Seventeen Sycamore High School students were selected to participate in the 2016 Illinois Music Education (ILMEA) Conference recently held at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois. Sycamore High School has been represented at the prestigious All-State Conference numerous times and Sycamore again has one of the largest contingents in the state of All-State musicians in attendance. This year, Sycamore High School had the 11th largest All-State music student representation of any high school in Illinois. Students were selected via a rigorous audition process from the district ILMEA 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.”
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. 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 Band: Ella Rose Atkins, Emma Olson
All-State Band: Alex Cuthbert, Bret Reser
All-State Honors Choir: Mary Flaherty, Trevor McDonald
All-State Choir: Lauren Brazeau, John Lerohl, Anna McComb
All-State Honors Orchestra: Rachel Hecht, Jessica Luo, Kailey Mulligan, Andrew Selig, Ben Van Wienen
All-State Orchestra: Brett Brancato, Kjelden Breidenbach, Evan Jacobs
Ben Van Wienen, Rachel Hecht, and Ella Rose Atkins all placed 3rd overall in their respective ensembles. In addition, Emma Olson placed 4th, Andrew Selig placed 8th, Kailey Mulligan placed 23rd, and Jessica Luo received the 14th highest score overall on violin. (Side note–Honors Choir doesn’t have chair placement information)
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 13 at Blumen Gardens from 7:00 – 11:00 pm and will feature the Pete Benson Trio, Mr. Myers Trio led by Todd Donnelly on the Steel Pan Drums, the Sycamore High School (SHS) Jazz Ensemble, SHS Jazz Choir, and other student ensembles. Tickets are $30.00 and are available to purchase at the Sycamore High School main office, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists 3266 Resource Parkway office in DeKalb, Kar Fre Flowers, Shawn’s Coffee Shop, via E-mail at Note2Remember@gmail.com 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.