The Sycamore High School Music Department was recently awarded fourth place in the IHSA Music Sweepstakes competition for Class A schools. This is the third time in four years that the school has placed in the top five in Class A, and it is the 10th top-10 finish in 11 years.
The Sycamore High School Orchestra program received second place for its solo and ensemble competition, Class A, performances.
The IHSA Solo/Ensemble Festival took place in March at Harvard High School. 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 performed. The scores from both of these festivals are tabulated by IHSA to determine sweepstakes winners.
“This is a great achievement for the program because it is one that every music student who participated can take some responsibility for,” department chair Scott Mertens said. “Many of our students have received significant individual honors through All-District and All-State selections, but this particular award would not be possible without the efforts of every music student. Through participation in solos, small ensembles and large ensembles, these students demonstrated accountability and excellence in a way that speaks well of their community and their school.”
The high school bands are led by Ken Goodman, the orchestras are led by Ken Tonaki, the choral groups are led by Drayton Eggleson and the music department is chaired by Scott Mertens.