Sycamore High honors musical alumni

SYCAMORE – Every high school has talented people who are celebrated with awards, trophies or scholarships, but what happens to them after graduation?

Sycamore High School has a long-standing tradition of excellence in music. Many of these alumni continued to pursue their talents after graduation. Sycamore High School and the Sycamore History Museum will celebrate a wide variety of musical accomplishments on Friday, Feb. 8 as part of the Pride of Sycamore High.

The evening will start with light refreshments. In the auditorium, alumni will share their stories about how Sycamore High School influenced their musical careers. Featured guests include trombonist Kirk Lundbeck; violinist Ann Montzka-Smelser, a member of Northern Illinois University’s music faculty; Drayton Eggleson, the music teacher at South Prairie Elementary; and cellist Hellen Weberpal. Dan Andree will send a video of a performance by his band, HenHouse Prowlers.

The evening will end with an unveiling of the high school’s Music Hall of Fame. According to the music boosters website, this ongoing awards program will recognize and award SHS alumni and music advocates who have demonstrated superior participation in and/or support of Sycamore music programs.

“We are very excited to work with the high school and music boosters on this event,” history museum executive director Michelle Donahoe said. “The high school has many talented alumni and teachers. This annual event provides a great opportunity to take a moment and appreciate the contributions people from Sycamore High School have made in a variety of fields.

“The first year of the event, Pete Johnson was recognized, and last year authors/writers Mark Vancil and Dirk Johnson were the featured speakers. This year, having such accomplished musicians return to the high school is an honor. We are especially thankful to work with the music boosters, who will formally induct alumni into the Hall of Fame during their Note to Remember fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 9.”

Tickets are $10, $5 for students younger than 18. They can be purchased at the Sycamore History Museum, Sycamore Chamber of Commerce and Sycamore High School. For more information, contact the history museum at 815-895-5762 or

The Pride of Sycamore High

7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8

Sycamore High School auditorium

Adults $10, students 17 and younger $5

Tickets are available at the Sycamore History Museum, Sycamore Chamber of Commerce and Sycamore High School.

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