Four EPHS Musicians Named Among Best in Chicago-Area High Schools

Four EPHS students are recognized by the Illinois Music Education Association.

Congratulations to our latest Illinois Music Education Association honorees! From left are Matt Hernandez, Nicole Domagala, Jackie Vargas and Ed Kerner. They will perform Nov. 17 in ILMEA's District 1 Senior Festival in Oak Park. Scroll down for a larger version of this image. (District 401 photo by Dave Porreca)


Four Elmwood Park High School students have been selected for District 1 music honors by the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA).

District 1 covers most of Cook and Will counties, all of Grundy County and portions of DuPage and Kendall counties.

So receiving ILMEA District 1 honors means being recognized as among the best high school musicians in the Chicago area.

The honorees from EPHS are:

► Nicole Domagala (junior)
► Matt Hernandez (junior)
► Ed Kerner (senior)
► Jackie Vargas (junior)

Mr. Kerner was named to the ILMEA District 1 Concert Band on trumpet. As an instrumentalist, he is a student of EPHS Band Director Mr. Kyle Rhoades.

Miss Domagala, Mr. Hernandez and Miss Vargas were named to the ILMEA District 1 Chorus. As vocalists, they are students of EPHS Choir Director Mr. Michael Popplewell.  

The students will perform with their respective ensembles in District 1's Senior Concert Festival on Nov. 17 at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park. The concert will begin at 4 p.m. following a full day of rehearsals. Entry is $5 at the door.


IMEA District 1 honorees

PHOTO: From left are ILMEA District 1 Chorus selectees Matt Hernandez, Nicole Domagala and Jackie Vargas, and District 1 Concert Band selectee Ed Kerner. The four EPHS musicians will perform Nov. 17, in ILMEA's District 1 Senior Concert Festival at Oak Park and River Forest High School. District 401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image for larger view).


The honorees earned their ILMEA recognition by finishing among the top scorers at the District 1 auditions held Oct. 2 at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park.

In all, more than 2,000 Chicago-area students auditioned that day for District 1 honors. 

Students auditioning for band on wind instruments were evaluated on tone quality (10 points possible), intonation (10), technical facility (10), rhythmic accuracy (10), general musicianship (10), scale studies (10) and sight reading (10) for a maximum possible score of 70 points.

Students auditioning for chorus were evaluated on prepared selections (40 points possible), sight reading (16), tonal skills (16) and tone quality (28) for a maximum possible score of 100 points.

“The preparation for this audition occurred partly in class with me,” Mr. Popplewell said of his vocal music students, “but a lot of the time needed to make for a strong audition was spent practicing on their own. They really took the time to prepare for this rigorous audition.”

The audition scores will also determine ILMEA All-State recognition

All-State musicians will be announced in late November or early December. Students may be chosen for All-State Band, Chorus or Orchestra, or for Honors Band, Chorus or Orchestra. 

In the meantime, congratulations to Mr. Popplewell, Mr. Rhoades and our school’s 2018-19 ILMEA District 1 musicians!


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