Two EPHS students selected for prestigious music performance
Two Elmwood Park High School students have been selected to perform at District 1 Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) festivals in November. Roy Zuniga was selected to be a part of the senior chorus performance while Ethan Kendrick will be playing with the senior band.
Illinois is divided into nine districts for participation in ILMEA programs, making this honor quite similar to being “all-region” in a sport.
“I just wasn’t expecting to get in,” said Kendrick.
Ethan Kendrick (back row, middle) performs during a band concert
“It’s kind of relieving to know that I’m able to do it and then make it into the actual choir itself,” said Zuniga.
Both students had to go through an audition process that required them to record themselves performing multiple songs. The music was sent out in early September, and applicants had approximately one month to submit their performances.
“In my opinion, the songs selected this year were tougher than years past,” said EPHS Choir Director Grant McEachern on the songs Zuniga was given. “The meters and ranges of the songs were extreme so the fact that Roy succeeded is impressive.”
“The music is designed to be difficult, it’s not designed for every high school student to be able to play it,” said EPHS Band Director Kyle Rhoades.
Kendrick said there was one small section he spent about two hours on before he could finally master the music.
Rhoades said he initially had about 10 band students express interest in the opportunity, but in the end, Kendrick was the only one to apply. He went on to say Kendrick asked for little to no help during the process.
This is the second time Zuniga has been selected to perform at an ILMEA festival as he participated last year as well, so he knows what to expect this time around.
Roy Zuniga performs during a choir concert
“I got the songs yesterday, so it’ll be interesting because a lot of that is going to take independent practicing and trying to figure out what things are supposed to sound like,” Zuniga said.
Both students will perform on Nov. 18 at Elmhurst University. Leading up to the performances, Zuniga and Kendrick will be able to practice the music and on the day of the festivals, they will convene with the other students who were also selected. They will spend the early part of the day practicing and will perform later that evening.
“I’m nervous, I’m scared, but I’m also a little excited,” Kendrick said.
The senior chorus performance will be at 4:00 p.m. and the senior band performance will be at 6:00 p.m. Read more about the festivals here.