Thursday, February 20, 2014

DGN Jazz @ 47th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Jazz Ensemble for a tremendous performance at the 47th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival.  One of the oldest and most prestigious events of it's kind, drawing top high school and college bands from the United States and Canada, DGN Jazz students were honored to have been invited to this year's festival.

The band's continued hard work and dedication were affirmed by a panel of three critically acclaimed jazz legends who offered only effusive praise to DGN for the ensemble's sound, style, and attention to musical detail.  

"It's pretty amazing, you guys," said jazz trumpet great Bobby Shew.  "High school kids playing like that.  Very inspiring.  For you guys to be playing this well in high school, it's just really impressive."

Gary Smulyan, considered by many to be the leading baritone sax voice in the world today, said, "I was really impressed with the way you share your joy of music with the audience. There was a really beautiful feeling behind what you were playing for us.  That really came across."  

Trombone virtuoso Andy Martin said, "I thought you guys were fantastic.  As a listener, the variety was great.  The soloists were all fantastic.  The singers were fabulous. The woodwind doubles and colors were just great.  It was a beautiful way to start the festival this year!"

Garnering "Outstanding Musician" awards were Sebastian Calvino (trombone), Zack Foster (bass), Rob Kulik (drums), Spencer Schillerstrom (tenor sax), and Amelia Smerz (cello).

Kudos to the DGN Jazz Ensemble for yet another outstanding festival performance on an international stage!






Monday, February 17, 2014

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp - Campus Auditions Wednesday!

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (in Michigan) is one of the nation’s leading arts immersion camps.  BLFAC is a non-profit summer school of the arts specializing in two-week arts programs for intermediate and high school students. 

Because there is a strong tradition of highly qualified District 99 students attending Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the institution actively recruits in our schools.  Additionally, BLFAC sends a representative to our building each February to hear interested students play and sing.  From those ‘mini auditions’ BLFAC frequently awards merit-based scholarships to attend the camp.  This year’s BLFAC scholarship auditions will be held on Wednesday, February 19th during periods, 5, 6, 7, 8 and for a short time after school.  If you are interested in playing or singing a short audition for the BLFAC rep, please express your interest on a sign-up sheet in the Fine Arts Office (room 131).  Please see Mrs. DePeder or your music teacher on TUESDAY to sign up for a time

What should you be prepared to play or sing in your audition?  Plan to perform 2-3 min of music that you have been working on with a private music teacher, or in class.  This could be an etude, a solo, or a piece of literature that you have really enjoyed playing.  Pick something that shows off your abilities!

The Blue Lake representative will share some basic information with your child to bring home to you.  In the meantime, you are encouraged to check out Blue Lake’s website at  

Many DGN musicians have received significant scholarships to attend Blue Lake as a result of these mini-auditions.  Please consider this fabulous opportunity!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Winter Guard takes 3rd Place at Midwest Color Guard Circuit Contest

Congratulations to the DGN Winter Guard for taking 3rd Place in their competitive class at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit contest sponsored by Downers Grove South High School.  Beginning at 11 AM this morning, 30+ Winter Guards competed in the event.  

Way to go Trojans ... we are proud of you!






Friday, February 14, 2014

LOVE this Band! They sound SWEET

Composer or Pasta?

Nothing says Valentines Day like a romantic Italian dinner or an aria from a beautiful Italian opera. Today's "bell ringer" in DGN Band classes? Yes, you guessed it: a friendly game of "Composer or Pasta?"... where contestants attempt (with frequent inaccuracies) to place Italian names into one of two categories.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

You're Invited to a "Frozen" Sing-A-Long Saturday Night!

The students of the DGN Band, Choir and Orchestra Boards invite you to a Frozen Sing-A-Long!

You are invited to join fellow DGN music students and buy tickets to the Saturday, February 15 (7:05 PM) Frozen Sing-A-Long at Cinemark-Seven Bridges.

This is not an official school event, but rather an informal opportunity for DGN music students to come together for a fun night of cinema & singing!  (Students are responsible for their own transportation, tickets and supervision.) So get a car-pool together, and make plans to join fellow DGN music students on Saturday night!

CLICK HERE to pre-order your tickets for Saturday night (7:05 PM), or go to ...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Congrats Rob Kulik and 'The Resolution'

Congratulations to North Fine Arts student and DGN Band member Rob Kulik (drums), DGN alumnus Trevor Utz (lead guitar), as well as DGS students Brian Moroney (lead singer) and Patrick Mitchell (bass) - "The Resolution" - for their new single Maple Avenue - now available on iTunes!

Check out the promo video below, here.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Band Tour 2014-15: The "Big Apple"

The Fine Arts Department is pleased to announce the 2014-15 DGN Band Tour destination: New York (a.k.a. "The Big Apple!")

The 2014-15 tour (pending formal approval by the Board of Education later this spring), is tentatively scheduled for February 25 - March 2, 2015, which spans the DuPage County Teacher Institue weekend.

The 2014-15 tour will focus on 'Concert Band' and 'Jazz Band' performance opportunities for our students.  The itinerary is still in final development stages, but is expected to include:

  • full day workshop for the band on the campus of Ithaca College (one of the finest schools of Music in the United States)
  • performance workshop with Broadway musicians
  • performance workshop with members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • festival performance at Carnegie Hall (pending contract negotiation/audition with the hall and music festival)
  • performance workshop for Jazz Band at the famous "Jazz At Lincoln Center"
  • sight-seeing in New York (Ellis Island, National September 11th Memorial, NBC Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park, Empire State Building, etc.)
  • attend a Broadway musical

Additional details about the tour, estimated tour package costs, fundraising opportunities, and procedures for sign-up will be shared with all band families (8th - 11th grade) later this spring, after formal Board of Education approval.  Stay tuned, and get excited!

DGN Band Tour 2014-15: Puzzle Set 5 of 5

Well, if you hadn't figured it out yet ... this should be all you need!  More details about this exciting tour, and the performance opportunity for our band program, will be shared in class in the days to come.  In the meantime ... get excited!!!

DGN Band Tour 2014-15: Puzzle Set 4 of 5

Okay, you must be getting close?  Can you solve the puzzle?  Where will the DGN Band tour in 2014-15?

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

DGN Band Tour 2014-15: Puzzle Set 3 of 5

Who's getting close?  Here's the third of five sets of puzzle pieces that should help you decipher the 2014-15 DGN Band Tour destination!

Monday, February 03, 2014

DGN Band Tour 2014-15: Puzzle Set 2 of 5

Not enough puzzle pieces last time?  See if these help you get a little closer to determining the tour destination for the DGN Bands in 2014-15 ...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

DGN Band Tour 2014-15: Puzzle Set 1 of 5

Where is the DGN Band headed in the 2014-15 school year?  It's a puzzle.  Here are your first pieces to help you solve ...

More coming soon.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Open House Volunteers Needed! Please consider helping.

Dear DGN band members:

This coming Thursday night, February 6th, is the Class of 2018 Open House at North High.  This is a night where incoming Freshman (current 8th graders) will visit DGN for a series of presentations, and to get information about the school.

We are in need of DGN band student volunteers to help!  

There are two different ways YOU can potentially help, and they are spelled out in the OnLine Survey linked below.  If you think you might be able to lend us a couple volunteer hours on Thursday, we would certainly appreciate your consideration.  It's a great way to "give back" to your band and school!

Please follow this link to fill out the online survey; we will get back to students volunteers no later than Tuesday evening to let you know where we can best use your support.

Thanks in advance for your consideration!

Mr. Teague & Mr. Miller