As weather cools down, Kaneland Music and Theatre departments stay hot
by Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters
While the local fall sports season is coming to an end, Kaneland’s Music and Theatre departments are still going strong. Countless rehearsals, auditions and competitions have filled the calendars of parents who often ask, “How can we do all of this?” Yet, those are the same parents who are beaming from ear to ear when they see their students perform and sad when it’s over.
There is nothing quite like the sound of the Kaneland Marching Knights to put a smile on your face on a crisp fall evening. This season, our band students have spent hours on Monday and Thursday evenings perfecting this year’s field show for competition and exhibition. The Marching Knights have performed at home football games, at the Rochelle Hub Exhibition, the Illini Marching Band Championships, and the Sandwich Musicfest. The KHS Marching Knights took home three awards in Sandwich: first place for music; first place for drum majors; and second place for Class 3A. Learning basic marching skills begins at the middle school level. Harter seventh- and eighth-grade band members took to the field in September at a middle school football game to perform, and joined their high school counterparts on the field at a high school game.
While the band students have been perfecting the skills of marching, KHS choir students have been equally as busy. For several weeks, students auditioning for IMEA attended twice-weekly rehearsals in preparation for the audition.
A bus filled with KHS students traveled to Addison Trail High School in early October for the District IX Illinois Music Educators Association auditions. District IX includes nearly 60 schools and is one of the most competitive in the state. As a result, 10 Kaneland high school students were selected to perform at the District IX music festival in November for choir, band or jazz band, and one student was selected to perform at both band and choir.
Our middle school students should not go unnoticed. Auditions were held on a Saturday morning in early October for the ILMEA junior division; and five Harter Middle School students were selected to represent Kaneland.
This year’s 36th annual Madrigal dinner, abundant with culture and gallantry, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 13; Saturday, Dec., 14; and Sunday, Dec.15. An event this grand takes months of preparation and planning with students attending a two-day retreat in Oregon, Ill., in early November. Tickets for the dinner will be available for purchase in November.
Forty students were selected to join Harter Middle School’s choral ensemble, Mid-Knight Special, this year. From standard choral repertoire, to show tunes, and classics, these students rehearse weekly in order to perform at various events throughout the year.
Our theatre students, many of whom are in band, choir or both, have been rehearsing daily for months for their upcoming fall play. KHS will present “Almost, Maine,” a sequence of short vignettes that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine. The dates are Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be ordered online at www.kaneland.org.
What is sure to be a hit is this year’s Harter Middle School fall play, “Crumpled Classics.” The audience will discover a new and humorous way of looking at classic tales. The dates are Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.
What we can’t fail to mention is the amount of support and assistance that comes from parents. Each of the aforementioned events requires hours of rehearsals and planning, and a myriad of volunteers. The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters is fortunate to have the support of the parents, while Kaneland students are fortunate to have some of the finest music and theatre directors in the area.
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