Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Community Outreach Concerts - Thank You and Look Back

The DGN Bands have presented an annual "Community Outreach Concert" for the past fifteen years, each with a unique theme. Many of our current band students remember attending these concerts as elementary school students. Our 2020 concert (Monster Mash) would have been the 16th-annual concert for elementary school children in the community. 

Our 2019-20 Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble, prepared a terrific program of music that would have been shared last week (Friday, March 20), and today (Tuesday, March 24). CLICK HERE to see the Teacher Resource Guide that describes the music prepared in anticipation of this year's concerts. 

This post, which includes a photo taken during a rehearsal of Eric Whitacre's "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas!", is shared as a THANK YOU to the student musicians who worked very hard to create this year's program. COVID-19 has prevented us from sharing the music with our community, but it did not prevent us from experiencing the joy of learning and preparing to share with others!

We have also included an embedded video below of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds performing "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas!" in 2013, in hopes it might bring a smile to the faces of our Wind Ensemble students. 

2020 - "Monster Mash" (Godzilla Eats Las Vegas!)

"Take Flight!"
"Commotion in the Ocean"
"That's all Folks!"
"The Art of Music"

"Carnival of the Animals"




Friday, March 20, 2020

QuaranTUNES by "Quarantet"

The Baldwin Family is coming together, through music, and reminds us that the arts are social, even in uncertain times.

This video is the outgrowth of a DGN Bands distance learning assignment (for S. Baldwin), that extended naturally to the entire family. Bravo!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

DGN Band Members Come Together For "Virtual" Senior Concerto Performance

Today, in a heartwarming show of support for senior Emilija Irvin, a group of DGN band members, faculty, and parents, connected through video-conferencing to hear Emilija present her performance of Carl Maria von Weber's Bassoon Concerto in F Major

Emilija's performance (previously scheduled to have been tonight at DGN) was terrific, and immediately served to unify those who were virtually in attendance through the power of music and the arts. 

BRAVISSIMO Emilija ... and all who tuned in today to share in the community of music!

Senior Concerto Soloist Spotlight - Emilija Irvin

With tonight's DGN Band Concert cancelled due to COVID-19, we extend a special congratulations to senior Emilija Irvin, who earned a solo performance with the DGN Wind Ensemble through a Concerto Competition held last November.  Emilija was scheduled to perform the first-movement of Carl Maria von Weber's Bassoon Concerto in F Major. Congratulations, Emilija, on your musical accomplishments, and we hope to be collaborating with you again soon!

Program Biography:

At Downers Grove North, Emilija has served as the principal bassoon in the Wind Ensemble and District 99 Symphonic Orchestra. Additionally, Emilija has performed with the DGN Pep Band, Jazz Lab Band, Pit Orchestra, Varsity Woodwind Quartet, Varsity Woodwind Quintet, Bassoon Duet, and the Trojan Marching Band where she was co alto saxophone section leader her junior and senior years. Through DGN, Emilija has participated in the IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest where she has earned, two division II's, six division I's, including three perfect scores, and one best in-room citation. Additionally, Emilija has participated in ILMEA District and All-State festivals since her sophomore year placing principal in District Orchestra and Band her junior and senior years respectively. Outside of DGN, Emilija has participated in Merit School of Music since her junior year. In her senior year, she became bassoon section leader and principal in Wind Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Key Clickers Woodwind Quintet. This year, Emilija also played principal bassoon in Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Philharmonic Orchestra and Take 13347 Woodwind Quintet. 

Emilija would like to thank Mr. Teague and Mr. Smith for this opportunity and for their constant support, encouragement, and inspiration. She would also like to thank her past private teacher, Mrs. Diane Remillard, her current private teacher, Dr. Jonathan Saylor, and her family for always being there to support and encourage her every step of the way.

Program Notes:

This evening Emilija will be performing Movement 1 of Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major. Carl Maria von Weber was born in 1786 in Germany and died in 1826 in London. Weber was born into a musical and theatrical family. When Weber began showing signs of musical talent, his father who wanted him to become a musical prodigy ensured that Weber had music lessons. When Weber began composing at the age of twelve, he began composing at the end of the Classical Era. His later compositions were composed in the transition between the Classical Era and the Romantic Era. This meant that music was becoming more expressive, dramatic, and sometimes nationalistic. While Weber influenced many romantic composers including, Berlioz, Wagner, and Mendelssohn with his instrumental works, Weber is especially noted for his operas and is considered to be the father of German Romantic opera. 

Originally scored for bassoon and orchestra, Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major took only four days to write and was originally published in 1811 for the German bassoonist Georg Friedrich Brandt. It was later revised in 1822 before the work was published. Weber’s Bassoon Concerto, as noted in the preface to the piece, ranks second only to Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in importance. Weber’s Bassoon Concerto consists of three movements: I. Allegro ma non troppo (F Major), II. Adagio (Bb Major), and III. Rondo: Allegro (F Major). The first movement is written in classic sonata form and features a march-like introduction and a militaristic opening from the soloist, highlighting Weber’s love for opera. The first movement features many technical runs, arpeggios, and jumps between registers. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

DGN Bands Update March 13, 2020

Concerts Scheduled for Week of March 16: As our families know, there is a DGN Band Concert scheduled for Thursday, March 19. We are unable to hold that concert as a public event. Provided our buildings remain open next week, our staff is considering the option of a “virtual concert,” where students would perform for one another, and also film a live-stream allowing parents/family/friends the opportunity to hear the results of the terrific work our band students have been doing in class this semester. This plan is emerging, and not finalized. No formal decision will be made until next week. Given the fluidity of our national response to COVID-19, it’s possible that any decision made could then later be modified. For now, we are simply asking students to HOLD THE DATE, as previously scheduled (Thursday, March 19, 7 PM) for a potential virtual concert. We will share more as we can. The members of the Wind Ensemble were scheduled to present two Community Outreach Concerts to elementary school students on Friday, March 20 and Tuesday, March 24. Those two concerts have been cancelled. We do not expect an ability to reschedule those events, but if a solution to hold these concerts emerges, we will let you know. Band Banquet, May 1, 2020: We are currently examining options for our annual Band Awards Banquet. As previously advertised, the banquet is scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2020, at Ashyana Banquets in Downers Grove. We would typically roll-out ticket sales to this event next week, but are going to hold on that roll-out for at least a week as we consider how COVID-19 might impact our ability to hold this event. Please continue to hold May 1st for some sort of Band Awards, however be aware that this event may have an adjusted format this year. We appreciate your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters. Sincerely, Brayer Teague Jessen T. Smith Jennifer Mullen Margaret Winchell

Monday, March 09, 2020

DGN Winter Guard Takes 2nd Place at Stagg Competition

With a score of 73.73, the DGN Winter Guard capped off their final competition of the regular season with a 2nd place finish at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit Stagg Competition, making for an amazing record of top-two placements all season long! 

The team is ready and excited to make their last push over the next few weeks to keep perfecting their show and put their best foot forward at championships at the end of the month. Best of luck, winter guard, with your preparations for championships, and congrats on an incredible showing this season!

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Trojan Marching Band presents: Les Misérables

"Do you hear the people sing?"

The Trojan Marching Band is proud to present their 2020 production Les Misérables. Students have been anxiously awaiting the show announcement, and we are proud to officially make it public!

Considered one of the greatest novels written in the 19th century, Victor Hugo's Les Misérables has been a significant part of French culture and art since it was published in 1862. The musical adaptation first premiered in Paris in 1980, and the English version was premiered in London in 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world. Claude-Michel Schönberg wrote some of the most recognizable and memorable melodies in all of musical theater, and the Trojan Marching Band is thrilled to bring his music to life! This is sure to be a show that you will walk away singing every Friday night!

Students interested in applying to be a member of the Trojan Marching Band Leadership Team should follow the link below to access the application information. 

Audition information for the TMB Drumline can be found at the link below.

Audition information for the TMB Color Guard can be found at the link below. 

Monday, March 02, 2020

Historic Performance for DGN Winter Guard - WGI Regional

For the first time in the team's history, the DGN Winter Guard competed in a Winter Guard International (WGI) regional on Saturday, February 29.  With judges flying in from as far as The Netherlands and competing against teams from around the country, taking the floor at this contest was a large step for the team in and of itself.  

The team performed their prelims run on Saturday and walked away feeling very happy with their performance.  Their hard work paid off as the team then advanced into the finals competition the following day. Despite a 5:15am call time on Sunday, the team pushed through and exhibited tremendous energy and confidence in their finals run on Sunday, March 1.  

The team's final round score of 75.22 gave DGN a 2nd place finish, in their class, at their very first WGI competition. Their score was an impressive 14 point gain over their competition the previous weekend and was just a half-point shy of a first place ranking.  

Congratulations to our DGN Winter Guard!

Sunday, March 01, 2020

DGN Band Members Perform in Masterclass with Trombone Legend Jay Friedman

On Saturday, February 29, Windy City Trombones, a division of Quinlan and Fabish Music Company, hosted a special masterclass with Bach Brass artist and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Principal Trombonist, Mr. Jay Friedman. Congratulations to DGN musicians Angelica Kowara (student of Ms. Catie Hickey), and Will Knudsen (student of Mr. Ryan Miller) for being selected as two of the three student performers to work with Mr. Friedman at this masterclass. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Band Banquet "SAVE THE DATE"

The annual DGN Band Banquet will be here before you know it! 

Save the date ...

Friday, May 1, 2020

Official ticketing information will be shared the week of March 16, 2020.

Our student Band Officers, as well as our parent coordinators, are planning a fabulous evening of entertainment.  Highlights will include a terrific dinner and Awards Ceremony for all of our current band members.  This event has become the highlight of the year for our students, as they have a chance to dress-up and celebrate their many accomplishments with family and friends.  We typically have over 350+ band members, parents and family members in attendance.  You won’t want to miss this great evening!

Monday, February 24, 2020

DGN Winter Guard - 2nd Place at DGS Winter Guard Contest

Congrats to the DGN Winter Guard on another stellar 2nd place performance this past weekend at Downers Grove South High School Winter Guard Contest! The team earned another sizable score improvement, with a score of 61.50. Thank you to everyone who came out to support the team this weekend! The encouragement and cheering from the stands was motivating! 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Pep Band Season Finale

Thank you to the volunteer musicians of the DGN Pep Band for providing energetic music and lots of school spirit during six home basketball games this season. Well done!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Congratulations Emma Krause - Midwest Young Artists National Chamber Music Competition

Congratulations to senior Emma Krause, and the members of the Purple Hippopotami Flute Quartet, for winning the Open Winds Division of the Midwest Young Artists National Chamber Music Competition!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Legendary Drummer - Dennis Mackrel - Masterclass at DGN

The DGN Bands were honored to host world renown jazz drumming great, Mr. Dennis Mackrel, to campus today for a masterclass with members of the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band. Joining Mr. Mackrel was the Elmhurst College Jazz Combo, directed by Mr. Mark Colby.

Mackrel (born April 3, 1962, in Omaha, Nebraska) is an American jazz drummer, composer, and arranger. He is also known for his work as a bandleader and music educator. He is most notable for his associations with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and the Count Basie Orchestra.

The son of two jazz enthusiasts, Mackrel started playing drums at age two and began his professional career playing at a community theater at age ten. He attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studying jazz under Frank Gagliardi, during which time he performed in venues such as the Imperial Palace and the Tropicana. In 1981, Mackrel moved to New York City and became a drummer with a Broadway theatre orchestra. Two years later on the personal recommendation of singer Joe Williams, Mackrel joined the Count Basie Orchestra where he would remain until December 1987. He was the last drummer of that orchestra to be personally hired by Count Basie himself.

After leaving the Basie Orchestra, Mackrel frequently performed as a substitute drummer in the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. Shortly before Lewis died in February 1990, he announced that he wanted Mackrel to take his place as the regular drummer for the band, which soon changed its name to the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
Mackrel later became the drummer for many other big bands and small groups including the Hank Jones Trio, the American Jazz Orchestra, the Carla Bley Big Band, Buck Clayton's Swing Band, the George Shearing Quintet and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band. In September 2010, he returned to the Count Basie Orchestra after the retirement of trombonist Bill Hughes and served as the orchestra's leader and chief conductor until 2013 and on November 7, 2015, he was named chief conductor of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw which is based in Amsterdam, Holland.

As a composer and arranger, Mackrel has received a Grant for Composition from the National Endowment for the Arts (1983). He has written pieces for McCoy Tyner (on the Grammy-winning The Turning Point and Journey), the WDR Radio Big Band of Cologne, the Klüvers Big Band of Denmark, the RIAS Big Band of Berlin.[2] the United States Military Academy at West Point's Jazz Knights Big Band, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and the Temple University Jazz Ensemble.

As an experienced jazz educator who conducts master classes, seminars and workshops throughout Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States, Mackrel has performed with the jazz ensembles of numerous colleges and high schools including the Eastman School of Music, Slippery Rock University, the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Northern Illinois University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the University of Minnesota, Morris, New Trier High School, Sun Prairie High School, Western Illinois University, Southern Utah University, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Aarhus, Denmark, the University of Florida, Miami, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Elmhurst College, Michigan State University and many others. He is currently a professor at Queens College in Flushing, New York.

Monday, February 10, 2020

DGN Winter Guard - 2nd Place at Naperville Central Winter Guard Contest

The winter guard kept its momentum going this weekend as they secured a 2nd place win at the Naperville Central Winter Guard Contest on February 9. Earning a score of 55.01, the team continued to make great strides toward perfecting their show. Great job, winter guard! 

Be sure to check out their next competition at Downers Grove South High School on February 23rd where they will be performing shortly after 11:30 AM.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

D99 Jazz in Clinic and Concert with NIU Jazz Orchestra

The student musicians of the DGN and DGS Jazz Bands participated in an educational clinic and concert with the internationally acclaimed Northern Illinois University Jazz Orchestra. Led by Professor Reggie Thomas, and featuring guest artist Todd Williams (Saxophone), the NIU Jazz Orchestra performed an exciting set that kept the audience engaged and cheering for more.

Congratulations to the members of the DGN and DGN Jazz programs for their outstanding performances tonight at the Tivoli theater in Downers Grove. It was a pleasure and honor for our students to open for the great Northern Illinois University Jazz Orchestra!

DGS Jazz Workshop

DGN Jazz Lab Band

DGS Jazz Lab Band

DGN Jazz Ensemble

DGS Jazz Ensemble

NIU Jazz Orchestra

NIU Jazz Orchestra with Guest Artist, Todd Williams

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

DGN Winter Guard - 1st Place at Steperette Winter Guard Contest

Congratulations to the DGN Winter Guard on their 1st place finish at the Steperette Winter Guard Contest this past weekend - their very first winter guard contest of the 2020 season! The team's score of 49.47, made the team the clear front runner of their round. These ladies have been more determined than ever to put on a great show, and they did just that on Sunday! Congrats, Winter Guard!