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 SMertens@syc427.org, or Lisa Smith, Sycamore Music Boosters President, at LisaSmith1615@comcast.net. Additional information about the Sycamore Music Boosters may be found at www.sycamoremusicboosters.com.