'Day of Music' aims to unite Libertyville in song Friday

The idea sprouted as a way to engage idled student musicians, but now everyone in the Libertyville area is invited Friday to fill the air with music.

At 5 p.m., driveways, porches and front lawns will become makeshift stages for those of any talent level to participate in a brief but meaningful performance.

“America the Beautiful” is the selection that for about three minutes will unite the community through music and show support for essential workers.

“If you make any kind of music, come out Friday,” said Adam Gohr, director of bands at Libertyville High School. “We thought ‘America the Beautiful' would be a great piece.”

Gohr, who said those without instruments are welcome to sing, wrote arrangements for a range of wind and other instruments available at

Parts for guitar and recorder also are in the works, said Dustin Helvie, fine arts supervisor at Libertyville High School.

“We're trying to make the arrangement accessible for anyone who wants to participate,” Helvie said.

Participants are urged to submit videos of their performance to Vocals will be collected separately and dubbed over a video montage to created. The finished product will be part of Libertyville's virtual Memorial Day ceremony.

“It's just kind of a way to bring the community together through music,” said Carla Bollinger, band director at Highland Middle School in Libertyville Elementary District 70.

Middle and high school bands normally would be performing this time of year, but the coronavirus has iced that, too.

The community idea arose during a discussion between Bollinger and Carol Janossy, orchestra director at Highland, who had heard of a similar event in Evanston.

“We thought it would be really cool if we all went out and played the same thing at the same time,” Bollinger said.

She pitched the idea during the high school music staff's year-end review meeting, and with that, the Libertyville Day of Music evolved from a conversation to an event.

“We kind of cooked up the idea, and the high school ran with it,” Bollinger said.

Music for the pending performance also was shared with teachers and students in elementary districts Oak Grove 68 and Rondout 72.

There are many families in the Libertyville area with multiple musicians, Bollinger said, but talent or experience isn't essential.

“Our young kids, we gave them the words so they can sing if they want to,” she said.

Those who miss the designated time are not out of luck.

“They can play it again. We're hoping to get a lot of interest,” Helvie said.

Libertyville siblings Margaret, Thomas and Julia McGormley plan to participate Friday in the Libertyville Day of Music. Courtesy of Karen McGormley
An example of the music written for various instruments as part of the Libertyville Day of Music planned for 5 p.m. Friday. Courtesy of Dustin Helvie
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