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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Congrats Chamber Choir and Jazz Ensemble! #99Learns

Congratulations to the DGN Chamber Choir and DGN Jazz Ensemble for their fantastic performances at the 2015 DGN Homecoming Variety Show!

Trojan Awards Tonight! #99Learns

The stage is set for tonight's gala event: The Trojan Awards (aka. The 2015 DGN Homecoming Variety Show). Join us at 7 pm in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium for a star-studded evening of amazing talent! Tickets are just $5 and may be purchased at the door.

Monday, September 28, 2015

2015 DGN Fine Arts Boosters Cheesecake Sale

The 2015 DGN Fine Arts Boosters Cheesecake Sale has launched!  Sales instructions and information packets were made available to students on Monday, September 28.  Orders are due back to DGN no later than October 30.

Profits from this fundraiser will be applied to Student Accounts, and funds may be used to offset the costs of Fine Arts programming or supplemental Fine Arts related supplies/equipment.

For e-versions of the information distributed to students at school, please visit ...

The Trojan Awards - Wednesday Night! (Homecoming V-Show)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

College Game Day: DGN Alumni Making an Impact!

Erin Elgass (DGN Band Alumnus) was recently interviewed about her responsibilities as Field Commander (Drum Major) of the "Spirit of Gold" Marching Band at Vanderbilt University.  Check out the article here, and see what kind of impact DGN Alumni are making in the college ranks!

Congratulations Erin!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

D99 / D58 String Fest Prep #99Learns #dg58learns

Nearly 150 string playing musicians from District 99 and District 58 gathered today in preparation for the upcoming String Fest.  Students gathered first in small sectional groups led by high school-aged students working on musical and technical details pertinent to the performance repertoire.  After a delicious pizza dinner, the students had a short combined rehearsal, putting together all the high school and middle school students to apply through performance the ideas and techniques learned during the sectional time.

The 2015 String Fest - "A Night At The Oscars" - will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium of North High School.  The concert will feature string students from the District 99 Orchestra and Herrick and O'Neill Middle Schools performing classic film scores from well-known motion pictures. Admission to the concert is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend this performance.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Taking It To The Next Level

Many DGN Band alumni take their love of music with them to the college ranks and share their talents with the world on a larger stage.  Here are just a few examples of some familiar faces seen performing with major college Marching Bands this past weekend ...

Tine Greene (DGN '15) performs with the Kansas State University "Pride of Wildcat Land."  The KSU Band was awarded the "Sudler Trophy" this past weekend, which is given to just one college band every two years to honor superior musicianship and marching precision.

Jennifer Vetrone (DGN '15) performs with the trumpet section of the nationally renown "Marching Illini." 

From L-R: Adam Behnke (DGN '15), Gwen Cortez (DGN '14), Lauren Barbato (DGN '14), Robin Younker (DGN '15) and Tommy Donnelly (DGN '14) are all members of the Purdue University "All American Marching Band."

Friday, September 18, 2015

DGN Band Night 2015

Congratulations to the members of the DGN, Herrick, Jefferson, and Westview Hills Bands - as well as the DGN Athenas - for their performance at the 2015 DGN Band Night! Despite inclement weather and a compressed rehearsal schedule, the massed ensemble of 500+ musicians and dancers put on a terrific show for an audience of appreciative family members and fans.

Revised Time Schedule for tonight's Varsity Football Game / Marching Band Performance

The North High School Athletic Department has recently announced a revision in tonight's football game schedule, based on weather forecasts that predict strong storms later in the evening.  The Sophomore game has been postponed and rescheduled for tomorrow.  The Varsity game has been moved up to 6:00 PM.

Here is the revised schedule for the Marching Band tonight:

4:45 PM - DGN Band students report and change into full uniform.

5:00 PM - Band students report to Field House for uniform inspection and warm-up.  Middle School / Jr. High Band arrive and join DGN Band in Field House.

5:15 PM - Massed band rehearsal in Field House with Middle School / Jr. High Bands (Shut Up & Dance).

5:30 PM - Drum Line moves to tunnel to bring out team.
5:35 PM - Drum Line brings out team into Stadium

5:40 PM - Track Parade

5:55 PM - Pre Game Show

6:45 PM (estimated) - Half Time Show

8:30 PM (estimated) - Game concludes / students dismissed. *

* Please note that weather delays could extend the schedule.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Welcome Mr. Jesse Backes!

The DGN Fine Arts Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Jesse Backes to the DGN Marching Band Staff.

A 2013 graduate of the University of Illinois School of Music, and a 2009 graduate of Downers Grove North High School, Jesse Backes is an active percussion instructor and writer/music arranger in the Chicago area.  In addition to his work with the drumline at DGN, Mr. Backes is currently the percussion director and marching percussion arranger at Batavia HS, the assistant percussion director and battery arranger at Marian Catholic HS, the battery caption head at Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, and is a member of the percussion staff with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He also teaches the drumline at Northern Illinois University and will be teaching and arranging for the University of Illinois drumline starting in 2016.

Mr. Backes' performance career includes a heavy background in marching percussion with membership in Green Thunder Percussion (2007 - 09), Gateway Indoor Percussion (2011), Colts Drum and Bugle Corps (2010), and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (2011 - 13). In 2011, Mr. Backes helped The Cavaliers acquire the Fred Sanford High Percussion Trophy for the first time since 2000. He spent his final season with The Cavaliers in the roles of both the snare drum section leader and drum sergeant and finished his career with the corps by performing as part of a clinic at the 2013 PAS International Convention.

"I'm very excited to be able to give back to my Alma Mater," said Backes.  "I'm thrilled to work alongside some of my most influential educational and personal mentors as a member of the Trojan Marching Band staff."

Welcome to the team, and welcome home, Mr. Backes!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Congratulations DGN National Merit Semifinalists! #99Learns

The Fine Arts Department of North High extends a warm congratulations to DGN's 2015-16 National Merit Semifinalists!

  • Sophie Baillargeon (Drawing and Painting 1 / Drawing 2)
  • Alison Elgass (Wind Ensemble / Marching Band)
  • Ari Scott (Symphonic Orchestra / AP Studio Art)
  • Hannah Thompson (Wind Ensemble / Marching Band)

We are proud of you!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Orchestra Students Support DG Fine Arts Festival #99Learns

Congratulations and thanks are extended to six DGN students of the D99 Orchestra (Seth Collins, Tim Edwards, Bryan Monk, Matthew Monk, Abbey Pfeiffer and Amelia Smerz) for their performances today at the Downtown Downers Grove Fine Arts Festival. We are proud of your musical contributions to our community and for your continued artistic excellence!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Trojan Marching Band at Northwestern University #99Learns

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Trojan Marching Band for a terrific performance this afternoon at Northwestern University!

Rock On Trojan Marching Band!

Congratulations to the 2015 Trojan Marching Band & Athenas on their season-opening performance at the DGN vs. Proviso East football game.  From start to finish the band represented the school community with class, sportsmanship, and outstanding musicianship.  Well done Trojans!