Sycamore sends 15 musicians to state

Pictured are 14 of the 15 Sycamore High School musicians selected to perform in all-state music festivals.
Pictured are 14 of the 15 Sycamore High School musicians selected to perform in all-state music festivals.

SYCAMORE – Fifteen Sycamore High School students were selected to participate in the 2014 Illinois Music Education (ILMEA) Conference. This is the fifth time Sycamore High School has been represented at the prestigious All-State Conference, and Sycamore again has one of the largest contingents of All-State musicians in attendance.

Students were selected via a rigorous audition process from the district IMEA festival.

“The all-state music experience is unlike any other musical experience,” SHS band director Ken Goodman said. “Students from the entire state come together, are placed into performing ensembles, and put together a concert of challenging music in less than three days. It is a unique and exciting opportunity for high school musicians that they will remember for the rest of their lives.” 

All-State musicians were treated to a special rally as they departed for the weekend festival. Fellow students, faculty, and family gathered in the Choir Room for a brief send-off.

“These students were not selected for All-State just because of their talent, but also because of their dedication and choice to spend extra time practicing the audition music,” Sycamore Music Department Chair Scott Mertens said. “They chose to do something, and do it well.”

During the festival weekend, participants attended rehearsals, workshops, panel discussions and master classes, and performed a concert at the Peoria Civic Center.  Two Sycamore District music teachers were invited as guest presenters during the festival. General music instructor Kristine Mertens brought a select number of students to be a part of her “Improvisation In The Classroom” presentation, and Goodman led a panel discussion, “The Road (More or) Less Traveled or Been There, Done That.”

All-State Honors Choir: Elizabeth Watson, Alex Riley, Nichole Startz, Ian Findley, Aubry Nelson

All-State Choir: Maddie White

All-State Honors Orchestra: Sarah Grant (double bass)

All-State Orchestra: Becca Vidales (viola), Trent Englum (viola), Seth Kates (double bass), Baylie Petit (cello), Jessica Luo (violin), Kailey Mulligan (viola)

All-State Orchestra Winds: Jordyn Shultz (French horn)

All-State Band: Leah Tabone (alto saxophone)

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