Thursday, May 25, 2017

DGN Graduation Concert 2017

Congratulations to the musicians of the DGN A Cappella Choir, Percussion Ensemble and Wind Ensemble for their terrific performances tonight!

Special kudos are extended to Senior Concerto Soloists Maria D'Ambrose (oboe) and Matthew McCoy (alto saxophone).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017-18 Color Guard Roster

Thank you to all of the students who auditioned for the 2017-18 DGN Color Guard. The selection process was extremely competitive. The level of preparedness was very high, and we extend our appreciation to each participant for the time and energy dedicated to the auditions.

Congratulations to the 2017-18 Color Guard. All members of the 2017-18 team should report to the band room this Thursday, May 25, from 4 - 5 PM so that measurements can be taken for your team uniform. More details to follow in an email.  

Click here for 2017-18 Color Guard Roster.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017 DGN Band Banquet Celebrates Amazing Students & Family

The 2017 DGN Band Banquet was the first to be held at the Esplanade Lakes Ballroom in Downers Grove, as 425 members of our band family celebrated another extremely successful year.

Special thanks are extended to the many parent volunteers who created a spectacular event, most notably Ms. Julie Brethauer & Ms. Julie Thompson (Banquet Co-Chairs), Ms. Diana Heppner & Ms. Christiana Kowal (Raffle/Auction Co-Chairs), and Ms. Andrea Banke (Decorations Chair).

The students and faculty of the DGN Bands gratefully acknowledge the participation by families in the 2017 Raffle/Silent Auction. $5,500 was raised in support of the DGN Bands at this year's Banquet!













Tonight we honor the incredible students of the North High Band.  They are a diverse group of learners who, through a myriad of musical and social experiences, are growing up right in front of our very eyes.  I'm old enough to know and understand that "time is relative."  For some of our seniors, the four-year journey through DGN seemed to take an eternity.  Parents and guardians are thinking: "Wasn't it just yesterday when I dropped my child off at Band Camp as they started their Freshman year?" 

Among us tonight are musicians who have traveled – or will travel – all over the world to perform with the DGN Bands.  Many of the juniors and seniors here tonight performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.  40 of our students performed with the D99 Honors Band in Europe last summer … and this year's Marching Band had a spectacular performance at the Disney Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

In our midst tonight are some very accomplished instrumentalists … including All-District musicians, and Illinois All-State musicians.  Dozens of the students in our program received Division I ratings at Solo & Ensemble Contest this year.  Members of the band performed in an amazing forty-five public performances this year, including curricular band concerts, football games, parades, jazz festivals, honors recitals and the school musical.  Add to this the many volunteer performances by our students and we have easily presented our musical gifts in over sixty Chicago metro-area performances this year alone.
And – to prove that we are a well-rounded type, members of the North High Band are involved in nearly every other activity, club and athletic team at North High.  Be it an honor society, or any level of athletics … North High Band members are truly involved and engaged students.   

We're a smart bunch as well.  A very high percentage of our students rank in the top 20% of their class academically, and when one reads the Honor Rolls at North High they might inadvertently mistake the list as a roster of the DGN Band.
The past four years have been some of the most successful in the history of our band. 

Consider these highlights from the past four years …


·      The Jazz Ensemble has been invited four times to perform at Fitzgeralds, the legendary Chicago jazz club … as well as the famed "Jazz Showcase" in Chicago.
·      The Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band consistently received Division 1 ratings at the prestigious Purdue University Jazz Festival, and this year the Jazz Combo won 1st Place in their competitive division at Purdue.
·      The Jazz Ensemble was selected to perform at the Illinois Music Education Conference in 2014, and wowed a standing-room only crowd at the Peoria Civic Center.
·      The Wind Ensemble returned to Peoria in 2016 to perform on the All State Composer Showcase Concert.
·      We've participated in a German music exchange as hosts, and on a tour to Germany & France ourselves.
·      Our department has welcomed dozens of nationally and internationally renowned guest-artists and guest conductors in the past four years.
·      The last four years have seen at least 50 DGN Band alumni marching with college marching bands across the country.
·      Over 5,000 members of our community have seen our Mosaic Concert in the past four years, and we've performed outreach concerts for over 7,000 elementary school students.
·      We are a philanthropic group, annually raising funds to help others in need.  Be it a 'Jazz Café' Charity initiative, or partnering with local organizations in need, our students demonstrate empathy at every turn.
·      And of course, this list would not be complete without mentioning what will likely be remembered as the most significant concert in our program's rich history: that being our performance at New York's famed Carnegie Hall in 2015.

So let us begin to recognize, honor and celebrate these incredible students … and their amazing contributions to our community."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

It's A Family Affair

Thank you to our current, former, and future DGN Band members (and parents) who came out this afternoon to decorate and prepare the Esplanade Lakes Ballroom for tonight's DGN Band Awards Banquet. It's going to be a beautiful event!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spring Band Concert Video Replay from Facebook Live

Spring Band Concert 2017

Congratulations to the musicians of the DGN Concert Band, DGN Chamber Winds, and DGN Symphonic Band for a terrific Spring Band Concert! 

Special congratulations are extended to Senior Concerto performers Becky Donnelly, Katie Donnelly, and David Atwater for their marvelous performances this evening. 














Spring Band Concert Tonight!


Don't miss tonight's Spring Band Concert, featuring the DGN Concert Band, DGN Symphonic Band, and DGN Chamber Winds.

The concert begins at 7:00 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium (the house opens for general seating at 6:30 PM). 

Out of town family want to watch and listen tonight? The concert will be live-streamed HERE and will also be available for re-play for 30 days at the same link.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Two D99 Students Selected to March in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Two students from District 99 have been selected to join in the 91st annual 2017 Macy’s Great American Marching Band. Downers Grove South High sophomore Kelly Jankowski and Downers Grove North freshman Miles Teague were selected to represent Illinois; the band will lead the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2017 in New York City. Jankowski plays the trumpet; Teague plays the French horn.

“To be selected for this national band is a tremendous accomplishment for Miles,” says North High Principal Janice Schwarze. “It’s rare that one student--let alone two students--from a district are selected for a band of this caliber, and we are so excited for both Miles and Kelly. Both are underclassmen, which makes their accomplishment even more impressive.”

The band will include 185 student musicians from all 50 states. The audition was open to students from more than 14,000 high schools across the United States. Students post their auditions to YouTube.

“We’re so proud of Kelly and know she will represent our school and community very well,” says South High principal Ed Schwartz. “The fine arts programs in our district are truly two of the best in the country, as evidenced in part by this great achievement.”

On Thanksgiving morning, the band will lead the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from Central Park and be cheered by 3.5 million live spectators before arriving at Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square for an international performance for more than 50 million TV viewers watching the broadcast live on NBC.

According to the parade organizer website, the parade “is internationally recognized as the official start of the holiday season and world-famous as a uniquely American entertainment extravaganza.”

Saturday, May 06, 2017

DGN Fine Arts Boosters Plant & Flower Sale

Many thanks are extended to the amazing volunteers of the DGN Fine Arts Boosters for their incredible support of our student musicians and visual artists. Thank you, as well, to the volunteer students that helped with the 2017 Plant & Flower Sale, getting up at 6 AM on a Saturday to unload a truck full of flowers!

Special kudos and thanks are offered to Mrs. Harker & Mrs. Pike for their tireless work and outstanding organization of this year's sale! #WeAreDGN

Friday, May 05, 2017

2017 DGN Marching Band Theme: The Uprising #WeAreDGN


The 2017 DGN Trojan Marching Band will explore themes of cultural resistance and opposition through the music Fall Out Boy, Muse and Coldplay.  Join us this fall for "The Uprising."