The Hinsdale Central Wind Ensemble and Chamber Choir have been selected to perform at a conference hosted by the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA) in January of next year.
Jennifer Burkemper, Chamber Choir cirector, is excited about the selection. “This will be the first time Hinsdale Central Choir has been accepted to perform at such a significant event and we are excited and honored. This is considered by many to be the equivalent to sports teams ‘making state,’” Burkemper said.
High school musical ensembles are accepted to play at IMEA on a basis of two musical recordings, which were submitted in March. The Wind Ensemble sent in recordings of “Blue Shades” by Frank Tichelli and “October” by Eric Whitaker, and the Chamber Choir submitted recordings of “I Am in Need of Music” by David L. Brunner and “Saints Bound for Heaven” by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw. Only two to five music ensembles of each type (band, orchestra, choir, and jazz) are accepted each year out of the entire state of Illinois.
To prepare for this experience, both ensembles have been working diligently. “Chamber Choir has been rehearsing the eight pieces on their IMEA performance program since mid-August. Outside of daily class rehearsals, we have had Sunday evening rehearsals and will be bringing in three different choral educators to work with the group. They will be singing a variety of styles and languages including Latin, French, and Russian,” Burkemper said.
In addition to the teachers, Amy Folliard, a senior and a member of the Chamber Choir, is also excited for IMEA. “I’m still in shock, really. It’s a big honor to be chosen as an entire choir because usually only a couple singers go each year,” Folliard said, “I really like the musical pieces we’re preparing, too. One of my favorites is a song called ‘The Boy Who Picked Up His Feet to Fly.”
The Wind Ensemble is also preparing five musical pieces to perform at the IMEA festival. Lydia Zoells, a senior, plays the French horn in the Wind Ensemble. “I’m very happy to be able to go to IMEA as part of an ensemble. I hope to make IMEA as an individual this year as well,” Zoells said.
Mrs. Burkemper sees this qualification for IMEA as an opportunity for the Central community to learn about the music program. “I hope that Hinsdale Central will continue to support music in their school and celebrate this wonderful opportunity with us! The music department is very proud,” Burkemper said.