Today marked the end of an era at OHS, as we said a fond goodbye to an unforgettable class. For the fifth time, our ceremony was at the NIU Convention Center, and as usual, the band was the entertainment. Several seniors conducted the band, and the Wind Symphony played their featured song "El Camino Real" mid-ceremony. Congrats to all of all seniors!!!
On May 10th, our band program hosted its annual Bandquet, great way to end the year with some fun, food, and awards. Our band boosters, particularly Lynn Polito and Amy Terry, really went with the 1950s theme, decorating the cafeteria to really add in the ambiance.
Several students were recognized with individual awards. They were:
Band Booster Scholarships: Evah Engel and Tara O'Connell
Oustanding Concert Band Members: Ayden Schepp and Emma Holm, Maddie Woolley and Maddie Christy
Outstanding Chamber Winds Members: Greta Keller and Ryan Kazda
Outstanding Symphonic Band Members: Lauren Meger and Gabe Buan
Outstanding Wind Ensemble Members: Abi Miller and Riley Martin
Outstanding Wind Symphony Members: Jared Johnson and Rachel Perez
Director's Awards: Kate McCarthy and Alex Somheil
Jim Felts Senior Spirit Award: Chloe Brougham
Tim Lautzenheiser Leadership Awards: Evah Engel and Matt DeGarmo
Outstanding Pep Band: Hannah Kelsheimer
Woody Herman Jazz Award: Matt DeGarmo
National Marching Award: Jared Johnson
Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: Evah Engel
John Philip Sousa Award: Eileen Fey
The start of 2017 was indeed a busy time in our world, maybe only eclipsed by the time to come at the start of March.
Our band boosters put on the most successful BandCake Breakfast in it's brief history. Over $2,000 came back to the band, and many students participated either in service with the food or musical entertainment.
We also welcomed several special guests the last few months. Clinicians Jerry Lowrey, Tony Kidonakis, and Brian Logan worked with our top jazz band. Charlie Menghini, Director of Bands from VanderCook College of a music, stopped by to work with the Wind Ensemble. And the Drake University Wind Symphony (with OHS alum Sarah Frantik on trumpet) came by and played along with our bands throughout the day, and gave a great concert after that.
Then things REALLY got nuts. In what was one of the busiest stretches we have ever had, we had two curricular concerts, took 84 people to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to see a duel concert between them and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and attended the Plainfield Band Invitational with the Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble, all in four days!!!
The craziness finished up on March 7th and 8th. We had one of the most incredible JazzNites ever; our students absolutely rocked it out, and our special guest artist (trumpeter Victor Garcia) dazzled the audience with his special blend of virtuosity and musicianship. The next night, our top jazz band played at Hackney's Jazz Club in Palos Park, opening up for the Brass Tracks Jazz Orchestra.
There are not many times busier then December for our program. The month started with the first annual District 308 Jazz Festival at Oswego East High School. All three jazz bands performed, and then received clinics from Reggie Thomas, Rich Moore, and Jim Stombres.
Then, our music program got some
great news: three of our students were named to All-State!!! Senior percussionist Jared Johnson, Senior flute player Eileen Fey (for the second straight year) and senior vocalist Sarah Obert will be making music with the best students in the state in January.
And then, of course, Crystals. All four shows sold out, and over two thousand people braved some rough weather to see this annual production. Our parents really chipped in and worked overtime to ensure the continued success of this Oswego tradition.
This morning, several band students were chosen as "Students of the Month" is various disciplines across the school. These included Kyle Kelty, Breanne Clayton, Natalie Jobes, Hannah Kelsheimer, and Fine Arts Student of the Month Jared Johnson.
This was on the heels of the top jazz program breaking up into combos to support the Chicagoland 4X5 Art Show, the largest art show of its kind.
On October 4th, about 40 band and jazz band students auditioned for placement in the IMEA-District band, orchestra, jazz band, and choir. Of those, 7 concert band, 5 jazz band, and 4 choral students were selected. They were:
Micaela Aguirre, jazz choir
Danny Anderson, jazz guitar
Gavin Davis, concert French horn
Eileen Fey, concert flute
Jimmy Gleason, jazz and concert baritone saxophone
Jared Johnson, concert percussion
Niyasha Johnson, concert clarinet
Ryan Kazda, jazz trumpet
Justin Mabrey, jazz choir
Connor McCabe, jazz bass trombone
Sarah Obert, jazz and concert choir
Rachel Perez, concert clarinet
Alex Somheil, jazz trumpet
Julia Woelke, concert French horn
(Sorry I forgot to post this)
Our first competition of the year started right where last year left off. We are very happy to say that our Panther Marching Band was fifth place overall, and only 1.35 points out of first. The band had high marks in virtually every category, and for us to have our best marks ever on our first competition of the year was a good sign of things to come and the direction we are going. What a day!!!
Our marching band started off the year with a crazy busy schedule, even for them. First off, they played at the all district convocation on Tuesday morning. Then, they played at the freshman pep assembly on Wednesday. Thursday night brought with our picnic and parent demo, where they played the show for an audience for the very first time. And Friday, we closed the week by playing at the Pantherfest. This is all on the heels of two weeks of band camp, where the students memorized the show and were able to get it on the field all the way for the first time in years.
Every year, the Top 10 dinner honors the top 10% of that year's graduating class. Needless to say, the amount of music students is always staggering. We are so proud of everything these young people have accomplished!!! Especially cool was the fact that Isabela Pelikan chose her flute teacher Melanie Mathew as her influential educator, Katelyn Eloso chose her percussion teacher Vern Spevak, and Jared Reichardt chose Mr. Schoenbach.
Last week, the OHS Band Program (with the help of our AWESOME boosters) put on a great Band Bandquet, encapsulating a year that has been filled with great music, and great students. The cafeteria was decorated as only our Boosters can do, complete with a clock tower with working lightning bolt, a real DeLorean car, and Mr. Schoenbach and Mrs. San Roman dressed up as Marty McFly and Doc.
After an incredible dinner, we started the awards portion of the evening. Taking home hardware were:
Jacob Anderson: Most Improved Concert Band
Lauren DiStefano and Tommy Morgano: Outstanding Concert Band
Nick Johnson: Most Improved Chamber Winds
Claire Accardo and Braedon Anderson: Outstanding Chamber Winds
Elysse Ocasio: Most Improved Symphonic Band
Sarah Mereness and Jerell Rogers: Outstanding Symphonic Band
Kate McCarthy: Most Improved Wind Ensemble
Gavin Davis and Hannah Kelsheimer: Outstanding Wind Ensemble
Chloe Brougham: Most Improved Wind Symphony
Katie Claus and Robert Shaw: Outstanding Wind Symphony
Aleks Motykowski: Outstanding Pep Band
Tyler Guist: National Marching Award
Jared Reichardt: Woody Herman Jazz Award
Hayley Paladines: Louis Armstrong Jazz Award
Isabela Pelikan: Director's Award
Tyler Guist: Jim Felts Senior Spirit Award
Tyler Guist: Dr. Tim Leadership Award
Patrick Gilmore Award: Eileen Fey
John Philip Sousa Award: John Watson