Biletzky, and the John O. Weaver scholarship was awarded to Morgyn Nelson.

The Sycamore Music Boosters support all students in grades K-12 in various music programs offered within the district. For more information about the Music Boosters, please visit our Web site at: and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  For more information on scholarships, please contact Laurie Emmer, Scholarship Chair, at


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The Sycamore Music Boosters recently received a generous donation from Frank and Suzanne Riccardi of Riccardi’s Red Hots and Soda Fountain.  Frank and Suzanne Riccardi opened the diner in 2008 and it quickly became a hot spot and safe hang out for Sycamore High School music kids. SHS Band members frequented the local establishment after every home football game, basketball game, and other events.

The Riccardi family is part of the Sycamore High School alumni as their son, Frankie Jr., was a Sycamore High School student with a passion for football and music.  He played on the SHS Football team and also became an accomplished guitarist and artist during high school, graduating in 2000. In 2005, Frankie unexpectedly passed away, so when Riccardi’s opened their restaurant, Frank and Suzi set up a music fund in honor of their son. Over the years customers donated to the fund and the Riccardis were able to grow the fund. When the diner recently closed this spring, Frank and Suzi decided to donate $2000 to the Sycamore Music Boosters and SHS Band in honor of Frankie Jr. and his love of music.  This generous donation was presented at the end of the year SHS Spring Band Concert.

“This is a wonderful story and a real testament to the quality of kids who are in the SHS band. We are so thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Riccardi for their generous donation!” comments SHS Band Director Ken Goodman. Sycamore Music Boosters President, Ken Olson adds, “We thank Riccardi’s Red Hots for providing a safe place for our students to hang-out over the years. This donation from Frank and Suzanne Riccardi is graciously accepted and will be used to benefit the SHS Band students in honor of their son, Frankie Jr.”

The Sycamore Music Department and the Sycamore Music Boosters, a non-profit volunteer organization that supports all students in grades K-12, encourages others to consider making a donation and support the music program.  Future opportunities for additional donors are always welcome! Contributions in any amount may be given by individuals, families, local businesses, and even corporations.  For more information, please contact Scott Mertens, Sycamore Music Department Chair, at, or Ken Olson, Sycamore Music Boosters President, at  Additional information about the Sycamore Music Boosters may be found at

Sycamore High School Music Department Receives 5th Place and SHS Orchestra Places 3rd in State!

The Sycamore High School Music Department was recently awarded 5th Place in the 2015-2016 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State ranking!  The Sycamore High School Orchestra also placed 3rd overall in State for Class A ranking. This is the sixth straight year that the Sycamore High School Music Department has placed in the top five in Class A, and it is their eleventh straight top-ten finish (and their 13th in the past 14 years).

This honor is the result of the combined effort from the band, choir and orchestra programs and their participation in the Solo/Ensemble Contest along with the Organizational Contest. The IHSA Solo/Ensemble Festival was hosted by Harvard High School, where band, choir, and orchestra students performed as soloists and in small groups.  The IHSA Organizational Festival was held at Belvidere North High School in April.  At this festival, larger ensembles such as orchestras, bands, jazz bands, choirs, and jazz choirs all performed for ratings. The Sycamore High School Symphonic Band, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Treble Choir, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Choir all received Division One Outstanding ratings, and the Concert Band and Concert Orchestra received Division Two Excellent ratings. The scores from both of these festivals are tabulated by IHSA, and this result was strong enough to earn 5th Place in State!

Music Department Chair Scott Mertens comments, “Our music students should take pride in this award, as their individual and small group performances are a key reason that our school placed as highly as we did.  These music students are demonstrating a culture of accountability that reflects very positively upon Sycamore High School, and our community can be very proud of these talented young men and women.”

The high school bands are led by Ken Goodman, the orchestras are led by Ken Tonaki, the choral groups are led by Drayton Eggleson, and the entire Music Department is chaired by Scott Mertens. This honor stems from the strong effort that our students put into preparing for their performances including rehearsing before and after school, practicing at home day after day, and perfecting their pieces in preparation of their many performances throughout the year. This recognition is a visible means of representing this hard work and dedication.  Congratulations to our students on this notable achievement!

The SHS Music Department has additional support from the Sycamore Music Boosters, a non-profit volunteer organization that supports all students in grades K-12. The Sycamore Music Boosters meet the third Thursday of each month in the Sycamore High School Library at 6:00 pm. Parents and friends of Sycamore District music students are invited to attend meetings to find out about exciting fundraising events, and music program activities.  For more information, please contact Scott Mertens, Sycamore Music Department Chair, at, or Lisa Smith, Sycamore Music Boosters President, at  Additional information about the Sycamore Music Boosters may be found at

Sycamore High School 2016 Concerto Competition Winners

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The Sycamore High School Music Department is proud to announce the 2016 Concerto Competition Winners: Mary Flaherty, Jessica Luo, Kailey Mulligan, and Emma Olson. Each year, high schoolseniors are encouraged to apply vi
a audition for the competition, and these talented performers were selected from numerous senior applicants this year. Each winner had the pleasure of performing their solo piece accompanied by their peers with the SHS Symphony Orchestra.

Emma Olson, on Oboe, performed Johann Hummel’s Theme & Variations. She was selected to participate at the ILMEA District Festival all four years in high school and was a member of the All-State Band (the highest level at the ILMEA Conference) her Junior, and Senior year, and in the ILMEA Honors Band sat 3rd chair in 2015 and 4th chair in 2016 respectively. She sat Principal chair in the ILMEA Orchestra for her Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. She was awarded Best of Day for her Solo & Ensemble performance in 2015. She was also a member of the NIU CSA Sinfonia, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Earl Clemens Wind Quintet. This fall, Emma will be studying at the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana, majoring in Music.

Kailey Mulligan, on Viola, performed William Walton’s Concerto for Viola.  Kailey was selected to participate all four years of high school at the annual ILMEA District Festival and was the Principal Viola Chair her Junior and Senior years. She advanced to the ILMEA All-State Festival performing in the All-State Orchestra Sophomore year and in the All-State Honors Orchestra her Junior and Senior years. Other musical activities Kailey participated in include playing in the Pit Orchestra for various musicals, attending summer music camps, and performing with the NIU CSA Sinfonia, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Midwest Young Artists Conservatory’s Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Ensembles. She is also the 2016 recipient of the Bette J. Lundbeck Memorial Music Scholarship. Kailey will be attending Wheaton College as an Elementary Education major.

Vocalist Mary Flaherty performed Handel’s Va Godendo from Xerxes and Puccini’s O mio babbino caro from the opera Gianni Schicchi.  Mary participated in Madrigals and Jazz Choir during high school, was an ILMEA District Choir participant her Sophomore, Junior and Senior years and attended ILMEA All-State in the Honors Choir her Senior year. She was also selected for the Northern Illinois Big 12 Choir Festival all four years in school. Mary received the Best of Day award for her vocal solo at this year’s Solo & Ensemble competition. In the summer of 2014, she placed First in her division at the Grandquist Music Festival. Mary also received the National School Choral Award in 2016 and was selected as a soloist in the District 8 concerts. Mary will be attending Luther College majoring in Music.

Jessica Luo, on Violin, performed Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens.  Jessica, Concertmaster of the SHS Symphonic Orchestra, participated in the ILMEA District Festivals since 6th grade and earned her way to the ILMEA All-State Conference her Sophomore, Junior and Senior years of high school. She has served as Concertmaster at the most recent District Festivals and has earned “Outstanding” or Division I ratings in annual Solo & Ensemble and local competitions since she was 7 or 8 years old. She not only is a talented violinist, but also is an accomplished pianist, vocalist, and arranger of music. In her Senior year, Jessica played in four orchestras, sang in two choirs, and played piano in the SHS Jazz Ensemble. She also accompanied several of Sycamore’s very talented musicians for Solo & Ensemble and arranged several songs for the SHS Choir. Jessica will be attending the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana, majoring in Math and Computer Science, and may double major or minor in Music Technology.

Congratulations to the 2016 Sycamore High School Orchestra Concerto Competition Winners and for sharing your talent and impressive performances with fellow students and the community!