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MHS music program listed among best in the nation

April 19, 2024 02:25 PM

Mundelein High School has earned its place among the “Best Communities for Music Education (BCME)” in the nation. This unique and prestigious award is given by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation.

The award, a signature program of NAMM, recognizes and celebrates schools and districts for their support and commitment to music education and efforts to assure access to music for all students as part of a well-rounded education.

Over the past 25 years, the national BCME award has honored more than 1,000 schools and districts in 43 states. Now MHS has been added to that list.

“We are thrilled to make this announcement and proud of all of those involved in our music department, from directors to students to the parents who support us,” said School District 120 Superintendent Kevin Myers. “We’re also grateful for the entire community which supports music education at our school.”

MHS Band Directors Andy Sturgeon and Jerry Shelato and Choral Director Cory Thompson are dedicated educators who develop student success year after year.

“Our music department continues to reach success wherever and whenever they perform and compete. We’re continually impressed by their accomplishments. We’re thrilled that we were selected for the BCME award. It shows our students that their hard work and talent is noticed across the nation,” said MHS Principal Alexandria Rios-Taylor.

Besides the BCME award, the MHS Music Department continues to reach success at competitions and performances. Among those accomplishments:

  • A dozen students represented MHS at the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) District 7 Jazz Festival. Four of these students were selected to the ILMEA All-State Festival.
  • Four choir students and nine band students represented MHS at the ILMEA Honor Band , Orchestra and Choir festival this year.
  • During the past five years, the Choir, Band, and Jazz Bands have sent 22 students to the All-State Festival in Peoria.
  • MHS show choirs, Sound and Reverb, garnered several Grand Championship Titles and Sound consistently finished in the top four show choirs at each competition.
  • The MHS show choir band Noise had top-two finishes at every festival this year and was recognized as "Best Band" twice.
  • The Mundelein Jazz Ensemble was selected as a featured performer at the ILMEA Conference this year.
  • The Mundelein Jazz Ensemble was recognized as Honor Band (1st place) at the Purdue Jazz Festival. The Jazz Combo was also recognized as Honor Combo in the small ensemble room. The two scores for MHS ensembles were the highest on the day.
  • The Jazz Ensemble was chosen to compete at the Purdue Jazz Festival. The Ensemble was recognized as Honor Band placing 1st in the Loeb Playhouse. The Mundelein Jazz Combo placed first in the combo room. MHS senior Chloe Langford was named Soloist of the Day award twice once with the Jazz Ensemble and once with the Jazz Combo.
  • In the spring of 2023, graduating MHS senior Will Gonzalez won the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards top honor, earning him an opportunity to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (the Jimmy Awards) on Broadway in New York City.
  • The Marching Mustangs finished 2nd in their class at the Grayslake Marching Knights Tournament. They also placed 12th overall at the state-level Illinois Marching Band Championships hosted at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
  • MHS’ All-abilities Choir, Notables, offers the opportunity for general education and special education students to explore music together in a collaborative and inclusive setting.
  • Student-led acapella group, Rush Hour, regularly performs at public and private events throughout the year.

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