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, May 31, 2013

Graduation Day!

It's graduation day!  The North High Fine Arts Department congratulates the Class of 2013, and sends all best wishes for a wonderful commencement this evening!

Thank you, seniors, for your involvement in the arts at DGN.  We wish you well in all your future endeavors!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dr. Tim Inspires DGN Band Leaders

The North Fine Arts Department was pleased and honored to welcome Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser back to campus to work with the Trojan Marching Band Leadership Team.

Dr. Tim's unparalleled energy and vision for excellence was infectious as members of the band's Leadership Team began setting goals for the 2013-14 school year.  It was an amazing afternoon!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chamber Choir's Farewell

Congratulations to the members of the 2012-13 DGN Chamber Choir for a wonderful year and a memorable Farewell Concert! Special thanks to the DGN Choir alumni that attended tonight and joined the Chamber Choir on stage for the final two selections. 

Webcast of DGN Chamber Choir Farewell Concert

The 2013 DGN Chamber Choir Farewell Concert will be webcast live, and for delayed viewing at:

"Mr. Music" Returns to North High!

It was an incredible honor to have Mr. John Svoboda with us at North High this afternoon.  Mr. Svoboda (who is 91 years young!) was the District 99 Orchestra Director from 1951 to 1978, teaching in literally every elementary, middle and high school in our community.  We found the 1957 yearbook in the Alumni Room; the "Cauldron" was dedicated to him that year: "Mr. Music."

Mr. Svoboda's grandson, Thomas Svoboda, has been a four year member of our orchestra and jazz bands.  Thomas will graduate from North High this Friday.

Monday, May 27, 2013

DGN Jazz Heading to Chicago's Famed Jazz Showcase

Graduation is just days away, but earlier this week members of the 2012-13 DGN Jazz Ensemble learned that their school year is being 'extended' in a very exciting way:

The DGN Jazz Ensemble has been invited to perform at Chicago's Famed Jazz Showcase on Tuesday evening, June 25th, at 7:30 PM.  Opening for the Mark Colby Quartet, the DGN Jazz Ensemble will have the opportunity to share their music in one of the most famous jazz clubs in the United States.  

"Very few high school or college bands have the opportunity to play the Showcase," said Fine Arts Chairperson and band director Brayer Teague. "We are very honored that Mark Colby has invited our group to open for his quartet.  I'm sure this will be a performance that our students will remember for many, many years to come."

The cover-charge for the show will be $10 for adults ($5 for students).  Additional details will be posted as the become available.  Because the show was just announced, it does not yet appear on the official Jazz Showcase calendar of events.

Follow the Jazz Showcase on Facebook:

Official website:


The Jazz Showcase is the oldest jazz club in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1947 by Joe Segal, who still owns and operates the venue.  Many famous musicians play (or played) at the Showcase on tour, including Dexter Gordon, Bunky Green, Count Basie, Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Sonny Stitt, Joe Lovano, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Chris Potter, Frank Morgan, Danilo Perez, Larry Coryell, Paul Wertico, McCoy Tyner, and many others.  

DGN Bands Contribute Honorably to Community Memorial Day Events & Services

Thank you - and congratulations - to the men and women of the DGN Trojan Marching Band for their outstanding community service in both Woodridge and Downers Grove this morning.

Drums Lead Woodridge Parade

The DGN Drumline was up and moving early this morning at the Woodridge Memorial Day Parade.

Next stop ... Downers Grove.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Marching Band Performance Details

Tomorrow morning the DGN Marching Band will participate in several community performances.  For any student/parent who needs to refresh on performance & uniform expectations, the information sent home two weeks ago may also be found here:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Orchestra Concert Video Replay

Did you miss tonight's D99 Orchestra Concert?  Or were you playing in the concert, and would like to see/hear it?  Check out the video from High School Cube:

D99 Senior Celebration Orchestra Concert

Kudos and congratulations to the student musicians in the District 99 Orchestra and their conductor, Jennifer Mullen, for presenting an outstanding Senior Celebration Concert this evening.  In addition to excellent performances by the Concert Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra that featured works by Glinka, Beethoven and Ginastera, other highlights included student soloists, a harp duet, a string quartet, and a tremendous senior solo by cellist Sean Hux.

A special tribute at the end of the concert featured all current orchestra members and numerous alumni performing The Final Countdown in tribute to the orchestra class of 2013.  This piece was conducted by District 99 Orchestra director emeritus John Svoboda.  Mr. Svoboda founded the orchestra programs in District 99 and District 58 thirty six years ago.  Mr. Svoboda's grandson is currently a senior bassist in the D99 Orchestra.  A former student of Mr. Svoboda read a stunning tribute to his work that elegantly connected students and the community forged in the music making process as a commonality across time.  The patrons in attendance responded with an authentic standing ovation after the concluding number, acknowledging the work of the student musicians, the senior class,  and the tribute to the founding patriarch of string education in Downers Grove.

DGN Jazz Ensemble Tapped for Performance at 2014 State Convention

2012-2013 DGN Jazz Ensemble

The Illinois Music Education Association announced this week that the DGN Jazz Ensemble has been selected to present a concert at the 2014 Illinois Music Education Conference.

"This is a tremendous honor for North High School," said Fine Arts Department Chairperson Brayer Teague, who also leads the band.  "Dozens of Junior High, High School, and College music ensembles from across the state of Illinois submit performance applications for the state convention each year.  It is a real credit to our student musicians that DGN has been honored with an invitation to perform next year."

Members of the 2012-13 Jazz Ensemble spent time this past January and February preparing music for the application recording.  Bill Miller, co-director of the Jazz program at North High, served as the Audio Engineer for the project.  "The students worked very hard on the recording, and we are very proud that their efforts were recognized by the Illinois Music Education Association," said Miller.  "We are excited the band will have this opportunity to prepare for the state conference in 2014."

DGN Jazz Ensemble Class of 2013
Teague continued by crediting the members of the current senior class.  "We have a great group of seniors who have been tremendous leaders in our program.  While they will not have the opportunity to be a part of the performance in Peoria next January, their imprint on the band will be an important part of our preparation next fall.  Simply put, we wouldn't have received this invitation without their tireless work and dedication."

With more than 3,500 active members, the Illinois Music Education Association is one of the largest affiliates of NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, over 75,000 teachers strong.  ILMEA is, by far, the largest Fine Arts education organization and among the largest in the nation.  The 2014 Illinois Music Education Conference is expected to draw thousands of music educators, clinicians and exhibitors from across the nation to Peoria, IL during the four-day event.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Congratulations D99 Jazzers!

Mother Nature cooperated, and the students of the DGN and DGS jazz bands did not disappoint! It was an amazing night of music at Fishel Park. Congratulations to all of the musicians performing tonight in the final jazz concert of the year. 

Technical Difficulties

Those family and friends who attempted to view the live stream of our Jazz In The Park concert this evening likely saw only the first portion of the concert due to technical difficulties.  Our crew learned tonight that an iPhone, in the sun, streaming video, overheats quickly.  We apologize that only the first 21 minutes of the concert were recorded.

D99 Orchestra Spring Concert Wednesday Night!

The student musicians in the District 99 Orchestra is in rehearsal today, preparing for their Spring Concert on Wednesday, May 23, 2013 at 7 PM in the Auditorium at South High School.  Works by Lalo, Glinka, and Beethoven will be featured on this concert, for which admission is free.  

A highlight of this concert will be the last selection, The Final Countdown, which will feature the D99 Orchestra, alumni and a Class of 2013 Slide Show.  The last piece will be conducted by Mr. John Svoboda, founder of the District 99 Orchestra.

The concert will also be streaming live on High School Cube.  To experience the broadcast, please follow this link:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Don't Miss Jazz In The Park - 2013!

You don't want to miss the annual 'Jazz In The Park' concert, scheduled for Tuesday night, May 21st, at 6:30 PM in Fishel Park.  (Special pre-concert set by the DGS Jazz Workshop begins at 6:15 PM.)

This annual concert - which kicks off the Downers Grove Park District Summer Concert Series - is sure to please listeners of all ages.  Come out to support the jazz ensembles of DGN and DGS!

For out-of-town friends/family, we will attempt a remote webcast.  Presuming the technology works, you may view/hear the concert at:

In case of inclement weather (DG Park District decision), the rain-location will be the DGN Auditorium.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Katie Berendt Wins 1st Place Recognition in Congressional Art Show

Free From Captivity - Katie Brendt

Congratulations to junior visual art student Katie Berendt who was recently recognized with a 1st Place Award (11th District) at the 32nd Annual United States Congressional Art Show.  Katie's piece, "Free From Captivity" will hang in the United States Capitol next year, and she and a family member will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the show's Opening Reception.

"It's always a pleasure to see the ability and imagination of our students," said Congressman Bill Foster (Illinois 11th District). "I congratulate all of this year's participants for showcasing the creativity and talent."  (See full Congressman Foster Press Release here.)

"Downers Grove North High School is very proud of Katie, and her teacher Mrs. Kelly, for this accomplishment," said Fine Arts Chairperson Brayer Teague.  "To have one's work displayed in the United States Capitol is a tremendous honor."