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.

Monday, April 30, 2018

District 99 Orchestra Performs This Thursday! #99Learns


The final District 99 Orchestra Concert of the 2017-18 academic year will take place on Thursday, May 3. The concert is FREE and begins at 7:00 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium of North High School. Doors open for General Admission seating at 6:30 PM.

The program will feature the Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, and soloists Joseph Delorto and Cecilia Kowara.  

Out-of-town family and friends may view the concert live-stream on the DGN Fine Arts YouTube Channel. Video will also be available to view once the concert concludes. 

"Graduation Concert" Tuesday Night at DGN #WeAreDGN #99Learns


Don't miss the 2018 DGN "Graduation Concert" on Tuesday, May 1, featuring the A Cappella Choir, and Wind Ensemble, with Senior Concerto Soloists Emily Blanchard & Ben Heppner.

The concert is FREE and begins at 7 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium. Doors open for General Admission seating at 6:30 PM.

Out-of-town family and friends may view the concert live-stream on the DGN Fine Arts YouTube Channel. Video will also be available to view once the concert concludes. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

DGN Choir Showcases the Magical Music of Disney #WeAreDGN #99Learns

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Choirs for their musically inspired and visually captivating 2018 Showcase: A Magical Night of Disney.

CLICK HERE for full concert video on the DGN Fine Arts YouTube Channel. 







Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Don’t Miss A Magical Night of Disney!


You won't want to miss the 2018 DGN Choral Showcase on Thursday, April 26. It's destined to be a "magical" evening of wonderful music!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Winter Guard Showcase Tops Off Successful Season!

Congratulations to the members of the Winter Guard for a successful 2018 campaign. The team finished "Top 3" at every competition they entered this year, including the circuit Championships. 

Thank you to the family and friends who came out to support the team on Friday night at the season finale, the Winter Guard Showcase. After a final performance of this season's show, guard members invited their family and friends to re-create their routines. 







Monday, April 16, 2018

Tri-M Music Honor Society 2018 Induction Ceremony



Congratulations to the members of the Downers Grove North Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter who were inducted and recognized at this evening's ceremony.

2017-2018 Inductees
Jozelle Arenz
Lucile Boyd
Emma Duncan
Allison Tenorio
Samantha Breit
Aidan Purcell








2017-2018 Continuing Members
Emily Blanchard
Mary Bonanno
Josie Bondarowicz
Allison Burke
Jennifer Casey
Joseph Delorto
Ryan Knezevich
Amelia Korbitz
Hannah Kutchek
Jack Langan
Chloe Mason
Maggie Miller
Bryan Monk
Brendan Quealy
Nicholas Saba

A special congratulations is extended to the Tri-M Class of 2018, and a special note of thanks is offered to Faculty Sponsor Ms. Jennifer Mullen.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Composer William Himes Visits DGN Fine Arts


Composer William Himes was on the DGN campus today, at the invitation of Mr. Polancich, helping members of the DGN Wind Ensemble interpret his setting of 'Amazing Grace." The composition will be performed on the upcoming May 1st "Graduation Concert." 

Mr. Himes earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, studying composition with Leslie Bassett and George Balch Wilson. For five years he taught instrumental music in the public schools of Flint, Michigan, where he was also adjunct lecturer in low brass at the University of Michigan-Flint. With over 130 instrumental and choral publications to his credit, his music is continually featured on international broadcasts and recordings. Since 1977, Mr. Himes has served as head of the Music and Gospel Arts Department of The Salvation Army’s USA Central Territory, and in this capacity he is also conductor of the Internationally celebrated Chicago Staff Band.

Thank you, Mr. Himes, for sharing your passion for music and helping our students interpret your composition with heightened artistry! 




Thursday, April 12, 2018

DGN Rehearsal Halls Named To Honor Influential Music Educators

Three music classrooms at Downers Grove North High School have been named to honor the teachers who dedicated their teaching careers to the District 99 community and led the band, choir and orchestra programs to regional and national recognition. 



Mr. William Pohlmann was the first Choral Music teacher in District 99. Mr. Pohlmann was regarded by many, throughout the state of Illinois, as one of the leading scholars and musicians in the field of music education. Mr. Pohlmann's influence is still, to this day, highly influential within the District 99 community. He composed the original words and music that became the Downers Grove (North) High School Alma Mater, a piece that has been learned by thousands of students and is performed annually at school concerts, sporting events, and Graduation.


 Current DGN Choir members outside Pohlmann Hall - Downers Grove North High School


Mr. Clarence J. Shoemaker was the very first director of instrumental music in District 99, and founded the Downers Grove High School Band in 1929. Over the span of his tenure he developed one of the most revered band programs in the entire State of Illinois as he was considered a pioneer in the field of music education. His bands consistently won regional and national honors, bringing unparalleled positive accolades to the Downers Grove community. Just four years after founding the Band the ensemble performed at the 1933 'A Century of Progress' World's Fair.

In addition to being actively involved in the Illinois Music Educators Association as an officer, Mr. Shoemaker was a close professional colleague of Mr. Glenn C. Bainum, Director of Bands at Northwestern University. The incredibly high quality of musicianship consistently demonstrated by the Downers Grove High School Band under Mr. Shoemaker's leadership garnered invitations from Mr. Bainum for the Downers Grove High School Band to perform alongside the Northwestern University Symphonic Band at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston.

Mr. Shoemaker devoted his entire teaching career to District 99, choosing to live in the community and raise his own children in the school district. He retired from District 99 in 1963, and later served as the director of the North Central College Band for six years.

Upon his passing in 1988, at the age of 84, Mr. Shoemaker's family created a scholarship fund in the name of Clarence Shoemaker for the purpose of sending student musicians to summer music camps. The Shoemaker Scholarship, which is now managed by District 99, continues to support student musicians each year as they pursue their artistic passion. 


Current DGN Band members outside Shoemaker Hall - Downers Grove North High School

Mr. John C. Svoboda was hired in December of 1950 to fill the open position of Orchestra Director in District 99. Until this time there had been a steady turn-over of string orchestra teachers in the community; his immediate predecessor resigned mid-year. Mr. Svoboda was able to bring the orchestra together and perform for the annual holiday concert in a two-week span. From that moment forward, the quality of the orchestra was transformed into one of the most revered programs in the region and State of Illinois.


In 1968, while serving as the Coordinator of Instrumental Music in District 99, Mr. Svoboda was named by his colleagues in the Illinois Music Education Association to be the Conductor of the Illinois All-State Orchestra at an international performance in Dijon, France. Mr. Svoboda also served the ILMEA as Orchestra Division President.

Mr. Svoboda was considered by all who had the pleasure to work with and learn from him to be a true gentleman and consummate professional. His passion for arts education was known throughout the region and his positive influence on the education landscape in the State of Illinois was truly significant.

Mr. Svoboda retired from teaching - and District 99 - in 1977. However his final visit to the orchestra podium was on May 22, 2013 when - at the age of 91 - he guest conducted the District 99 Orchestra in concert (with his grandson, Thomas Svoboda playing string bass in the ensemble). 

"Mr. Music," as he was affectionately known by many in the community, passed away in 2015. He was 93 years old.

Current District 99 Orchestra members outside Svoboda Hall - Downers Grove North High School

2018 D99/WPL Art Show




Congratulations to the student artists and faculty affiliated with 2018 D99/WPL Art Show.
The opening was a vibrant event and the library foyer was packed with patrons!  

The show remains on exhibit until the end of April for public viewing during normal library hours.

Special thanks to our hosts at the Woodridge Public Library for opening this fabulous space for our student artists!

Downers Grove North Awards:


3-D BEST OF SHOW Rachel Matello JEWELRY "Anguloke"

2-D BEST OF SHOW  Kate Sosnovksy DIGITAL ART "Recruitment"

FUNCTIONAL 3-D  Savannah Rodriguez "Toucan Rhyton"

SCULPTURAL 3-D  Abbie Sobczak "Purple Woman"

JEWELRY  Kiera Henderson "Into the Deep"

PHOTOGRAPHY  Imran Anjum "Untitled"

DIGITAL ART  Mia Knutson "Surrounding Silence"

ILLUSTRATION  Trisha Suliba "The Best Spot"

PORTRAIT DRAWING Kate Sosnovsky "Onlooker"

STILL LIFE DRAWING   Kate Sosnovsky "Bunal"


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday, April 09, 2018

Rex Richardson Visits DGN Fine Arts


Trumpet virtuoso Rex Richardson is in residence this week at Downers Grove North High School, working with students in the DGN Bands and preparing for Tuesday night's "Sharing Is Caring" Jazz and Percussion Ensemble Concert.

Mr. Richardson - a Yamaha Performing Artist - will be featured prominently in the Tuesday evening concert. Admission is free and open to the public. Doors to the Clarence Johnson Auditorium open at 6:30 PM, and the concert begins at 7:00 PM. Downers Grove North High School is located at 4436 Main Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515. A brief reception and CD signing event will follow the concert in the Main Street Auditorium Lobby.

DGN Fine Arts thanks the DGN Friends of Fine Arts, Yamaha, and Quinlan and Fabish Music, for supporting Mr. Richardson's residency and work with our students. 





Sunday, April 08, 2018

Congratulations DGN Winter Guard - 3rd Place at Circuit Championships!

A big congratulations to the DGN Winter Guard team on a third-place finish in their competitive division at circuit championships this weekend! Senior members, Lindsey LeBeda and Sophia Di Iorio were recognized in the age-out ceremony for their years of dedication to the activity. In addition to this, Sophia Di Iorio was awarded with a scholarship from the Midwest Color Guard Circuit. 

The team has maintained top 3 placings all season long and has much to be proud of. 

If you haven't had a chance to catch this season's show, you have one last chance! Check them out at the winter guard showcase on Friday, April 20th at 7:30pm.