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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Masterclass With Alumna Heidi Begay

DGN Fine Arts was pleased to welcome North High Alumna Dr. Heidi Kay Begay back to campus today as she presented a series of masterclasses for DGN musicians. 

Dr. Begay is currently an adjunct music instructor at Tarrant County College’s Trinity River Campus and a flute instructor through the Hurst, Euless, and Bedford district (HEB ISD). In the past, Heidi has taught at Eastern New Mexico University and throughout several school districts in the Fort Worth area.

Heidi works with non-profit music organizations locally and nationally. She is the current treasurer for the Texas Flute Society and she is on the Archives and Oral History Committee through the National Flute Association. Former positions, through the Texas Flute Society, include executive and festival committee positions, such as president, president-elect, registration coordinator, festival co-chair, and industry/commercial liaison.

In addition, she has an ongoing interest in performing locally, nationally, and internationally. Recent performances have taken place in Florida, Greece, Italy, Texas, Chicago, Washington D.C., among others. Heidi’s research publications are featured in Flute View and Flute Talk magazines. Finally, she has been an adjudicator for the National Flute Association (NFA) and for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).

Heidi’s degrees include a D.M.A. from Texas Tech University, an M.M. from Northwestern State University of Louisiana, and a B.A. in Music from the University of Arizona. Her past flute teachers include Dr. Lisa Garner Santa (TTU), Dr. Dennette Derby McDermott (NSULA), Dr. Brian A. Luce (UofA), Dr. Diane Boyd-Schultz (UA), and Don Bailey.

New FOFA Senior Scholarship Application Deadline Approaching! - March 8th!

The Downers Grove North Friends of Fine Arts (FOFA) have announced a new scholarship award program for 2018-19!

DGN-FOFA will award $1,000 scholarships to two seniors who are planning to continue their education the fall after their high school graduation.

Current DGN seniors who are planning to continue both involvement in the fine arts and their education in the fall of 2019 may apply for a scholarship. The student must be enrolled in Fine Arts curriculum during their Senior year and have completed 6 semesters of Fine Arts courses upon graduation from Downers Grove North High School.

  • One scholarship will be awarded to a senior attending a college in the fall where they will be pursuing a degree involving Fine Arts.
  • One scholarship will be awarded to a senior who is pursuing an area of study outside of the Fine Arts but plans to continue a Fine Arts activity in college during their freshman year.
Complete information may be found HERE, on the DGN Friends of Fine Arts website.

Deadline for submission is Friday, March 8th!

Consider Fine Arts Summer Camp Experiences!

By geographical proximity, DGN students are fortunate to live within a relatively short driving distance of a myriad of amazing summer music, theatre and visual art camps. These camps and workshops cover a broad range of experiences: shorter or longer, different types of arts experiences, college residential, and much, much more.

Pursuing music, theatre, or artistic study, in depth, in a camp setting during the summer months is a great way for a student artist to develop new competencies and stay motivated when school is not in session.

To access a list of summer Fine Arts camp experiences, please CLICK HERE

The DGN Friends of Fine Arts offer "Summer Study Grants" to DGN music, theatre and visual art students who plan to pursue their passion at an arts-related summer camp or workshop. CLICK HERE for the application, due Sunday, April 14, 2019.

Monday, February 25, 2019

DGN Visual Artists Honored at IHSAE

North High School artists earned over 2.2 million dollars in Scholarship offers at the recent IHSAE exhibition, which opened on Sunday, February 24, 2019.  

Congratulations to all of the student artists and their mentor teachers for their continuing successes in the visual arts!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

National Black History Month Spotlight: Sidney Poitier (1927- )

February is Black History Month, and @DGNFineArts is pleased to spotlight the pioneering work of African American artists.

Sir Sidney Poitier, (1927 - ) is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author, and diplomat. In 1964 Poitier became the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role in Lilies of the Field. The significance of these achievements was bolstered in 1967, when he starred in three successful films, all of which dealt with issues involving race and race relations: To Sir, with Love; In the Heat of the Night; and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, making him the top box-office star of that year. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Poitier among the Greatest Male Stars of classic Hollywood cinema. Poitier was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. From 1997 to 2007, he served as the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan. On August 12, 2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama. In 2016, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

DGN Visual Artists Earn 2.2 million in Scholarship Offers / IHSAE Honors

14 DGN Fine Arts students have earned a combined $2,235,952.00 in college scholarship offers from nine prestigious art schools (Art Academy of Cincinnati, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Milikin University, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Northern Illinois University, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Syracuse University - College of Visual and Performing Arts, Watkins College of Art, and Western Michigan University.)

Congratulations to each of these DGN seniors who will have their artistic portfolios featured at the Illinois High School Art Exhibition’s annual Senior Scholarship Competition:
  • Kaitlyn Almazan
  • Phoebe Covey
  • Kaitlyn Ford
  • Giselle French
  • Carlos Hernandez
  • Mia Knutson
  • Lucy Quinn
  • Jessica Schmidt
  • Kate Sosnovsky
  • Brooke Stocki
  • Bailey Thiele
  • Cosette Thompson
  • William Vodak
  • Angela Wong
Congratulations is also extended to five outstanding DGN visual art students who have been selected to have their work displayed at the accompanying Illinois High School Art Exhibition’s annual General Exhibition:
  • Emily Adamo (9), Ceramics - Pottery
  • Suzanna Erickson (11), Acrylic Paint and Liquitex Pouring Medium on Canvas
  • Gracie Gwozdz (10), Ceramics - Sculpture
  • Eliot Michaels (11), Charcoal
  • Emilia Swirzb (9), Photography
Emily Swirzb - "Birthday" 
Emily Adamo - "Sunshine" 

Suzanna Erickson - "Chaotic Melody"

Gracie Gwozdz - "Extinct" 

Eliot Michaels - "Sophie"

The Illinois High School Art Exhibition is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is the advancement of visual arts education through exhibition. Developed by teachers for students in 2014, the organization is run by full-time art educators who collaborate with corporate sponsors, art schools/colleges/universities, and participating public, private, and charter high schools to celebrate and award the artistic talents of Illinois high school art students. 

Congratulations and thanks are extended to District 99 Visual art teachers Mr. Josh Hoering (Board of Directors and Portfolio Coordinator) and Katherine O'Truk (General Exhibition Awards Coordinator) for their service to the IHSAE.

The public is cordially invited to attend and view the IHSAE Exhibitions on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at the Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport, IL. For more information, go to

Thursday, February 14, 2019

National Black History Month Spotlight: Augusta Savage (1892-1962)

February is Black History Month, and @DGNFineArts is pleased to spotlight the pioneering work of African American artists.

Augusta Savage (1892-1962) was a leading artist during the Harlem Renaissance as well as an activist and arts educator. Savage was one of the most respected sculptors of her time and studied art all over the world.  In 1934, she became the first African-American artist to be elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. She then launched the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts, located in a basement on West 143rd Street in Harlem. She opened her studio to anyone who wanted to paint, draw, or sculpt. She worked throughout her career to gain equality for African- American artists nationwide.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hopeful, Supportive, and Inspirational: DGN Choirs Winter Concert 2019

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Choirs for presenting an amazing musical program this evening that was a success by every measure. "Music of Hope, Support and Inspiration" lived up to the advertised name, and allowed listeners to connect deeply with complex messages. The energy and emotion in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium was palpable. Thank you, DGN Choirs, for your hopeful, supportive and inspirational music making tonight!

If you missed tonight's concert, you may view it on the DGN Fine Arts YouTube Channel.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Music of Hope, Support and Inspiration!

Join the DGN Choirs on Tuesday, February 12, at 7 PM, for the Winter Choir Concert. Members of the Freshman Choir, Concert Choir, Treble Choir, A Cappella Choir, All Access Choir, and many select ensembles will share music that focuses on a theme of Hope, Support and Inspiration

Unable to join us live in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium? The concert will be live-streamed on the DGN Fine Arts YouTube Channel

Sunday, February 10, 2019

DGN Jazz Swings at FitzGeralds!

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Jazz Ensemble for a terrific performance at FitzGerald's Nightclub!

DGN Winter Guard - 2nd Place at Naperville Central Contest

Congratulations to the DGN Winter Guard on their outstanding performance at today's Naperville Central Contest. With a score of 59.56, DGN took second place, only two one-hundredths of a point (.02) behind the first-place Winter Guard in their division. Way to go DGN Winter Guard!

Saturday, February 09, 2019

DGN Jazz to Play FitzGerald's Sunday Night!

The DGN Jazz Ensemble will open for the Chicago Grandstand Big Band Sunday night, February 10th, at the famed FitzGerald's Nightclub in Berwyn, IL. DGN's set will begin at 5:30 PM. Come out and support our DGN jazz musicians as they perform in this historic venue, and on the stage that has welcomed the world's most legendary jazz musicians!

Friday, February 08, 2019

Thanks DGN Pep Band!

Many thanks to the members of the DGN Pep Band for another exciting season of music and spirit!

Monday, February 04, 2019

D99 Orchestra Students Perform with U of W Whitewater Honors Orchestra

Congratulations to the District 99 Orchestra students who performed beautifully this past weekend with the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater High School Honors Orchestra! 

National Black History Month Spotlight: William Grant Still (1895-1978)

February is Black History Month, and @DGNFineArts is pleased to spotlight the pioneering work of African American artists.

William Grant Still (1895-1978) was a conductor and composer. He was the first African-American to have both a major symphony production (1931) and produce an opera (1949). Still’s Afro-American Symphony marked the first time a symphony composed by an African-American would be played by a major orchestra.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Winter Guard Takes 2nd Place at Plainfield Central High School Competition

Congratulations to the DGN Winter Guard on their outstanding performance at the first competition of the season. The team took second place at Plainfield Central High School with a score of 55.38. Great start Winter Guard!