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Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • IVC Jazz Ensemble, Chorale offered unique opportunity, will offer preview Wednesday

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  • The Illinois Valley Central High School musicians have been afforded the unique honor to perform at the Illinois Music Educators Association convention Friday at the Peoria Civic Center. The IVC Jazz Ensemble and Chorale will preview the program for the local public in a concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 in the IVC High School auditorium. The concert at IVCHS is free and open to the public.
    The state convention draws thousands of music educators from elementary to professional levels. Students audition to perform in All-State vocal and instrumental groups to perform at the event. Last year, IVC High School had more students included in the All-State Jazz performances than any other school in the state.
    With that history, IVC High School choral music director Angie Dorough and director of bands Matt Chapman collaborated to audition both the jazz ensemble and chorale to perform together at the convention.
    Dorough described the rigorous four-month long process the music teachers went through to be selected to perform. She said written histories of the school's vocal and band programs were presented, as well as, biographies of the groups, music recordings of both groups and biographies of each music teacher.
    The work was worth the effort when Dorough and Chapman learned that not only were they selected to perform, but that they were the only downstate jazz groups and the only groups selected to perform together.
    "There are so many talented ensembles at the conference and it is humbling to know we are in the mix, especially since we are a comparatively small school. We continue to push the musical envelope here at IVC and keep up with all the (Chicago) suburb schools," said Chapman.
    Both instrumental and vocal students have performed above and beyond the call to prepare for the IMEA convention according to their directors. "I am extremely proud of our students. They have all committed to this project," said Chapman.
    Dorough said the chorale has prepared for the performance on the heels of multiple performances over the holidays including the Madrigal Dinner. Students have worked before and after school, during breaks and days off to perfect their performance.
    Chapman said former IVC director of bands Dan Dietrich will be a guest conductor on one of the jazz numbers. To prepare for the performance, he has also called on the talents of Mossville School Band director Tim Higus, former Mossville band director Toby Thomas, former Mossville band director and IVC drum line instructor John Larson. In fact, Larson's son
    Adam composed "Full Circle," a number the jazz ensemble will perform in the concert. Adam Larson, a student of the Manhattan School of Music, will solo in the number. Dr. Todd Kelly, Bradley University professor of jazz studies and trumpet performance, will also perform in the concert.
    Page 2 of 2 - In addition to the jazz ensemble and chorale's performance, four IVCHS students were selected to participate in the All-State IMEA convention performances. Chapman said he is very proud of the four students, all of who have come up through the IVC District grade school music programs. At that time, Chapman directed the band Mossville School and, as she currently does, Kim Tegg directs the bands at Chillicothe Elementary Center and Junior High.
    "These students have spent hours a day perfecting their talents, traveling to private lessons, purchasing quality instruments and simply have a desire and motivation to excel. They are amazing students and they will be successful as well as outstanding citizens in our community," said Chapman.
    Senior Michael German was selected to perform clarinet in the All-State Concert Band.
    For the second year, IVCHS students Josh Rose on trumpet and Keaton Judy on saxophone, have been selected to perform in the All-State Jazz Band. Both will audition during the convention to determine in which of the three jazz bands they will perform.
    Senior Kaitlyn Farris auditioned and was selected to perform in the All-State Honors Jazz Ensemble. She is one of only nine students in the state to earn a place in that Honors Ensemble. This is Farris' second year to be selected.
    Sophomore Alicia Fisk will participate in the Future Music Educator's Symposium at the IMEA State Convention.
    Dorough said she, and all of the students who will perform at the IMEA Convention, are getting a unique and valuable experience. "The more musical experiences the better musicians they become," she explained.
    That notion is in Chapman's thoughts as well.
    "For 20 years, I have seen my friends and colleagues perform with their groups and take on this risky and challenging commitment. I have often dreamed about performing at this convention and now it has come to fruition. These kids made my dreams become a reality."

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