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posted: 2/27/2018 9:07 AM

Fine Arts Week showcases York students' performing arts talent

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Elmhurst Unit District 205 submission

When senior Jenin Teleron looks back on her days at York High School, this is a week that'll stand out in her memory and remind her of what made York feel like home.

This is Fine Arts Week at the Elmhurst high school, a week that showcases the performing arts and the talents of York's students while allowing them to learn from professionals.

But for Teleron, it's an event that's helped her connect to her school, that's helped her find her tribe.

"Fine Arts Week has given me a place where I feel like I belong," said Teleron, who serves on the Fine Arts Week planning committee. "Throughout my four years at York, I've participated in countless activities. My peers all seemed to have one thing that they were willing to devote all their lives to, and it confused me as to why I didn't feel that way about anything.

"Fine Arts Week Committee started giving me a voice and a purpose. It created a community where I was surrounded by determined and inspired individuals. It provided me with memories that I know will last a lifetime. I'm forever grateful for Fine Arts Week and the place it has given me and many other students at this school."

For more than 30 years, Fine Arts Week has recognized the talents of York's student musicians, dancers, actors, visual artists, singers, orators, poets and unique performance artists.

In addition, several nationally and locally recognized artists and groups representing a variety of artistic endeavors host workshops that provide information and inspiration to the students.

Performances and presentations are scheduled during each class period throughout the week. Teachers are invited to bring their classes to the auditorium, as well as other specified locations, to enjoy the diverse talents of the student body, faculty, and outside performers and speakers.

Chicago experimental jazz band The Unknown New performs during periods seven and eight Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the auditorium.

This year's Fine Arts Week community fundraising event will be 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Brew Point Workshop, 617 N. York Road, Elmhurst. Modern Vices will headline, performing a live set with the Disciples of Rage and Sleeveless Jacket -- both rock bands consisting of all York students. Admission is a suggested donation of $5, with the contribution going toward funding Fine Arts Week 2019.

York is presenting Chicago indie rock band Varsity as one of Fine Arts Week's featured artists. Varsity will perform during periods six and seven Thursday, March 1, in the auditorium. Band members also will visit with York student musicians for a question-and-answer discussion during eighth period.

York's student Talent Show will be presented in four separate 50-minute segments, culminating with a public Fine Arts Week Showcase. The event begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in the Merle E. Baker Auditorium at York, 355 St. Charles Road, Elmhurst. Tickets are $10, but admission is free for all District 205 students with a current student ID from York High School or any of the three middle schools.

All revenue from the ticket sales will provide funding for the following year's Fine Arts Week. Additional funds are raised through community concerts, fundraisers and grants.

Hours of planning and coordination make the week run smoothly, organizers said. Faculty coordinator Chris Gemkow and the student committee have been working since early September to recruit outside talent, design original artwork for posters and T-shirts, and schedule the logistics for a week of presentations and entertainment.

"Fine Arts Week gives York's students a chance to express their creativity and artistic abilities in ways rarely offered in most classrooms," Gemkow said.

"One of the best things about Fine Arts Week is that the events are largely planned, promoted, performed and directed by the students. The entire student body benefits from the student and professional performances scheduled throughout the week."

For information about York's Fine Arts Week, visit

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