BHS students perform in state festival
Ben Karon, 17, is one of the Barrington High School students who performed last weekend at the Illinois Music Educators Association festival at Lake Zurich High School. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 22, 2012 8:44AM
BARRINGTON — Twenty-three Barrington High School musicians performed at the District 7 Illinois Music Educators Association senior festivals this month.
More than 50 high schools in the IMEA’s northwest suburban District 7 sent students to audition for the selective chorus, band, orchestra and jazz band festivals in early October. Collectively, more than 25,000 teachers and students from the IMEA’s nine districts ultimately took part in their respective events this month.
IMEA is a nonprofit professional association that has represented every level of music education in every discipline for more than 70 years. Every year, a number of student musicians from the nine geographic IMEA districts audition to take part in their region’s festivals and the all-state conference in Peoria.
The four Barrington students selected for the Nov. 17 jazz festival at Lake Zurich High School said they were notified about their acceptance the day after they auditioned on Oct. 10.
“All of the judges are professional players — like Mark Colby, who is a famous sax player in the Chicago area — so they know right away if you’re good or not,” said Ben Karon, a senior and vibes player in BHS’s jazz ensemble.
Karon, along with fellow jazz ensemble seniors Nate Gardner, Nick Kosarek and Konrad Neptun, also played at Saturday’s jazz festival; Karon played vibes, Gardner played alto sax, Kosarek played piano and Neptun played electric bass.
No matter what their musical talent, all student musicians were put through a rigorous audition process prior to their selection.
Karon said that he and his peers auditioned in multiple rooms throughout Zion Benton High School in front of a panel of judges for two or three minutes each.
Although the was panel was not facing the students as they auditioned, Kosarek said that the process was still daunting.
“For me it was like a whole month of practicing for those five minutes,” he said.
Barrington also had 12 choir, five orchestra and two band students perform at Glenbrook North on Nov. 10.
Those singing in choir included: Brittany Albrecht; Joshua Altshuler; Benjamin Bruce; Shannon Corey; Timothy Foscz; Harry Fox; Else George; Alex Guhde; Jessica Holtzknecht; Quinn Kelch; Michael Waldron; and Grant Walsh.
Orchestra students were: Jihoon Kim; Madelyn Stearney; Adam Velleuer; Natalie Watkins; and JJ Xu.
Joshua So and Lindsey Watkins were selected for the band.
Bass 1 choir student Fox said that although he and his peers spent the entire day practicing with students selected from the other high schools in the district, he was still taken aback by the result of their efforts.
“I was amazed at just how much talent they could fit into one room — and that’s all just high school students,” Fox said. “It was an amazing experience just to be around so many different people who had such high levels of musicianship.”