Wednesday, May 31, 2017

D99 Jazz Swings at Park Concert Year-End Finale

Congratulations to the student musicians and directors affiliated with the five District 99 Jazz Ensembles that opened the Summer Concert Series for the Downers Grove Park District last night at Veterans Memorial Pavilion in Fishel Park.  Thanks to the DGS Jazz Workshop, DGS Jazz Lab Band, DGN Jazz Lab Band, DGN Jazz Ensemble, DGS Jazz Ensemble, and the D99 Honors Jazz Band for a wonderful evening of music at Fishel Park!  Thanks to the community members in attendance last night for supporting live jazz music in our community!

We bid a fond farewell to the graduating members of the Class of 2017 from both North and South.  You've set an extremely high sonic bar; best wishes in all of your future endeavors!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jazz In The Park is Tonight!

You won't want to miss the 2017 "Jazz In The Park," tonight (6 PM) at Fishel Park in the Downers Grove Veterans Memorial Pavilion. 

The concert, which kicks off the Downers Grove Park District Summer Concert Series, will feature jazz bands from both DGN, and DGS. 

Bring a blanket, a lawn chair, or both. Food may be purchased from local vendors, or bring your own!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Thank you to the DGN Band for an outstanding performance in the 2017 Downers Grove Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony.

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!