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.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

DGN Choirs on Tour in New York - Clinic, Performance & Dear Evan Hansen

Congratulations to the DGN Choirs for their great clinic and performances this weekend at Rutgers University, and the Church of St. John the Divine in New York City.

A stroll through Central Park and a group dinner proceeded the touring ensemble's attendance at the Tony Award Winning "Best Musical," Dear Evan Hansen!

Friday, March 23, 2018

DGN Choirs in NYC

The DGN Choirs are on tour in NYC! Follow their adventure on their official NYC Tour Blog. CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Smith Appointed to DGN Fine Arts Faculty

Community High School District 99 has announced the appointment of Mr. Jessen Smith to the faculty of the Downers Grove North High School Fine Arts Department. Mr. Smith will begin in the 2018-19 academic year teaching five courses: Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and Digital Music. He will also assume the role of Lead Director with the DGN Trojan Marching Band, effective July 1, 2018.

Currently the Director of Bands at Illinois State University High School (Normal, IL), Mr. Smith is a 2017 graduate (Magna Cum Laude) of the DePaul University School of Music, where he studied Music Education and Trumpet. Mr. Smith is a former Iowa All-State Musician, member of the MACY’S Great American Marching Band (2009-2012), and member of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps (2010-2012, 2015). Within the marching arts community, Mr. Smith has served as a drill writer for Central DeWitt High School, Davenport Assumption High School, Lisbon High School, North Cedar High School, South O’Brien High School, and Center Point Urbana High School. He has also served as a Visual Instructor for the marching bands of Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School and Clear Creek-Amana High School.

Mr. Smith’s appointment is the culmination of a search that drew an international applicant pool of 125 highly qualified music educators. Finalists for the position were observed teaching District 99 music students and demonstrated personal musical aptitude through a performance on their major instrument. “Mr. Smith impressed our committee through every facet of the search process,” said DGN Fine Arts Chairperson Brayer Teague. “He is an incredible educator and musician. There is no doubt he will be an engaging and motivating presence in our classrooms, as well as an extremely collaborative and innovative member of our North High faculty.”

Having watched Mr. Smith conduct and teach during the search process, DGN Band member and current senior Michael Price shared, “Mr. Smith will be a perfect fit at North. His passion and excitement is very easy to see, and it rubs off on the students. His teaching style really gets the group connected to the music. The way he explains his ideas is very clear and very easy for us to understand. He makes the ensemble excited to perform music and get better.” Current junior Andrew Jackson offered, “His passion and excitement for the music was infectious. When working with him I couldn’t help but want to make the music better.” Sophomore Emma Krause added, “Mr. Smith has a lot of positive energy and is very motivational. I know he will push us to be the best musicians we can be.”

“I am beyond excited to join the team at DGN,” remarked Smith. “The students are bright, caring, and ready to work hard; the teachers are passionate, and the administration strongly supports their endeavors within the arts. I am very grateful to be joining this wonderful community.”

A PDF of the full press-release may be found HERE.

Monday, March 19, 2018

2018 D99 Vocal Honors Recital

Congratulations to the student musicians from the North High and South High Choral programs for their wonderful performances in this evening's District 99 Vocal Honors Recital.

Initiated over 20 years ago, the District 99 Honors Vocal Recital showcases the finest vocal musicians in District 99 in an annual collaborative performance. This event symbolizes what is best in District 99 - it is collaborative, it is predicated on excellence, and it is all about students.

Leading up to this recital, both South and North High Schools hold independent vocal festivals. These festivals, held during the school day, are adjudicated by professional musicians and teachers from outside of District 99. The expert panel of adjudicators provide each student performing event with immediate formative feedback, and, with a score based on the quality of their performance. Each school then holds a run-off competition, where the best events are selected by the panel of adjudicators to perform on the District 99 Honors Vocal Recital. In total, more than 100 chamber music events are adjudicated during the Vocal Festivals at North and South High Schools.

In addition to the District 99 team of teachers working with the student musicians, a superior staff of private voice teachers coach and accompany the student singers through the performance preparation process at both South and North High Schools. These teachers are integral to the student success manifested during this recital.

Special thanks to District 99 music faculty and staff -  Beth O'Riordan, Ricardo Pedroza, Frank Piekarz, Rachel Seidel, Amanda Sirvatka and Margaret Winchell for their work in coordinating the recital this evening.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

DGN Winter Guard Takes 2nd at Coal City

In their first ever appearance at the Coal City Winter Guard Competition the DGN Winter Guard put on a great show. The team continues to excel as their score improves from performance to performance. The guard took 2nd Place on Saturday, finishing 0.75 of one point behind the first-place guard. This was the Winter Guard's final regular season contest before heading to championships in LaPorte, Indiana on April 7, 2018. Congratulations DGN Winter Guard!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

DGN Bands Exude Musicianship at Spring Concert

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band on their extremely musical performances this evening at the Spring Band Concert. Each ensemble played with attention to detail and a sensitivity to the art form. 

Special congratulations are extended to seniors Jennifer Casey and Hannah Kutchek for their Senior Concerto performances tonight with the DGN Wind Ensemble. Bravo!

Tonight's concert featured the 'debut performance' of a new percussion instrument, welded by DGN parent Mr. Joe Howard. Thank you, Mr. Howard, for creating this instrument for our band program!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

DGN Bands In Concert - March 15

Join the @dgnbands for the Spring Band Concert, March 15th!

DGN Visual Artists Honored at National Scholastic Art Awards

NEW YORK, NY – The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists and Writers has announced the national award recipients of the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. Within the Awards’ 29 categories, which include poetry, photography, sculpture, humor, editorial cartoons, and video game design, a record-breaking 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level this year. 

Five DGN Fine Arts students were honored this year at the national level, placing them in the Top 1% of all adjudicated works. Their artwork will be in exhibition at Carnegie Hall in New York, New York beginning with a gala opening in June of 2018.

We are thrilled for these exceptional visual art students and this amazing accomplishment," said DGN Fine Arts Department Chairperson Brayer Teague. "Their hard work and determination, coupled with the exceptional mentoring of their teachers, has propelled them to be recognized at this level. We could not be happier for them."

Marcus Bacerra - Art Hoes” - National Scholastic Gold Medal in Digital Art. Teacher: Marty Voelker

Carlos Hernandez, Jr. - “Heavy Hand” - National Scholastic Gold Medal in Jewelry. Teacher: Robyn Bican

Benjamin Gartlan - Bus Ride” - National Scholastic Silver Medal in Drawing and Illustration. Teacher: Marty Voelker

Lock Hegarty - A Taste of CanBoy” - National Scholastic Silver Medal in Comic Art. Teacher: Marty Voelker

Savannah Rodriguez - Groovy” - National Scholastic Silver Medal in Ceramics and Glass. Teacher: Amy Bernard

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

District 99 Orchestra Spring Concert

Congratulations to the students and staff affiliated with the District 99 Orchestra for presenting a tremendous Spring Concert this evening.  Concert Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra both performed with elegance and artistry.

Kudos and congratulations to guest conductor Craig Roselieb who will retire from teaching at South High School at the end of this year.  Mr. Roselieb worked to prepare the D99 Orchestra for the performance this evening, and, has long been an avid supporter of the students in the orchestra program.  The orchestra sounded wonderful during the performance of the "Les Preludes" by Franz Liszt - bravo!

Special shout out also goes to senior soloists Nicolette Cheaure, viola, and Bella Kelly, violin, for their exquisite performances this evening. 

The concert video is archived on the DGS Fine Arts YouTube Channel.


Winter Guard Takes 2nd at Lincoln-Way East

Congratulations to the DGN Winter Guard on another outstanding showing at this weekend's Lincoln-Way East Winter Guard Invitational. The team elevated their score again to a season high 70.26 and a 2nd Place finish in their class.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thank you DGN Friends of Fine Arts!

The DGN Friends of Fine Arts (DGN-FOFA) supports our DGN students in many ways. A tangible example of their support is the recent acquisition of a new Adams 4.3 Octave Rosewood Marimba. It is through the generous donations to DGN-FOFA that this kind of tangible support is realized for the benefit of the students in our Fine Arts programs. 

Thank you DGN-FOFA!

Monday, March 05, 2018

DGN Musicians Find Success at 2018 State Contest

Downers Grove North High School student musicians participated in the Illinois High School Association State Solo and Ensemble Contest on March 3, 2018.

78 students from Downers Grove North High School performed Solos and Ensembles that earned a Division I rating of SUPERIOR.  A Division I score is categorized as “A Superior Performance – outstanding in nearly every detail.”  In addition, 30 students from Downers Grove North High School performed Solos and Ensembles that garnered a Division II rating of OUTSTANDING.  A Division II score is categorized as “An excellent performance – only minor defects.”

“Preparing for a Solo and Ensemble contest is a great opportunity for our students to express their individualism as soloists and to develop team-work skills with small ensembles,” said Brayer Teague, Fine Arts Department Chair at North High.  “We’re very proud of all our students who entered the state contest this year.  They did a terrific job representing North High with their musicianship.”

Twelve North High student musicians received perfect scores at the State Contest. Jennifer Casey, Amelia Korbitz, Brian Monk, and Katherine Ramsey earned perfect marks from the judges for their solo work. The DGN String Quartet (Aleena Albert, Katherine Lyda, Brady Moore, Jesse Wei), as well as the DGN Low Brass Quartet (Jeremy Blumka, Jennifer Casey, Ryan Knezevich, Brian Perillo – Low Brass Quartet) also received perfect scores.    

Two North High events received a “Best in Room Citation” for garnering the highest achievement score in their event room.  Percussion soloist Bilal Khurshid and Cello Soloist Brady Moore were each recognized by judges to be the most outstanding performers of the day in their performance venues. 

The following North High Music Events received a “Division I—Superior” rating:
Aleena Albert – French Horn
Jozie Arenz – Euphonium
Nick Atonson – Violin
Daniel Atwater – Trumpet
Eva Bednard – Violin
Emily Blanchard – Flute
Emily Blanchard – Piccolo
Carissa Blumka – Flute
Jeremy Blumka – Trombone
Lucie Boyd – Viola
Jennifer Casey – Euphonium – Perfect Score
Grace Chalberg – Trumpet
Luc Collo – Alto Saxophone
Ellie Cremer – Violin
Alison Dry – Trombone
Rebecca Edmundson – Violin
Emma Fodor – Clarinet
Jamie Gamonez – Female Voice
Jamie Gamonez – Flute
Marissa Gonzalez – Flute
Jeannie Hansen – Bassoon
Gavin Harker – Trumpet
Rachel Jeske – Oboe
Amelia Korbitz – Violin – Perfect Score
Bilal Khurshid – Snare Drum – Best in Room Citation
Ryan Knezevich – Trombone
Helen Kosowski – Flute
Emma Krause – Flute
Megan Krause – Violin
Hannah Kutchek – Flute
Jack Langan – Male Voice
Katherine Lyda – Violin
Margaret Lyons – Flute
Lucas Marra – French Horn
Kaylee McCarthy – Trombone
Zachary McDermott – French Horn
Parker Jo McGuire – Violin
Ish Mistry – Trombone
Brian Monk – Violin – Perfect Score
Brady Moore – Cello – Best in Room Citation
Raegan Novak – Flute
Noah Pardue – Viola
Brian Perillo – Euphonium
Brendan Quealy – Male Voice
Chloe Mason – Oboe
Catherine Ramsey – Harp – Perfect Score
Tressa Rapach – Trumpet
Andrew Swenson – Trumpet
Miles Teague – French Horn
Jesse Wei – Viola

Aleena Albert, Katherine Lyda, Brady Moore, Jesse Wei – String Quartet – Perfect Score
Daniel Atwater, Nya Mason, Ish Mistry, Jonathan Orjala, Rebecca Waden – Brass Quintet
Jeremy Blumka, Jennifer Casey, Ryan Knezevich, Brian Perillo – Low Brass Quartet – Perfect Score
Lucie Boyd, Amelia Korbitz – String Duet
Allison Burke, Luc Collo, Andrew Jackson, Marz Tingzon – Sax Quartet
Jeannie Hansen, Ava Sanchez, Maya Schumpert – Woodwind Trio
Sotis Gouriotis, Amanda Janusz, Katherine Tokash – String Trio
Justin Berghorst, Noah Pardue, Paige Sadler, Julia Szostak – String Quartet

The following North High Music Events received a “Division II—Excellent” rating:
Justin Berghorst – Violin
Abigail Bowers – Flute
Michelle Cotton – Bassoon
Kate Crisp – Female Voice
Patrick Doyle – Trumpet
Emily Ennis – Flute
Abbie Folkening – Flute
Mariah Godar – Trumpet
Aaron Heppner – Flute
Emilija Irvin – Bassoon
Arden Jachim – Trumpet
Angelica Kowara – Trombone
Maggie Miller – Violin
Jonathan Orjala – Trumpet
Caroline Pleune – Flute
Matt Rios – Trumpet
Ava Sanchez – Flute
Mia Scott – Violin
Olga Sretenovic – Violin
Sam Stein – Trumpet
Claire Tarvin – Tuba
Julianna Tuohy – Trombone
Rebecca Waden – French Horn

Alexis Morman, Julia Rhodes – Woodwind Duet
Emilija Irvin, Emma Krause, Chloe Mason, Aidan Purcell, Miles Teague – Woodwind Quintet

Sunday, March 04, 2018