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Twelve U-46 musicians receive all-state honors

By Seth Hancock
  There were 12 high school musicians in School District U-46 who earned all-state honors this year.
  Competing in the annual Illinois Music Education Association’s audition process, students were selected as all-state for band, choir and orchestra. Those students participated in a masterclass last month as well as performed in a virtual concert.
  “These students are all-star musicians and their participation in this prestigious event reflects their dedication and skills as well as the support of their families and U-46 music educators,” Superintendent Tony Sanders said in a district press release. “Parents, teachers and these students have showcased their resilience and innovation as they pivoted to producing and supporting virtual performances and employing new technology in the process.”
  Included was Mark Berg, a South Elgin senior, who won third place for his original composition for vocal ensemble. Also from South Elgin were seniors Sandro Calero (choir/tenor II) and Caden Grogan (band/tenor saxophone) as well as junior Jacob Pangilinan (choir/bass I).
  From Bartlett were seniors Gauri Yadav (honors choir, alto II) and Ziona Tharakan (choir/alto I) as well as sophomore Aria King (future music educators symposium). From Larkin in Elgin were seniors Ben Dobbeck (jazz band/trombone), Miguel Rodriguez (band/flute) and Kyle Saengdara (orchestra/harp) along with juniors Jackson Baker (jazz band/trumpet) and Ariana Mattos (orchestra/violin).
  Bartlett choir teacher Alexa Mount described the audition process this year at a February Board of Education meeting when the students were recognized.
  Mount said “the students normally have to audition in person,” but in light of COVID-19 regulations “this year, they had to change that and do an online video. They were given the same basic instructions of what to put in their video, and it had to go on YouTube.”
  “It was a little bit more scary for them I think in a way because they had to see themselves doing it and then decide which videos were the best,” Mount added.

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