In Northwest Suburban High School District 214, Elk Grove, Prospect and Rolling Meadows high school bands recently reported on successful fall seasons.
The Elk Grove High School Marching Grenadiers had their most successful season so far, according to band director Ron Fiorito.
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The band participated in five competitions. It earned the distinction of Grand Champion at the Grayslake Marching Knights Festival on Sept. 15, also earning Best Auxiliary, Best Percussion and Best Drum Major at that festival. At St. Rita, the band placed fifth and took home Best Auxiliary and Best Drum Majors.
On Oct. 12, the group traveled to the University of Illinois. In the Illini Marching Band Championships, the Marching Grenadiers had their best performance of the year, winning Best Percussion, Best Music and first place in Class 5A Competition, with a third-place finish overall.
The Prospect Marching Knights concluded their 2013 competition season at the Bands Of America Super Regional in St. Louis, where 64 bands from 13 states participated. In the preliminaries, Prospect received awards for outstanding Music Performance and Visual Performance while placing second in Class AAA.
In the finals, Prospect placed 6th in the field of 14 marching bands, receiving recognition for outstanding Visual Performance. It was the first time the band has won a caption award in finals of the regional competition in more than 10 years.
"I'm so incredibly proud of the way the band performed," said Band Director Chris Barnum. "We've had a great fall and wrapping up with this recognition at the Bands Of America Super Regional is a fitting end."
Trombonist Stephanie Benson said, "Many people felt these were our best performances of the year. We had good energy going into prelims. During the awards ceremony, we really enjoyed meeting and talking to other finalist band kids who work hard just as we do."
Prospect previously placed first at both the Lake Park Lancer Joust and the Red and Black Classic in DeKalb, and was second overall at the State of Illinois Marching Band Championship at Illinois State University. Prospect's 2013 show, "The Hero Within," featured the music of Beethoven, with selections from his Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Symphonies.
Meanwhile, the Rolling Meadows Marching Mustangs ended its competition season on a high note at the Renegade Music Festival on Oct. 20. In Class AA, the ensemble took 1st place, as well as Best Visual, Best Music, Best Percussion, Best Color Guard, and Best Drum Majors. In addition, the Marching Mustangs had the highest music scores of all 15 bands in the contest.
The half-time/competition show, "Picture This," was based on the music of Modest Mussorgsky's work, "Pictures at an Exhibition." There are many frame shapes and picture poses in the drill, as well as frame-like props and twirling items utilized by the color guard.