The jazz program effectively ended their season with what was an amazing performance Wednesday night at their annual JazzNite. All three bands played with quality and nuance above their years, and the Traughber Junior High Jazz Band was a force to be reckoned with as well. The jazz program said goodbye to several seniors, and the concert featured guest artist Rich Moore, one of the top saxophonists in Chicagoland.
While February tends to be the easiest month on the band calendar, there was still plenty to keep us occupied.
To start, the OHS Wind Symphony, along with the the Traughber and Thompson 8th Grade Bands, played their annual concert at Wentz Hall in downtown Naperville. The concert hall is as acoustically perfect a place as there is in the Chicago suburbs, and it gave the Wind Symphony a chance to play their set of music from the All-State Convention for their "home fans". It also gave the 8th graders a chance to see the band program that hopefully they will have a chance to be a part of someday.
Next, the Band Boosters put on our second biggest fundraiser of the year, the BandCake Breakfast. Various small ensembles, our pep band, and our three jazz bands provided entertainment, and the event was a huge success despite having to be rescheduled because of a snowstorm.
On Tuesday, February 13th at 1:19AM in the morning, little Greta Claire Schoenbach was born, weighing in at 7lbs, 8oz. Mr. Schoenbach took some time away to be with his family, but recent Western Illinois University graduate and OHS alumnus Tyler Davis stepped in for him.
Every year, the Suburban Prairie Conference picks two honor bands, one for 9th and 10th graders, and one for 11th and 12th graders. These bands were directed by Jim Hile (Elmhurst College) and Brian Logan (VanderCook College of Music). OHS students selected were: (FR/SO) Ryan Boone, Shea Dickinson, Erik Dralle, Logan Goodbred, Ryan Kazda, Alyssa Ladewski, Jersey Lefaver, Olivia Molina, and Emma Signor. (JR/SR) Claire Accardo, Jesse Corneliusen, Caroline Davey, Gavin Davis, Jimmy Gleason, Niyasha Johnson, Hannah Kelsheimer, Nathan Labora, Connor McCabe, Tom Morgano, Melanie Saienni, and Julia Woelke.
Lastly, several students were recognized as Portillo's Students of the Month. Check them out below!!
The biggest event happened yesterday, when for the second time in the last five years, the OHS Wind Symphony performed at the Illinois Music Educators Conference in Peoria. The concert was attended by band directors and music teachers from all over the state, and to say the students brought their A game is an understatement. The students were chosen via audition from a recording we sent in last year. Their setlist included the challenging march "Colossus of Columbia", the band standard "Chorale and Shaker Dance", the beuatiful "Irish Tune from County Derry", and the unusual jazzy closer "Niagara Falls". Our school and community have a lot to be proud of with these young people making music on this level.
7 students from our school were selected as All-State musicians or Future Music Educators. They were Nathan Labora (trumpet), Ryan Boone (percussion), Gavin Davis (french horn), Niyasha Johnson (clarinet), Jacob Anderson (Future Music Educator), Julia Woelke (Future Music Educator), and Tobi Osibodu (Future Music Educator).
To prepare for this performance and the upcoming jazz festivals, Director of Bands at VanderCook College of Music Brian Logan came in to work with our top ensembles.
On January 20th, our jazz bands, led by Mr. Schoenbach and Mr. Werve, travelled to Glenbrook South High School to attend the NorthShore JazzFest. First off, all three jazz bands received straight Division 1 ratings across the board, a great accomplishment and the first time this has happened at this festival. Our Orange Jazz Ensemble 2 placed 6th out of 14 competing ensembles in their class. Our Jazz Ensemble 1 did even better, 9th place out of 23 competing bands in a class stacked with some of the best jazz bands in Illinois. But at the top of the pack was our Blue Jazz Ensemble 2, who tied for second place in their room, making it the second straight year one of our second tier jazz bands has been second place at the festival. Two students were awarded Outstanding Soloist medals: Sophomore trombonist Kyle Bachara and senior baritone sax player Jimmy Gleason.
Lastly, we handed out the January Portillo's Students of the Month. Check out the slideshow below to see who the recipients were.
We started out December giving out the November Portillo’s Students of the Month. Check out the slideshow to see our winners!
A few students did (or are doing) some pretty special things. Junior clarinetist Alexis Lane auditioned for and was named to the Illinois All-State Theater Festival Pit Orchestra. She has been rehearsing hard over the last few months, and has her big production in January. Alyssa Ladewski and Tommy Morgano were named to the Ball State Honor Band, and spent a glorious weekend in Indiana making music. And best of all, we had several students named to the Illinois All-State Bands and Orchestra or Future Music Educators. They were: Nathan Labora, trumpet; Gavin Davis, French Horn; Niyasha Johnson, clarinet; Jacob Anderson, Julia Woelke, and Tobi Osubodu, Future Music Educators. And our jazz bands travelled to Bednarcik Junior High for the District 308 Jazz Festival, where they all received clinics by saxophonist Rich Moore and bassist Stacy Jackson.
In our little band world, December means one thing...Crystals!!!! The music department hosted four sold out shows, with students participating in various large and small ensembles. (See fantastic pictures above)
During Crystals, Mrs. San Roman had apparently done some behind-the scenes work, and everytime Mr. Schoenbach left his office and came back, there were more presents for his upcoming baby girl. I tried hard to take a selfie with every student who brought her a gift. (see below)
Next week, we have our two curricular concerts. We are also doing pictures for the yearbook at these events. On Tuesday 11/7, both the Chamber Winds and Wind Symphony need to be here dressed in the concert attire by 5:45. Wind Symphony will start on the stage, and the Chamber Winds will be in the band room. On Thursday 11/9, the Wind Ensemble needs to be on the stage ready to go at 5:30, and at 5:45 the Concert Band and Symphonic Band need to be here ready to go.
On Tuesday, October 3rd, approximately 70 OHS students took the plunge and auditioned for placement in the IMEA District 9 Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, and chorus. Of those, we are proud to announce the students that will be going on and playing at the District Festivals, along with the other best students from our area. They are:
Claire Accardo, flute; Ryan Boone, percussion; Jesse Cornelisen, trombone; Caroline Davey, oboe; Gavin Davis, french horn; Seth Fetro, voice; Niyasha Johnson, clarinet; Ryan Kazda, trumpet and jazz trumpet; Hannah Kelsheimer, flute; Nathan Labora, trumpet; Connor McCabe, jazz bass trombone; Logan McIntire, jazz trombone; Tommy Morgano, clarinet; Melanie Saienni, clarinet; Julia Woelke, french horn.
On Saturday, October 14th, we were feeling pretty down. Our final marching band competition (and the seniors last time EVER) was reduced to an indoor standstill performance because of inclement weather. All those feelings were washed away though, after our band won second place in our class and third place overall at the Downers Grove Mustang Bowl, our school's first ever top-three finish. Hugs and tears erupted all over, as all of the students hard work paid off. The Panther Marching Band also won the Individual Music and General Music Effect categories, and missed out on first place in their class by 0.3 points. What an epic way to end a great season.
On August 16th, we welcomed the largest band program in our history, at 320 students. While we are bursting at the seams, it's a good problem to have, and we are happy that this many students and families are involved in what we think is a pretty special thing, the OHS Music Program.
At the start of the year, marching band reigns supreme. They have lots performances, between their football games, parades, Panther Marching Band Review, and 3 competitions.
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.