Fine Arts @ DGN Mission

North High School endeavors to provide an enriching, vibrant, multidisciplinary environment for the study, creation, and presentation of the Fine Arts.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wind Ensemble performs at 2006 Midwest Clinic

Congratulations to the members of the North High Wind Ensemble who participated in the 2006 Midwest Clinic as a Rehearsal Lab Ensemble. The Midwest Clinic is the largest gathering of instrumental music teachers, conductors, composers, bands, orchestras, professional musicians and music industry representatives in the world. Held every December in Chicago, the Midwest Clinic annually draws in excess of 12,000 conference attendees from all 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries. 2006 is the 60th Annual Midwest Clinic, and the conference features over 30 concerts and 50 instructional clinics.

Thank you to Dr. Stephen Peterson, Director of Bands at Ithaca College, for working with our Wind Ensemble this week, and for including us in his clinic. It was a great honor for our students and the North High Band program.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mosaic Concert - An Acclaimed Success!

Congratulations to the nearly 400+ student musicians who performed beautifully in four separate Mosaic Concerts on December 19 and 20. Over 4,500 people gathered in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium for the 2006 Mosaic programs.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thank you Pat Roth!

The Fine Arts Department honored CMG staff member Pat Roth for his service and dedication to North High School. Mr. Roth has been a tremendous contributor to the arts at North High, crafting beautiful wood display cases for two-dimensional art, building storage devices for music equipment, creating rolling carts for percussion equimpment, designing special commemorative plaques, and countless other projects.

Mr. Roth will, beginning January 8, 2007, assume a staff position at Downers Grove South High School, where he will be able to put newly aquired skills in HVAC systems to use.

The Fine Arts Department presented Mr. Roth with commemorative art work by teacher Marty Voelker (pictured above). The rendering of North High School commemorates Mr. Roth's nearly ten years of service to our school.

We will certainly miss Mr. Roth, his friendly smile, warm personality, and willingness to contribute in so many meaningful ways. Best wishes Pat!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ceramic Tile Mural Unveiled

The North High Library recently unveiled a new piece of art, created by dozens of North High visual artists and coordinated by Mrs. Amy Bernard of the Fine Arts faculty. Special thanks to the CMG Department for their work in hanging these beautiful pieces, and to the Library staff for their encouragement and collaboration.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sam Stryke

Composer and recording artist Sam Stryke works with the students of the Downers Grove North High School Symphonic Orchestra in preparation for the December 19th Holiday Mosaic Concert. Mr. Stryke's newest CD - Christmas - has just been released world-wide.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Grammy Award Winning Artist - Jeff Coffin

Mr. Jeff Coffin worked with District 99 students on November 17, 2006. His one-day residency at North High was supported through grants from the North High Music Boosters, Music & Arts Centers, Yamaha, and Vandoren.

Jeff Coffin, well-traveled saxophonist, composer, and Grammy Award winning member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, rejects all labels and categories other than "music" and "musician." In the face of his epic 2005 release "BLOOM", even those once-broad tags fall short of defining the close coiling of sound, philosophy, and humanity that is the core of his art.

Since 1997, Coffin has traveled the world with the Flecktones, performing with musicians of all walks. Those with whom Jeff has shared the stage and/or the recording studio include such diverse artists as Baaba Maal, McCoy Tyner, The Dave Matthews Band, Umphrees McGee, Savion Glover, Branford Marsalis, Jeff (Apt. Q-258) Sipe, Mike Clark's Prescription Trio, Keller Williams, Mavis Staples, Garth Brooks, Van Morrison, J.D. Souther, Vinnie Colaiuta, Bob Moses, Stanton Moore, George Porter Jr., Anders Osborne, Jerry Douglas, Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Prasanna, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Wailers and many, many others. Along the way, Coffin has absorbed an astounding range of influences. "Whether it be New Orleans Second Line, African music, Indian Ragas, folk songs, Alan Lomax field recordings, jazz, or funk," he says, "the spirit and breath of the music is what I take away from listening and playing. It's what decides for me whether I like it or not."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Raku Firing

On Saturday, November 11, students from the Ceramics curriculum were invited to participate in a "Raku firing." Raku firing is done in an outdoor area. The glazed pottery is heated in the kiln to a shiny, red glow. Then the pottery is removed from the kiln with tongs and allowed to cool in a closed metal can filled with combustible materials. The result is generally a black piece of pottery contrasted by the colorful glazed areas of the piece. Students involved gain an appreciation of the process and the product of Raku art.
North and South visual art teachers colloaborated to provide students with an outstanding experience. Thank you to Mrs. Myles and Mrs. O'Brien-Prusa (from DGS) who worked along side Mrs. Miller and guest artist Carl Mankert.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Oliver Pit Orchestra

Fine Arts Department students participated in the All-School Musical November 10-12, 2006 in a variety of capacities. Many of the actors and actresses were from North High choral classes, and the instrumentalists of the Pit Orchestra were the top performing students on their instruments in their respective Band and Orchestra classes.

Congraulations to all North High students who participated in this year's All-School musical!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Featured Visual Artist - Senior Scott Parik

Scott Parik is a Senior at Downers North this year. He has been a student in the ceramics studio since his freshman year, when he had Mr. Marty Voelker as a teacher.

From the very beginning, Scott demonstrated a great knack for working with clay. His instructors state that his beginning level projects are worthy of being entered into his college portfolio.

Over the past four years at North, Scott has taken ceramics every semester, with Mrs. Amy Bernard as his teacher. Scott continues to produce high quality work, having pieces entered into both the Mosaic Art Show in December and the Spring Art Show in May, as well as the regional Scholastic Art Awards Show which takes place each January at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Last year, Scott won a Silver Key Award for one of his teapots, which are the focus of his AP Portfolio that he is currently working on this semester.

Over the course of this year, Scott will produce six teapots for his AP concentration, and eight other pieces which demonstrate a knowledge of the elements & principles of art & design. These pieces will be photographed and sent in slide form to the AP College Board in May. Scott will be evaluated on this portfolio, and may receive college credit for his hard work.

Among his other accomplishments in the area of Ceramic Arts, Scott was also the recipient of the Underclass Award in Ceramics last year at Underclass Awards Night.

Scott is a great example of an art student who strives to push himself to do better and better work each time he begins a project. Congratulations Scott!

Friday, October 13, 2006

IMEA All-District Musicians Announced

49 student musicians from Downers Grove North High School were selected, by competitive audition, to the 2006 Illinois Music Educator’s Association District Band, Choir, Orchestra and Jazz Band. Auditions were held on Tuesday, October 10, at Carl Sandburg High School. The top placing scores were selected for participation in the District Music Festivals, to be held during the month of November.

“We are very proud of all our students who participated in the IMEA audition process,” said Brayer Teague, Fine Arts Department Chairperson at North High. “All of our students who auditioned worked very hard and competed against stiff competition. Selection to these ensembles is a real honor for both them, and our school. We are looking forward to hearing great performances at the District Music Festival next month.”

For a comlete list of Downers Grove North High School musicians selected to the IMEA District I Festival, click here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Marching Band Debuts New Uniforms

The North High community will notice a new look for the Trojan Marching Band in 2006. Having recently retired uniforms worn since 1995, the new uniform (which is primarily black and purple with white accents) is a contemporary garment that pays tribute to the past by combining many of the visual traditions of the North High Band program.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Congratulations Dr. Piekarz!

The faculty, staff and students of the North High School Fine Arts Department extend a hearty congratulations to music teacher Frank Piekarz, Ed.D., for successfully defending his dissertation to the Education Faculty of Northern Illinois University this past Friday, September 15, 2006.

Dr. Piekarz is pictured here with members of his 2006 Chamber Choir and a celebration cake, presented to him today by his faculty and staff colleagues.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Muriel Anderson visits DGN

Famed guitar virtuoso, and North High alumnus, Muriel Anderson ( visited North High on September 1, 2006 to present a master-class for musicians from Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany.

Widely respected as one of the premier guitarists on the scene today, Muriel Anderson is the first woman to have won the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship and is host of the renowned "Muriel Anderson's ALL STAR GUITAR NIGHT®."

Muriel Anderson’s unique approach to the instrument virtually transforms the guitar into a lyrical choir, then a marching band, then a Japanese koto, then a Bluegrass band, amazing audiences with her technique and endearing them with her sense of humor. As one of the country’s foremost fingerstyle guitarists, her facility across the genres of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass and international music is revered by guitarists worldwide. Muriel is the founder of the Music for Life Alliance charity.

German Musicians visit District 99

Fifty-eight student musicians from Germany arrived on August 31 and stayed with host-families from District 99 for six days. This visit - a part of an ongoing cultural and musical exchange between the Village of Downers Grove and the German community of Bietigheim-Bissigen - included concerts by the German String Orchestra, Recorder Orchestra, and Guitar Orchestra. District 99 is scheduled to return student musicians to Germany in the summer of 2008.