After setting a new regional record in 2011, band students from John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights earned 28 spots in the Illinois Music Educators Association District VII bands. That's two more spots than last year.
All 12 Hersey students who auditioned for IMEA jazz bands made one of the bands, with two students named to the highest group, the Jazz Honors Combo, and two making Jazz 1. On the concert side, 16 of the 18 Hersey students who auditioned earned spots in the District VII wind and percussion sections. Last year, Hersey placed 9 students in the jazz bands and a record-setting 17 in the wind and percussion sections.
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More than 630 students from 65 schools in northeastern Illinois auditioned for 150 spots at Zion-Benton High School on Oct. 10. Hersey auditioned the maximum number of students allowed: 18 for concert band and 12 for jazz. Thirty-two students pre-auditioned with Hersey Band Director Scott Casagrande to determine who would go on to the competition.
"Students prepared this material on their own, outside of class, and their impressive results are a great reflection of their commitment to music," Casagrande said.
Students earning jazz band spots were: Eric Berg; Liam Burke; Grace Cusick, Brian Ellison, Jeremy Fuller, Kevin Kapinos (Honors Jazz Combo); Karl Linger (Honors Jazz Combo); Yuki Nojima (Jazz 1); Josh Popovici; Tommy Powers; Max Ulbert (Jazz 1); and Nathan Vardavarian.
Students named to the wind and percussion sections were: Mary Casagrande; Grace Cusick; Jeremy Fuller; Claire Hynes; Jake Imlach; Andy Jones; Justin Kamp; Kevin Kapinos; Paul Kim; Angela Kucharski; Sammi Lapid; Monika Mroz; Lisa Norling; Josh Popovici; Marie Spychala; and Serena Voltz.
The District VII wind and percussion students will perform in a concert on Nov. 10 at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook. The jazz students will perform on Nov. 17 at Lake Zurich High School.