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U-46 Students to be Honored for Being Named All-State Musicians

Feb. 22, 2021

Twelve U-46 high school students will be recognized by the Board of Education Monday with an “Accent on Achievement” for their outstanding achievements as musicians, including a student whose original musical composition was honored at the state level. 

Students participated in the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) competitive audition process to be named All-State Musicians, the highest musical achievement for high schoolers in Illinois. 

“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,” said School District U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders. “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.”

Because of restrictions caused by COVID-19, the ILMEA’s audition process had to be revised and held virtually this school year.  Students created and submitted unaltered videos of their performance of the audition material, and professional adjudicators judged the video submissions for selection for each of the nine ILMEA district honors ensembles.  The top performers from across the state were then identified and selected for All-State participation. The selected All-State students will participate in masterclasses with world-class musicians from across the country on March 20, 2021.

Mark Berg, a junior at South Elgin High School, won third place for his original composition for a vocal ensemble.

U-46 Coordinator of Fine Arts Jaimie Giraldo noted that the ranking is “a very big honor,” explaining that the state festival typically includes a concert featuring the winning student compositions and recognizing the student composers. The state festival is being held virtually this year, and tentatively scheduled for late March.

For the last two years, U-46 has been one of only about a dozen school districts in Illinois to earn the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation

The Board of Education will recognize the following students with “Accent on Achievement” certificates at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22 in room 140 at the Educational Services Center.  Members of the public can attend in person or watch via this Zoom link. The meeting will also be live streamed on the District's YouTube Channel.

Bartlett High School

  • Aria King, sophomore, Future Music Educators Symposium 
  • Gauri Yadav, senior, All-State Honors Chorus - Alto II
  • Ziona Tharakan, senior, All-State Chorus - Alto I 

Larkin High School

  • Jackson Baker, junior, All-State Jazz Band - Trumpet 
  • Ben Dobbeck, senior, All-State Jazz Band - Trombone 
  • Ariana Mattos, junior, All-State Orchestra - Violin
  • Miguel Rodriguez, senior, All-State Band - Flute 
  • Kyle Saengdara, senior, All-State Orchestra - Harp

South Elgin High School

  • Mark Berg, senior, 3rd Place Composition, Vocal Ensemble
  • Sandro Calero, senior, All-State Chorus - Tenor II 
  • Caden Grogan, senior, All-State Band -  Tenor Saxophone 
  • Jacob Pangilinan, junior, All-State Chorus - Bass I