Fifteen Sycamore High School students were selected to participate in the 2014 Illinois Music Education (ILMEA) Conference recently held at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois. 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. SHS Band Director Ken Goodman 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.”
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 prestigious honor of being selected for All-State:
All-State Honors Choir: Elizabeth Watson (Soprano II), Alex Riley (Tenor I), Nichole Startz (Alto I), Ian Findley (Bass II), Aubry Nelson (Soprano II)
All-State Choir: Maddie White (Alto II)
All-State Honors Orchestra: Sarah Grant (Double Bass)
All-State Orchestra: Becca Vidales (Viola), Trent Englum (Viola), Seth Kates (Double Bass), Baylie Petit (Cello), Jessica Luo (Violin II), Kailey Mulligan (Viola)
All-State Orchestra Winds: Jordyn Shultz (French Horn)
All-State Band: Leah Tabone (Alto Saxophone)
During the festival weekend, participants attended numerous rehearsals, attended workshops, panel discussions and master classes, and performed a concert at the Peoria Civic Center. Two Sycamore District music teachers were invited as guest presenters during the festival. General Music Instructor Kristine Mertens brought a select number of students to be a part of her “Improvisation In The Classroom” presentation, and SHS Band Director Ken Goodman led a panel discussion, “The Road (More or) Less Traveled or Been There, Done That”, geared for young and future band directors that discussed the many directions of a music instructor’s life can take in the field of instrumental music education.