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.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

DGN Alumni at Symphony Center

DGN Fine Arts alumni Natalie Lorch (Oboe) and Sarah Younker (French Horn) performed with the nationally renown University of Illinois Wind Symphony on the Orchestra Hall stage of Symphony Center on Wednesday, December 19th.

The University of Illinois Wind Symphony, Prof. James Keene, conductor.

Following the concert (from left to right) Bill Miller, Sarah Younker, and Brayer Teague.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Mosaic 2007

Members of the Auditorium Crew Technicians operate the lighting and sound boards during the annual Holiday Mosaic Concert. This year's Mosaic Art Show and Concert featured music and visual artwork from more than 800 students, and was seen by nearly 5000 people.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mosaic Art Show 2007

Congratulations to the faculty and students of the North High Fine Arts Department for a spectacular exhibition of two and three dimensional work in the 2007 Mosaic Art Show.

Visual artist Meredith Vavra is pictured with her grandmother, Johanna Larson (Downers Grove High School Class of 1940), who was herself an artist in school and sang in A Cappella Choir.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

IMEA All-State Musicians Announced

Eighteen student musicians from Downers Grove North High School have been tapped by the Illinois Music Educator’s Association for All-State recognition. Auditions were held last October.

“We are really thrilled for these students and their families,” said Brayer Teague, Fine Arts Department Chair at North High. “Many people helped these students achieve this success, beginning with their very first elementary school music teachers and extending to their private-lessons teachers today. North High is very proud to have these incredible musicians representing District 99 at the All-State level.”

In total, thirty-two student musicians were selected for All-State from Community High School District 99, the largest representation by any two-school district in the state.

The All-State Band, Choir, Orchestra and Jazz Band will convene for a series of rehearsals in Peoria, IL, January 30 through February 2, 2008. Their concerts will be held at the Peoria Civic Center on the evening of February 1, and the afternoon of February 2, 2008.

All-State Band

Emily Kirkegaard – Oboe (Senior)

Kurt Meyer – Clarinet (Junior)

John O’Hara – Clarinet (Junior)

All-State Choir

Emma Bolam – Alto II (Senior)

Nathan Cornish – Tenor I (Senior)

Jane Duffy – Alto II (Junior)

Rania El-Kareh – Soprano (Senior)

Trevor Franger – Bass II (Senior)

Jordan Frank – Bass I (Junior)

Matthew Hall – Tenor I (Junior)

Hannah Hudson – Alto II (Senior)

All-State Orchestra

Chloe Burnham – Violin II (Sophomore)

Mark Dortwegt - Clarinet (Senior)

Jamshed Jehangir - Percussion (Senior)

Colette Mondragon – Violin II (Sophomore)

Lauren Rush – Cello (Senior)

Katie Schranz - Viola (Senior)

All-State Jazz Band

Kyle Stephens – Piano (Senior)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

DGN Jazz Combo plays the North Pole

Members of the DGN Jazz Combo performed for children and parents as they disembarked from the "Polar Express" Metra Train today at the North Pole (Aurora, IL).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Muriel Anderson - back in town!

DGN Alumnus, and guitar virtuoso Muriel Anderson is back in Downers Grove this week for her annual Thanksgiving Weekend concert (Saturday, November 24, at North High). This week Ms. Anderson visited with members of our guitar class, fielded questions about music and the music industry, and performed several works from her CDs.

XTENSION CHORDS visit North High

The XTENSION CHORDS - from the University of Illinois - were on campus today to perform two in-class concerts for DGN music students. Ed Vettel - DGN Choir alumnus - was welcomed back to room 136 with thunderous applause. It was certainly a memorable performance for the students of North High.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

High schools work together to bring music back to New Orleans

By Samantha Nelson,

Downers Grove, IL -

When the bands at Downers Grove North and South high schools drive to the New Trier Jazz Festival, they are hoping to take a truck load of instruments with them — and leave them there.

Jazz members at both schools are working to gather enough donated instruments and funds to build two full bands for high schools in New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina. The initiative is part of an effort started by New Trier High School in Winnetka, which asked 10 competing high schools to donate $400 for their “Hey NOLA- We Didn’t Forget About You” project instead of their regular entrance fees. The Downers Grove schools paid the $400 but decided they wanted to do more.

A small start
The first instrument to be donated to Downers Grove North and South high schools effort to build bands for New Orleans was a coronet a freshman trombonist bought at a flea market. To make a donation, call Fine Arts Department chairmen Glenn Williams at Downers South or Brayer Teague at Downers North.

“It’s important for New Orleans, it’s important for music education and it’s important for our students because we have such a bounty in front of us. We sometimes don’t get what’s going on entirely,” said Glenn Williams, chairman of the Downers South Fine Arts Department.

Both Downers Grove schools are organizing instrument donation drives, which will culminate at their annual Jazz Cafe concerts Thursday and Friday, Jan. 24 and 25. North High’s Cafe has benefited charities every year since it started in 1994. Last year, the schools teamed up for the first time to raise funds for Nothing but Nets, a group distributing malaria nets. The collaboration worked well, and the schools decided to work together again in 2008, said Brayer Teague, North High’s chairman of Fine Arts Department.

While the jazz bands are the main force behind the project, Williams said he hopes to generate more buzz among the rest of the student body. Because the Jazz Cafes also bring in middle school students, they may get more of the community involved. The District 99 two-band goal would require about 60 instruments.

Teague said reaction was very good when the new beneficiary was announced at the school’s monthly Music Boosters meeting. He said music is deeply important to the culture of New Orleans, and Hurricane Katrina has nearly destroyed the region’s ability to teach jazz.

“With the passing of time, it becomes easy to forget about the rebuilding that is still enveloping the citizens of that great city,” Teague said. “This is our small way of raising awareness and trying to support the schools in New Orleans.”

Click here for original story.

Financial donations are also being accepted to support the costs of refurbishing donated instruments to get them in good playing condition. Donations should be made to the "Michael David Samel Spirit of Music Fund" and may be directed to the Fine Arts Departments of either North or South High School. All donations will be acknowledged by the Spirit of Music Fund for tax purposes.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Congratulations Jeanette Hansen

The Fine Arts Department of North High congratulates Jeanette Hansen, Class of 2007, for having visual art selected by the Scholastic Art Awards to be showcased in our nation's capital. The exhibition is being held in the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. through November 5, 2007.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dr. Piekarz, guest condutor - District 300 Choral Festival

Congratulations to our very own Dr. Frank Piekarz who was invited to be the guest conductor of the 37th Annual District 300 Choral Festival on Monday, October 15, 2007.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Typewriter

District 99 Symphonic Orchestra
2007 Fall Orchestra Concert
Leroy Anderson's The Typewriter
Mrs. Regina Ozog & Mrs. Eileen Sejnost, guest soloists

Friday, October 12, 2007

North High places 55 musicians at IMEA All-District Festival

55 student musicians from Downers Grove North High School were selected, by competitive audition, to the 2007 Illinois Music Educator’s Association District Band, Choir, Orchestra and Jazz Band. Auditions were held on Monday, October 8, at South Suburban College. 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.”

North High School Band Students

Mark Dortwegt – Clarinet (Orchestra)

Jamshed Jehangir - Percussion (Orchestra)

Emily Kirkegaard – Oboe (Band)

John O’Hara – Clarinet (Band)

Brandon Broholm – Tuba (Band)

Kurt Meyer – Clarinet (Band)

Hannah Shatzer – Oboe (Band)

Kaitlin Sheber – Clarinet (Band)

Michael Walser – Alto Sax (Band)

Lisa Witek – Bassoon (Band)

Kendall Gretsch – Clarinet (Orchestra)

Marie Kirkegaard – Clarinet (Orchestra)

North High School Choir Students

Emma Bolam – Alto II

Thomas Cannan – Tenor II

Nathan Cornish – Tenor I

Katherine Crider – Alto I

Erica Crosswhite – Soprano II

Jane Duffy – Alto II

Rania El-Kareh – Soprano II

Corina Emmanouilidis – Alto II

Trevor Franger – Bass II

Jordan Frank – Bass I

Taylor Fregeau – Soprano II

Matthew Hall – Tenor I

Hannah Hudson – Alto II

Alexander Karge – Bass I

Timothy Kelley – Tenor I

Kristen Lemke – Alto II

Hayley Makowski – Soprano II

Lauren Niemi – Soprano II

Lindsay Prerost – Soprano I

Laurel Schmitt – Alto I

Jonathan Schroeder – Bass I

North High School Jazz Ensemble Students

Mark Dortwegt – Alto Sax

Nicholas Goergen – Drum Set

Caroline Hlohowskyj – Trumpet

Jamshed Jehangir – Drum Set

Michael Benning – Bass

Jonathan Rush – Drum Set

Bryn Sitkiewicz – Trombone

Kyle Stephens – Piano

Zachary Wetta – Tenor Sax

North High School Orchestra Students

Chloe Burnham – Violin II

Shannon Drobney – Violin II

Kelly Kedzior – Double Bass

Michael Benning – Double Bass

Colette Mondragon – Violin II

Victoria Nogle – Viola

Rudy Rendek – Violin I

Nicholas Rudy – Cello

Lauren Rush – Cello

Katie Schranz – Viola

Natalie Stawarski – Violin II

Luke Tecson – Violin II

Ayden Zarkhah – Violin II

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fine arts program offers students chance to excel

Link to original article:

By Annie Reed,
Downers Grove Reporter

Downers Grove, IL -

Downers Grove North and South High school students of the arts have the opportunity to take their studies to the next level.

The fine arts honors program, rolled out this year, brings honors level and Advanced Placement classes to the busy — and often paint-spattered hands — of students.

“In surrounding suburban schools and national schools, we were one of the few districts maintaining a national reputation for fine art that didn’t offer AP options,” said teacher Brayer Teague, fine arts chairman for District 99. “This has been the dream of art and music teachers here for a decade.”

The courses are called honors-weighted, not AP, Teague said, but visual art students have the option to submit their work to the College Board for review.

With added sophistication to the program comes added rigor to the workload, and Teague said it’s not a shoe-in program for anyone with a passing interest in music or visual art. Students will be expected to perform an honors recital or present their body of visual work along with an artist’s statement at one of the schools’ art shows.

Serious about fine art
Community High School District 99 was awarded the top high school music award in the state in 1990 by the Illinois Music Educators Association. About 1,000 students in the district have taken classes in the fine arts program this year.

Of about 1,000 District 99 students enrolled in art and music courses, 37 students at both North and South high schools were selected for the program this year, including North junior Alex Karge.

Basically, Dr. (Frank) Piekarz (head of the choral program at North) said it was my choice to join the program, but it’s going to be hard and he’s not going to give out many As,” Alex said.

But Alex is willing to put in extra effort if it means improvement in his singing. It is a common theme among high-achieving students.

“I really liked this program because it forced me to motivate myself to practice,” said North senior Lisa Witek, a drum major for the marching band.

Lisa has benefited extensively from the District 99 Fine Arts Department. As an eighth-grader, she noticed the band was lacking a bassoon, a 4-foot-long woodwind instrument. With the financial help of the Music Boosters, Lisa took private lessons and went to summer camp so she could start a bassoon section in the band.

“I don’t know if I would have continued on, especially with the bassoon, without so much support from the program,” she said. “And then I definitely wouldn’t have had the leadership opportunities and be as happy as I am now.”

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Congratulations Marching Band

Congratulations to the members of the Trojan Marching Band on their performance at the 2007 Carl Sandburg Marching Festival. The band received unanimous Division I ratings from all three judges in the areas of Music, Marching Technique, and General Effect.

The marching band's next performances are scheduled for Homecoming week.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Bike and Hike for Mike - 2007

By Samantha Nelson,
Downers Grove Reporter

Even six years after his death, Mike Samel’s friends still come back to Woodridge every year to remember him.

The Downers Grove South High School student and marching band drummer died in a one-car accident during his junior year in 2001. Since then, an annual memorial hiking and biking event has been held to raise money to help other high school students enjoy musical opportunities through the Spirit of Music Fund.

If you go
What: The sixth annual “Bike and Hike for Mike” fundraiser for Michael David Samel Spirit of Music Fund
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8
Where: Cypress Cove Aquatic Park, 83rd Street and James Avenue, Woodridge
For more information: E-mail Mark Samel at

“Bike and Hike for Mike” has raised a total of $50,000, which has been used to pay $30,000 for new musical instruments, $2,000 for seminars and $13,000 for scholarships primarily at Downers Grove South. The fund bought the Mustangs a percussion pit, a jazz drum set for the jazz band and plans to buy a new piano for the Fine Arts Department since the choir and orchestra will be participating in the event this year.

“This is not just for marching band,” said Mike’s father, Mark Samel. “We support all the music programs. Whoever wants to participate we find a way to get those funds back.”

Between 150 and 170 people participate every year, Samel said, with many of Mike’s friends from high school serving as volunteers. The day begins with the fundraiser, and participants regroup at 6:30 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Naperville for a party with a jazz band, pizza and a raffle. The event also promotes organ donation since “24 people received some gift from Michael,” Samel said.

“It’s just a lot of fun but we always show a video every year that kind of puts a perspective on things from when Mike was little to when he was in marching band,” Samel said. “That kind of shows everyone that life is short and do good things.”

While she didn’t know Mike personally, Mustang Band Boosters public relations coordinator and Downers Grove resident Jill Pruett said she spoke with Mark about his son so she would grasp the meaning of the event.

When they learned Mike, 16, had died, Samel said the band canceled their event that day. An empty drum throne and sticks honored Mike’s memory during remaining performances that year. Two full-size buses brought 450 students to the grave site.

Samel said the fund has already helped some students from Downers Grove North and Naperville Central high schools. As interest grows, he hopes to expand to financial help to junior high school students.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Marching Band gears up!

The school year is just around the corner, and this week marks the beginning of Band Camp 2007! Student Leaders have been preparing for Marching Band camp which begins for "newcomers" on Thursday, August 16, and all students on Friday, August 17. The Color Guard and Drum Line have already been busy preparing music and drill for the 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Congratulations to alumnus Annie Kennedy

Annie Kennedy advances to Round 2 of the Capitol Records "The Road to Nashville"

North High alumnus (and former Fine Arts student) Annie Kennedy of Woodridge, IL has advanced to the second round of the Capitol Records "The Road to Nashville" competition. The online singing contest is sponsored by Bix, a division of Yahoo. The first round of competition ended in June with over 1300 entries from across the United States. Ms. Kennedy is one of 50 semi-finalists advancing to the second round.

The top 10 finalists will be flown to Nashville for the final round of competition, which will consist of live auditions in front of an expert panel of judges, who will determine the grand prize winner. The winner will receive $50,000 and a three song demo deal through Capitol Records.

The second round of voting is taking place now through August 7, 2007. If you would like to see and hear Ms. Kennedy, and consider casting a vote for her, you may click here.

North High School congratulates Annie Kennedy for her accomplishments to date.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Rusty Jehangir - Honors Jazz Band of America

Senior (and as of this evening graduate) Rusty Jehangir performed earlier this spring with the Honors Jazz Band of America. We are pleased to post this recently released video excerpt of the concert, which included soloist Wynton Marsalis. In this clip Rusty can be seen playing lead-trombone in the trombone section.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Guest Conductor Don Owens

Professor Emeritus, Don Owens, from Northwestern University, will lead the Wind Ensemble in his work, Three Movements for Symphonic Band, tonight at North High's annual Graduation Concert.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

German Band Arrives

District 99 Fine Arts welcomes students and staff from the Bietigheim-Bissingen Musikschule. 70+ Band students from Germany are staying with over 50 host families from North and South High School through May 30.

The German Band will present a free concert at 2:30 PM - Sunday, May 27, at North High.

John Svoboda - Welcome Back!

District 99 welcomed back John Svoboda, Orchestra Director from 1950 - 1977, at the Spring Orchestra Concert held Thursday, May 24, 2007. Mr. Svoboda, and his wife Doris - now residents of Naples, Florida - are visiting their children and grandchildren this week. Mr. Svoboda was honored at the District 99 concert, and will guest conduct at the Herrick Middle School Orchestra concert on Wednesday, May 30th.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The North High Choirs provided over 1000 audience members with a memorable evening of music from the Broadway stage. Congratulations to the choral music students, led by Mrs. Guter, Dr. Pierkarz, and Mrs. Barnes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spring Art Show - Opening Reception

Tonight over one-hundred visual art students and parents enjoyed the art work on display in the North High School Spring Art Show. Congratulations to all of our visual art students for their tremendous work!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

District 99 Orchestra Honors Recital

The 2007 District 99 Orchestra Honors Reciatal was held on Monday, April 23, and featured tremendous performances by a variety of students from both Downers Grove North and Downers Grove South High School.

Viola Concerto No. 1 in D major.....Carl Stamitz (1745-1801)
I. Allegro
Christopher Mihelich, viola
Belford Hernandez, piano

String Quartet in D minor, Op. 10, No. 2.....Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)
I. Grave, Allegro
Haylie Choi and Jillian Oury, violin
Rahul Kamath, viola
Michael Salazar, violoncello

Primmo Guitar Concerto, Op. 30.....Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829)
II. Siciliana
Sebastian Garcia, guitar
Rachel Edwards and Lauren Marino, Violin I
Conner Bernardin and Rudy Rendek, Violin II
Justine Stukas and Victoria Nogle, Viola
Nicholas Rudy and Anita Maurer, Violoncello
Michael Benning, Double Bass

Concerto Grosso, Opus 6, No. 1, in G major.....George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
I. A tiempo jiusto
II. Allegro
Brittany Childs and Ayden Zarkhah, violin
Katrina Garland, viola
Margaux Leja, violoncello

Concerto in C minor.....Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)
I. Allegro molto ma maestoso
Renée Douglas, viola
Nancy Michalek, piano

Symphonie Espagnole.....Édouard Lalo (1823-1892)
I. Allegro non troppo
Haylie Choi, violin
Belford Hernandez, piano

String Quartet No. 12 in F, Op. 96, B. 179 "American".....Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
IV. Finale: vivace ma non troppo
Rachel Edwards and Joseph Beckmann, violin
Rahul Kamath, violaMichael Salazar, violoncello

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Welcome Home Mike Svoboda

This week the Fine Arts Department enjoyed a surprise visit from Mike Svoboda (DGN Class of '78) who is visiting Downers Grove from his home in Germany. Mr. Svoboda is a professional instrumentalist and composer, with many performances and works to his credit. While at North High School Mr. Svoboda listened to a rehearsal by the Wind Ensemble and offered senior Rusty Jehangir a private lesson as he prepares for his concerto performance with the band on May 31.

Thank you Mr. Svoboda!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Michael Kocour - Artist in Residence

North High welcomes Prof. Michael Kocour to District 99 as our April Jazz Artist in Residence. Tonight's concert begins at 7 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium.

Michael Kocour is an Associate Professor and the Director of Jazz Studies in the School of Music at Arizona State University’s Herberger College of Fine Arts. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most sophisticated pianists in jazz,” Kocour has performed at the 1992 World’s Fair in Seville, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, the Blue Note in New York, and the Chicago, Montreal and Quebec City Jazz festivals. Among the many artists and ensembles with whom he has appeared are Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Harris, James Moody, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker, Benny Golson, Ira Sullivan, Carl Fontana, Dewey Redman, Lew Tebackin, and the Chicago Symphony.
His recorded work as a studio musician includes soundtracks to two major motion pictures, and numerous television commercials. He has eight works published by Warner Brothers, which include collections of original compositions and arrangements for piano.

Kocour holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from University of Illinois and a Master of Music in Music Theory from Northwestern University. He was awarded National Endowment for the Arts study grants in 1988 and 1990 and from 1991-94 he was a visiting lecturer in Jazz Studies and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Illinois.

In recognition of excellence in teaching, Mr. Kocour was awarded the Herberger College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teacher Award for the academic year 2004-2005.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Children's Concert

The North High Wind Ensemble presented two community outreach concerts for over 2000 elementary school children from Downers Grove and Woodridge, IL. The concert feature music of the Silver Screen, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Star Wars, and The Lion King.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ben Miller - Guest Artist

North High School welcomes Prof. Ben Miller of Marshall University. Dr. Miller will perform a solo on the March 15th Band Concert that features an authentic replica of a Revolutionary War drum, as well as guest conduct the Wind Ensemble.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

2007 IHSA State Solo & Ensemble Contest Scores

Please follow this link for scores.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Scholastic Art Awards Opening

Student artists from Downers Grove North High School received regional visual art recognition through The 2007 Scholastic Art Awards. In all, North High visual artists garnered 94 awards in the juried exhibition.
Now in its 84th year, the Scholastic Art Awards is a national competition devoted to recognizing outstanding art and writing created by middle school and high school students. It is the most prestigious visual art competition in the nation.

The 2007 regional show, sponsored by the Elmhurst Art Museum, received 1,800 entries from 22 local high schools. “The Elmhurst Art Museum has been a tremendous partner to our schools in the effort to showcase this outstanding student artwork,” said Brayer Teague, Fine Arts Department Chairperson at North High School. “We are so pleased that our visual art students have this opportunity to exhibit their work and be recognized in such a meaningful way.”

The regional show opened on Sunday, February 4, 2007 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Elmhurst Art Museum and runs through February 16, 2007. For information on museum times and directions, please go to

At the close of the show, all individual Gold Key and Gold Key Portfolio winners will have their work shipped to New York City for the national adjudication, in which thousands of works from across the United States will be vying for a select number of awards.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thank you Donna Zabinski!

The Fine Arts Department wishes Mrs. Donna Zabinski a happy and restful retirement! Today is her last day at North High School checking-in visitors to the building. We hope she will come back as the "visitor" in the near future!

Pictured here with music faculty Bill Miller and Brayer Teague, Mrs. Zabinski is presented with a copy of the Marching Band's latest CD, Eyes With Pride.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

All State 2007

Congratulations to the 2007 North High School All-State Musicians, who are off to Peoria, IL this week to participate in the IMEA Convention.

All-State Band:
Mark Dortwegt - Clarinet (Junior)
Emily Kirkegaard – Oboe (Junior)

All-State Choir:
Rania El-Kareh – Soprano (Junior)
Natalie Sanders – Alto (Senior)

All-State Orchestra:
Joseph Beckmann - Violin (Senior)
Renee Douglas – Viola (Senior)
Shannon Drobney – Violin (Junior)
Rachel Edwards – Violin (Senior)
Katie Schranz - Viola (Junior)
Natalie Stawarski – Violin (Junior)

All-State Jazz Band:
Jamshed Jehangir - Drums (Junior)
Rusty Jehangir - Trombone (Senior)

All-State Music Composition:
Rusty Jehangir – First Place, Jazz Improvisation Composition (Senior)
Nicholas Reinhart – First Place, Vocal Ensemble Composition (Senior)

Future Music Educators Symposium:
Mary Brandenstein (Senior)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

DGN Jazz - Great success at 2007 Purdue University Jazz Festival

The North High School Jazz Program enjoyed great success at the 2007 Purdue University Jazz Festival. For the first time in the school's history, all three performing ensembles garnered "Division I" recognition in the same year.

Awards included:

The DGN Jazz Combo won 1st place "honor band" status. The Combo also won the "Judges Award" for their competition room. JJ Jehangir (drums) and Rusty Jehangir (trombone) garnered outstanding solo recognition, and Rusty Jehangir was named Outstanding Soloist for the day in the Combo division.

The DGN Jazz Lab Band won 1st place "honor band" status as well, in their particular competition room. Outstanding solo recognition included Michael Walser (saxophone), Ben Tullis (flute), Sebastian Garcia (bass), Rudy Rendek (guitar) and Hannah Shatzer (piano). Additionally, Sebastian Garcia was one of two students recognized as "Outstanding Soloist" for the entire day.

The DGN Jazz Ensemble received the "Outstanding Performance" award in the Loeb Playhouse competition venue. Their average score of 95 was the highest score the band has ever attained at this prestigious Midwest festival. Outstanding solo recognition included Zach Wetta (flute), David Musselman (saxophone), Alex Binek (trumpet), and Rusty Jehangir (trombone). Additionally, Rusty Jehangir was one of two students recognized as"Outstanding Soloist" for the entire day.

Congratulations to all the DGN Jazz musicians for an outstanding weekend of jazz and many great musical accomplishments.