Sycamore music places second in Class A

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore High School Music Department was recently awarded second place in the 2013-2014 IHSA Music Sweepstakes competition for Class A, the highest place the school has ever achieved.

This is the fourth time in five years that Sycamore High School has placed in the top five in Class A, and it is their 11th top-10 finish in the past 12 years.

"Our music students should take pride in this award, as their individual and small group performances are a key reason that our school placed as highly as we did," music department chair Scott Mertens said. "These music students are demonstrating a culture of accountability that reflects very positively upon Sycamore High School, and our community can be very proud of these young men and women."

This honor is the result of the combined effort from the band, choir and orchestra programs and their participation in the Solo/Ensemble Contest and Organizational Contest. The IHSA Solo/Ensemble Festival was hosted by Kaneland High School, where band, choir, and orchestra students performed as soloists and in small groups. The IHSA Organizational Festival was held at Belvidere North High School in April. At this festival, larger ensembles such as orchestras, bands, jazz bands, choirs, and jazz choirs all performed for ratings.

“This trophy symbolizes the collective strength of all three organizations that make up the SHS Music Department," orchestra director Ken Tonaki said. "It is impossible to place in the top 10 unless band, choir, and orchestra are all scoring high marks in both the Solo/Ensemble Contest as well as the Organizational Contest. It is an honor to work with the outstanding staff and students here at Sycamore High School.”

"This honor stems from the strong effort that our students put into preparing for their performances.  However, it is not just about learning the music for a particular event.  Instead, it is the rehearsing during class and the practicing at home, day after day, that results in the students' success," band director Ken Goodman said. "This recognition is a visible means of representing this hard work and dedication.  Congratulations to our students on this notable achievement."

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