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, February 27, 2015

Great Day at Ithaca College

District 99 students experienced an amazing day of hospitality and musical growth at Ithaca College today.  After arriving to a delicious Panera breakfast and a freshen up stop at the world class IC Athletic Complex, students transitioned to the music building and experienced a 70 minute clinic with Ithaca College faculty including  Dr. Steve Peterson, Dr. Elizabeth Peterson and Dr. Mark Fonder;  students took a 45 minute campus tour of Ithaca College, gaining experience and insight into the college experience;  students observed a convocation recital featuring a student saxophone quartet, the IC Faculty Brass Quintet, and the IC Trombone Choir.  Finally, students enjoyed lunch in the IC cafeteria, enjoying some of the finest collegiate cuisine available.

Special thanks and shout-out to our hosts and organizers Steve and Beth Peterson, the IC tour guides, the IC music ed students, and the rest of the campus for extending the warmest hospitality imaginable.  Even on a cold day we all felt warm and welcome!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Carnegie Quest

Our tour is Front Page news this morning!

Check out the online version of the article here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sprinter Provides Hope for Resolution!

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Choirs for a fabulous concert tonight! The "Sprinter" concert featured a wide range of choral literature and showcased the tremendous growth of our DGN choral musicians during the most recent literature cycle.

If you missed the "Hope for Resolution" combined finale, you missed a sonic treat. Make sure you catch the replay on The Cube!

Tonight's Choral Concert - Steaming Live!

Do you have out of town family/friends who would like to attend tonight's DGN Choir Concert virtually?

Here's the link:

The live webcast is scheduled to begin at 7 PM, baring any unforeseen technical challenges.

Spring + Winter = Sprinter

This evening's 3rd Quarter Choral Concert at DGN is looking ahead to Spring, despite the decidedly Winter weather.

Please join us at 7 pm in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium for a wonderful evening of choral music!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DGN Welcomes Jazz Legend Dennis Mackrel

The DGN Fine Arts Department welcomed drumming great and jazz legend Dennis Mackrel to campus today. Accompanied by the Elmhurst College Jazz Combo, Mr. Mackrel displayed tremendous virtuosity in his performance.

We thank the Elmhurst College Department of Music for sponsoring today's jazz master class in conjunction with the 48th annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival.

Monday, February 16, 2015

2015 DGN Fine Arts Boosters Summer Study Grant Application

If you are interested in continuing your Fine Arts studies this summer at a music or art camp, but need financial assistance to attend, please consider applying for a scholarship from the DGN Fine Arts Boosters, which annually supports over $5,000 in Summer Study Grants to student musicians and visual artists.
To be considered, your application must be submitted by Friday, April 17, 2015. The Summer Study Grant application is on a Google form, completely paperless. You can complete the form here:

... or by clicking the image above.

Questions about the application process? Please ask Mr. Teague, Downers Grove North Fine Arts Department Chairperson.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp - Campus Auditions on Friday, March 6

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (in Michigan) is one of the nation’s leading arts immersion camps.  BLFAC is a non-profit summer school of the arts specializing in two-week arts programs for intermediate and high school students. 

Because there is a strong tradition of highly qualified District 99 students attending Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the institution actively recruits in our schools.  Additionally, BLFAC sends a representative to our building each February to hear interested students play and sing.  From those ‘mini auditions’ BLFAC frequently awards merit-based scholarships to attend the camp.  This year’s BLFAC scholarship auditions will be held on Friday, March 6th during periods, 5B, 6, 7, 8 and for a short time after school.  If you are interested in playing or singing a short audition for the BLFAC rep, please express your interest on a sign-up sheet in the Fine Arts Office (room 131).  Please see Mrs. DePeder or your music teacher to sign up for a time

What should you be prepared to play or sing in your audition?  Plan to perform 2-3 min of music that you have been working on with a private music teacher, or in class.  This could be an etude, a solo, or a piece of literature that you have really enjoyed playing.  Pick something that shows off your abilities!

The Blue Lake representative will share some basic information with your child to bring home to you.  In the meantime, you are encouraged to check out Blue Lake’s website at  

Many DGN musicians have received significant scholarships to attend Blue Lake as a result of these mini-auditions.  Please consider this fabulous opportunity!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bill Ludwig III Visits DGN

Mr. William Ludwig III visited DGN Fine Arts today to make a special "History of Percussion" presentation to our North High percussion students.  

Founded in 1909 and known the world over for their contributions to percussion, the Ludwig family has manufactured drums that have been used by millions of percussionists around the globe.

Mr. Ludwig is a graduate of Downers Grove North High School, having played in the DGN Bands under the direction of Mr. Lance Schulz.  His daughter is currently a student at North High, and sings in the DGN Choirs. 

Mr. Ludwig's new snare drum was unveiled last May:

Thank you, Mr. Ludwig, for sharing your wealth of percussion knowledge with our students today!







Monday, February 09, 2015

Congratulations Mrs. O'Riordan!

It's a Boy!

Declan Patrick O'Riordan was born at 12:57 pm.

Welcome to the world!

Winter Guard Shows Growth Through Weekend Double Header

The DGN Winter Guard participated in back-back competitions this weekend, earning 5th, and then 4th place finishes in their divisions.  Most importantly, the team's score average improved 14 points from their initial outing this season, showing tremendous growth.

Congratulations Winter Guard, and keep up the great work!









Sunday, February 08, 2015

Downers Grove Music Club College Music Award Application Announced

This is to announce the availability of the Downers Grove Music Club (DGMC) College Music award.  The application is available via the website for the DGMC,  The College Music Award information and application is available in the Educational Opportunities section of the website or it can be accessed directly at this link:  Email inquiries may be made to the following address:

This monetary award opportunity is available to all Seniors enrolled in music at both North and South.  Up to Two awards will be given and each recipient will receive $1,000.  As outlined in the actual application, the requirements of the application are as follows:
  • Purpose:  to recognize up to TWO District 99 High School Music students for excelling at a high level of achievement;
  • Eligibility:  current high school Seniors who are actively pursuing music and who will be attending college in the fall, are eligible to apply.  These students need NOT be pursuing a music degree program at their chosen college;
  • How to Apply:  complete the written application, along with a required recording;
  • Selection Criteria:  the merit of the applicant’s musical accomplishments and the quality of the applicant’s musical performance.
  • Award Notification:  the announcement of the College Music Award recipients will be made at the spring awards ceremonies at both Downers Grove North and South.
The application must be submitted either via hardcopy, postmarked no later than April 1, 2015.  Or it must be submitted electronically with a date and time stamp of no later than 11:59 pm April 1, 2015.   

·         mailing address:  Downers Grove Music Club, Attn: DGMC College Music Awards, P.O. Box 551, Downers Grove, IL  60515
·         email address:

2015 Chicagoland Regional Scholastics Art Exhibition

District 99 again sponsored the 2015 Scholastic Art Show, hosted at Downers Grove North High School.  More the 800 2D and 3D works are on exhibition at North High School until Friday, February 13, 2015.  The auditorium foyer is open for public viewing from 7 AM until 9 PM each day until the 13th.

Gold Key Award winners and American Vision nominees are sent ahead to New York for national judging, the results of which will be announced in mid-March.

Special shout-out to the District 99 art team, let by Marty Voelker, for their continuing investment into hosting this show for the Chicagoland region.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Question: How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

Answer: Practice, practice, practice!

A lot of musical growth and improvement tonight in the DGN Symphonic Band as the ensemble prepares for their March 2, 2015 performance at New York's famed Carnegie Hall.



Tuesday, February 03, 2015

NIU Concert - 2015

Congratulations to our jazz musicians for outstanding performances this evening.

The Apprentice - Jazz Version

Jazz education has long been delivered in an apprentice/master style, long before the art form became institutionalized.  Today, that traditional learning format continues as the D99 student jazz musicians participate in clinics and master classes with the renowned NIU Jazz Ensemble and their director, Dr. Reggie Thomas.  Students perform repertoire and are given immediate formative feedback to improve their performance skills and musicianship.  Additionally, significant knowledge about jazz music is transferred aurally as it relates to the history of the music.

While the concert will be given at 7 PM tonight, the learning process over the course of the day continues to be significant.  Knowledge and skills transferred through immediate formative feedback improves the proficiency of the student musicians in District 99.