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.  

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