While preparing for SuperState, MCHS band program enjoys recent success
As McHenry High School band students prepare to perform in next month’s statewide band festival, Band Director Spencer Hile is hoping student musicians are enjoying this streak of success.
The invitation for the high school’s Symphonic Band to perform at the May 3-4 SuperState Concert Band Festival, sponsored by the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, is just one of many accolades for the program during the past year. In addition to Symphonic Band, the program includes Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble and Pep Band.
“I say it all the time -- being good is fun,” said Hile, who is now in his third year in McHenry. “This program is only going to get better.”
Here are just some of the recent accomplishments:
- Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival: Symphonic Band invited
- Mundelein Jazz Invitational: 3rd place for Jazz Ensemble
- Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival: Superior rating for Symphonic Band
- Jazz in the Meadows: 2nd place for Jazz Band
- Northern Illinois Marching Band Festival: 2nd place - Highest placement in school history.
- Chicagoland Marching Band Festival: 1st place - First time in school history.
- McHenry County Honor Band: Thirteen McHenry students selected
- Midwest Honor Band sponsored by Elmhurst College: Nine McHenry students selected
- Illinois Music Education Association District 7 Honor Band: Eight McHenry students selected
- Illinois Music Education Association All-State Honors Band: One McHenry student selected
Hile said student musicians continually show a commitment to performing at a high level. In addition to putting in extra time to practice, more students are taking private music lessons -- 55 students compared to 7 or 8 a few years ago.
When Hile started in McHenry, there were about 85 students in the band program but that has grown to 115 expected in the fall.
“The numbers are a small part of it. The biggest improvement is the quality of what we do,” Hile said. “There are some really special things happening here at MCHS. The students’ commitment to making music at a high level is inspiring.”
Tracy Tobin, whose two children play in the high school program, said the improvement is definitely noticeable.
“It has just been phenomenal to see all they are accomplishing,” she said. “The kids are excited and very proud of themselves.”
Learn more about the McHenry High School band program and its accomplishments by visiting the website: www.mchenrybands.com.