Dist. 300 ensemble books parade gig

The Dundee Middle School Street Ensemble in which kids learn music by beating garbage cans, paint buckets, metal chairs, pots and pans and the like, has booked a parade gig at Sleepy Hollow's Fourth of July Celebration.

The parade steps off at 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 4.

What's special about the ensemble is it's open to any student, regardless of musical ability or knowledge, according to an email from Matthew Bishop, the ensemble's director and the school's music teacher. In it, students learn the basic techniques of percussion and apply it to movement and basic choreography.

The group started with 70 students the previous school year, a number expected that's to double once school starts in August.

The ensemble is so popular that in addition to the parade, it was also asked to play at Santa's Village and Six Flags Great America, Bishop said.

If you'd like to learn more about the ensemble, visit

To see the group in action, you can either attend one of its gigs or visit this YouTube link from their performance at DMS's Pack-the-Gym event.

Learn more about police work: The Carpentersville Police Department will hold a free Citizen Police Academy starting late September that gives residents a chance to see how police officers do their jobs.

Classes run from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 18 through Nov. 21 at the police department, 1200 L.W. Besinger Drive. It gives residents insight into police operations, practices and objectives. Residents will also learn about the criminal justice system and how to prevent crime.

The academy is open to residents who are 21 years old or older. For more information or to register, send Officer Joe Pilarski an email at or call (224) 293-1700. The deadline to apply is Aug. 15.

Signing off: It is with mixed emotions that I announce my departure from the Daily Herald. My last day was July 1.

I left to attend graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C., where I will earn a master's degree in journalism and public affairs, with a focus on investigative journalism. I was awarded a fellowship though Bloomberg BNA, where I will work as a part-time reporter. My beat hasn't been defined, but part of it will involve reporting on Capitol Hill. My program starts July 22.

I would like to thank all of you for letting me into your lives, trusting me to tell your stories, welcoming me to the community and supporting the Daily Herald. And a special shout out to all of my sources.

I moved to Elgin 10 years ago to write for the paper and you treated me like one of your own. I am very sad to leave my adopted hometown where I was part of the vibrant tennis community.

I invite all of you to stay in touch by dropping me a line at Thank you again for all of your support. I'll be monitoring my former beats from afar.

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