Uncategorized

15 posts

October 2020 Newsletter

Welcome back to in person learning for many of our students. I know that many of us had developed routines that are now altered, but I can honestly say that it has been great to begin making music in person again. I think there is a marked difference in how students are preparing now that we can perform together. I think that we can all use this experience to become better musicians.

As always, one of the primary concerns for our time together is that students are healthy and safe. With that in mind the district has developed some guidelines for rehearsals and performances:

Dear Lake Zurich Families:

In order to make band, choir, and orchestra as meaningful as possible, District 95 will be working in accordance with the Illinois Interim COVID-19 Music Guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Lake Zurich High School, Middle School North, and Middle School South will be following the protocols outlined below:

Face Coverings

Persons playing instruments in orchestra, band, or general music settings, singing in choir or other lessons, dancing, participating in color guard, or teaching will wear a washable or disposable, multi-layered face covering or mask. Students who play wind instruments can use face coverings with a slit. Face coverings should only be removed while outdoors when social distance is maintained.

Social Distancing

A minimum distance between singers and/or instrumentalists of 6 feet side-to-side will be maintained. For larger instruments that have an increased likelihood to create a higher quantity and size of liquid droplets and aerosols (e.g., trombones), a minimum distance of 9 feet front-to-back is recommended.

Hand Hygiene

Emphasis will be placed on hygiene and frequent hand washing. Alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol will be available. Soap and water will also be available for cleaning hands.  At a minimum, sanitation and hygiene will be performed before and after contact with surfaces and equipment.

Shared Instruments or Other Shared Objects

All programming will avoid sharing instruments, sheet music, music stands, and other commonly shared equipment. If students should have their own set of equipment (e.g., flags, mallets, and drumsticks) they will be provided the materials to clean and disinfect them. If instruments or equipment must be shared (e.g., keyboard instruments and drums), they will be cleaned and disinfected between students. Music reeds and mouthpieces will not be shared. Multiple receptacles will be placed in rooms so students can empty and clean reeds safely.

Instrument Covers

Instruments will be fitted with bell covers consisting of a minimum of two layers of dense fabric. Bell covers will be made of a non-stretchy material with a MERV-13 rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) to protect against bacteria and virus particles.  District 95 has purchased bell covers for students and will provide them upon receipt.

What does that mean for orchestra? Luckily for us playing a string instrument does not involve spreading extra aerosols like singing or playing a wind instrument. In orchestra we will follow all the above guidelines. I wanted to highlight some orchestra specific practices that we are instituting:

  1. No students will share an instrument. There are enough celli and basses that all students who are in person will have their own instrument. All the instruments have rehaired bows and have been fixed so that they are in good playing conditions.
  2. As of right now we will have concert recordings without audiences. These recordings will be open to all students, however students who have selected to participate in e-learning will be offered other performance opportunities. I will provide specific information as the opportunities arise. See specific news information below for the Symphony Orchestra rehearsal next week.

Above all we are working to normalize the orchestra experience including setting up microphones so that students at home can sit in and play along with their peers as we rehearse.

If you have any questions regarding our practices, or about anything else please feel free to reach out.

As always that you for your support of orchestra at LZHS,

Nathan Sackschewsky

LZHS Orchestra Director

News:

  1. Symphony Performance Recording Session: Symphony will have a recording session on Wednesday 10/21 from 3:30-4:30 in the PAC. I will send out a specific email about dress and arrival instructions on Thursday, 10/15. If you have not already done so, please fill out the intent to participate form.
  2. ILMEA audition videos are due on by 8:00 on 10/14. Please email your YouTube link to Mr. S
  3. Sinfonietta audition information has been posted in Canvas announcements. Students will audition by video submission this year. Calendar dates and audition information can be found on the registration form
  4. The annual concerto competition will take place on Monday, November 30th. Students will audition live over zoom. For more information please visit the concerto competition page. Interested students should submit the registration form.

September 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year. I hope that all of you had a restful summer. Personally, I was able to spend a lot of time with my family- Nora is getting so big. I was told that now that she is two and a half I can’t call her baby Nora any more. We spent quite a bit of time working on the house and exploring bike trails and parks close to home this year, although we had an extend trip for some hiking in Colorado.

Hiking in Mesa Verde

School is already two weeks in and I hope that the patterns are starting to fall into place. I tell the students all the time, but I love the energy of getting us all together in a space to play and discuss music. Even though we are not starting the year in one space we are already preparing pieces for our first concert- virtual or staged it will be great!

Every month I will post a newsletter with information on events, extra ways to participate, and general information for the next month. Outside of the newsletter I might have some extra information that I email out. I promise that when I email it will be important, so please read!

I look forward to seeing all of you at parent night coming in a couple of weeks, but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me and I will see what I can do to help.

Nathan Sackschewsky

LZHS Orchestra Director

See below for important beginning of the year information:

  1. Bear Strings starts next week on Thursday from 3:20-4:30. Bear strings is open to all orchestra students and is a non-auditioned ensemble that focuses on pop, and other nontraditional styles of music. More information and the official zoom link to come.
  2. Parents of freshman boys, and boys who grew: Don’t forget to get your men’s tux shirt. This year it is up to students to purchase their own tux shirts in time for the October concert. A possible option is this shirt from Hobby Lobby. I know that we don’t need this right now, but hopefully soon, so plan ahead if you like.
  3. ILMEA Signup is currently going on. Please fill out the form to register. There will also be a $10 fee for the audition. I am not sure how that will be collected. Register and I will get back to you.  Sign-up is due by Friday, September 13. All ILMEA participants must participate in at least one help session or you will not be allowed to participate. You should email/talk with Mr. S about working during our Friday asynchronous time.

You can find the specific information about content and how the audition will work here:

  1. I would encourage you to add the orchestra calendar to your personal calendar. The calendar is all over the orchestra blog, and it will always be the most up to date. This year things are somewhat fluid, so some dates might change, but as of right now that is the information that we have.
  2. Orchestra Board Nominations are due by Tuesday next week. Students have registration information in their Canvas pages.

January/February 2020 Newsletter

I hope that everybody’s second semester is starting well. We have a number of important pieces of information in the newsletter this week, so please read all the way through.

Next week we are heading to ILMEA with five orchestra students to perform in state ensembles. ILMEA is a state organization that sponsors honors ensembles, but also provides for great learning opportunities for teachers as well. While students are rehearsing teachers attend meetings, performances, and learning sessions. This year I organized and will be leading a music reading session through the Illinois American String Teacher Association. The conference is a great opportunity to come up with new ideas, new music, and get some inspiration for the year.

Next week we are heading to ILMEA with five orchestra students to perform in state ensembles. ILMEA is a state organization that sponsors honors ensembles, but also provides for great learning opportunities for teachers as well. While students are rehearsing teachers attend meetings, performances, and learning sessions. This year I organized and will be leading a music reading session through the Illinois American String Teacher Association. The conference is a great opportunity to come up with new ideas, new music, and get some inspiration for the year.

Since winter break we have also had a great opportunity to have two rehearsals with Ms. Krista Halvorson. She worked with all of the orchestra in two separate rehearsals. It was a unique opportunity to have a new perspective on our music for the March concert. Thank you to HOPE for sponsoring her visit.

Solo and ensemble:

Solo and Ensemble Sign-up: Solo and Ensemble will be on Tuesday March 18  at LZHS. Students will take part in master class sessions. Family and friends are welcome to come and watch! All solos must have a piano accompaniment unless an unaccompanied piece. The fees are: $10 for solos and $15 per ensembles. Please make checks out to Lake Zurich High School and turn the money into Mrs. McLeod in the bookkeeper’s office.  Students may register for S&E here:

All Symphony Orchestra students will be required to perform with their chamber ensemble on Solo and Ensemble Night. Symphony Students will not be charged for that event.

Students are eligible to receive a best in room and be asked to perform on the March 31 honors concert here at LZHS.

CSO Field Trip

Orchestra students will have the opportunity to see the CSO on Friday February 21 to see Ricardo Muti conduct Beethoven Symphony 5. We will leave at 4:00 and return around 11PM. The cost of the trip is $55, which includes bus and CSO ticket. We will also stop at Portillio’s for dinner. We are also looking for 2 chaperones. Chaperones will receive a free ticket. There are a limited number of tickets, so get your form and money in right away! You can download your form here.

2020 Auditions:

Concert orchestra students will have the opportunity to audition for the 2020-2021 symphony orchestras. We will hold auditions during class March 11-13. Symphony students do not need to audition. You can review the audition materials here.

December Newsletter

December Newsletter:

I hope that all of you are planning fantastic Thanksgiving activities with your family and friends. This year Mrs., Nora, and I are going to spend the long weekend with family including an annual trip to Wisconsin to cut down a Christmas tree and have an outdoor picnic. As we take time to think about traditions I encourage you to add attending our two orchestra concerts to your calendar. The winter orchestra concert is on 12/11 starting at 7:00. If you know if any alumni who would like to come back and perform with us, please have them email Mr. S and I will email them the music. We will meet on the PAC stage for a rehearsal at 6:20.

We will also have the Bear Strings performance on 12/18 with Bare Voices and Blue Notes. This will be more of a traditional holiday concert with familiar songs to celebrate the season.

2019 ILMEA District 7 Orchestra. LZHS had 7 string players and 2 wind and percussion musicians who auditioned into the district orchestra this year.

I would also like to offer a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you, both students and parents, who make the orchestra program here at LZHS a part of your LZHS experience. I consider myself fortunate to make music with each and every one of you.

A special reminder for symphony students, there is a mandatory rehearsal on Wednesday, 12/4 from 7:15-9:15 in the orchestra room.

 Concerto Competition: The concerto competition will take place on Monday, December 2nd. Performances will start at 5:00 in the choir room. Audiences are welcome. Please feel free to stop by and listen to the performances. The winner of the concerto competition will have the opportunity to perform with the LZHS Symphony in May.

Concert information:

The orchestra department is participating on several concerts December. All orchestra students are performing on the Winter Orchestra Concert on Wednesday, December 11 at 7:00 in the PAC. It is a required performance as part of the orchestra classes.

Concert Orchestra: Students must be on stage to rehearse at 5:30. It is important that students are at the dress rehearsal, in their seat, and ready to play at 5:30 It is important that we are ready to play for a call time. I would suggest arriving at least 15 minutes before the call time to ensure that everybody is set and ready to go for the performance.

Symphony Orchestra: Students must be dressed, and on the stage by 6:20 to rehearse Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Please make sure you are here and ready to go by 6:20. Students should plan an appropriate amount of time to get their instrument out and ready to go for the performance.

Concert Dress: Please follow dress code as outlined in the handbook.

Boys must show up in black pants, tux shirt, black shoes, and socks. We will distribute tux jackets and bow ties before the concert.

Girls wear solid black: Girls have the freedom to choose their apparel as long as sleeves extend below the elbow and skirts or slacks to the ankle, and the midriff must not show while standing or sitting. This may be a long-sleeve all black dress or black blouse or sweater and ankle-length skirt. Full black slacks are also appropriate, and encouraged for cello players. Girls must also wear black closed-toe dress shoes (not more than 2” heel) and black stockings or hose.

Snacks:

Trying to get the right mix of students bringing snacks here is what we are going to try, Snacks for Freshman and Sophomores this concert:

Violin, Viola and bass: A snack or treat

Cello: Water or juice

Bear Strings:

On 12/18 there will be a dress rehearsal starting at 4:30 for the 7:00 concert. Pizza will be provided. Please wear a “ugly sweater” for the performance.

Sinfonietta: Don’t forget we have an extended rehearsal on Friday 11/6

As always, thank you for your support of the orchestra program at LZHS. I look forward to seeing all of you at our concerts in the next couple of weeks.

October Newsletter

The beginning of the year is packed full of fantastic opportunities for music making. On 9/26 and 9/27 the Symphony Orchestra traveled to Augustana to work with Dr. Chetel and members of the Augustana College string faculty on orchestra music, and sight read music for our December concert. The orchestra spent over 5 hours rehearsing, received a tour of campus, and even had a stop at QCA ice cream institution Whitey’s Ice Cream. It was a fantastic trip. I hope you enjoy their pieces on the program on the 15th. I would also like to offer a special thank you to our chaperones for the trip, Ms. Fortune (our dept. chair) and Mr. Ferrigan.

On Tuesday, October 1st we have 12 students auditioning for the ILMEA District Orchestra at Rolling Meadows High School. Congratulations on your hard work.

Lastly, I would like to invite all of you to the first concert of the year on October 15th in the PAC starting at 7PM. Attending a concert is a great way to support the hard work that we do every day in the orchestra. I encourage you to bring your whole family and celebrate the talents of our performers here at LZHS.

News:

Concert Information: The concert will start promptly at 7:00-

Performance order:

Concert Orchestra

Bear Strings

Symphony Orchestra

Concert Orchestra:

Call time is 5:15 for rehearsal. Please come dressed and we will take a picture for the yearbook at 6:00 Call times are the time that the rehearsal will start. Students not in their seats and ready to perform will be marked down on the summative concert attendance grade.

Symphony Orchestra:

Call time is 6:15. Please be dressed by 6:15 so that we can take the yearbook picture at 6:30

Dress:

Please follow dress code as outlined in the handbook. Boys must show up in black pants, tux shirt, black shoes, and socks. We will distribute tux jackets and bow ties before the concert

Girls wear solid black: Girls have the freedom to choose their apparel as long as sleeves extend below the elbow and skirts or slacks to the ankle, and the midriff must not show while standing or sitting. This may be a long-sleeve all black dress or black blouse or sweater and ankle-length skirt. Full black slacks are also appropriate, and encouraged for cello players. Girls must also wear black closed-toe dress shoes (not more than 2” heel) and black stockings or hose.

Concert Refreshments:

The First concert snacks will be provided by Juniors and Seniors:

All Violins and Basses: will bring a treat/snack for after the concert

All Violas and Celli: Will bring individual water bottles or pre-packaged juice

Sinfonietta Auditions: Auditions for the after school orchestra here at LZHS called Sinfonietta will be the week of October 15th. The rehearsals will be every Tuesday from 3:15-4:30. Students should audition on an excerpt from a prepared piece and the ILMEA scale sheet (I will pick one major and one minor scale). Students will be performing advanced music composed for small chamber orchestras. This year the orchestra will the complete Vivaldi Magnificat with the choir on our March concert. We will also be performing at a festival. You can register for an audition slot here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZHwpohIblDCjfvcb9Qe23r4SzupjEird5GNKAVCThKM/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)
You must have the following contract signed at the time of your audition along with reviewing the calendar:

Contract:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JH8-M8i3a6ZFN_lyBPN9LJF7MGWbHRXc/view?usp=sharing

Calendar:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TP583pBPBCzrWKRR1WzJfGRwALeXy9Pj/view?usp=sharing

Rehearsals will begin Tuesday, October 22

News from HOPE:

We need your help:

The mission of the Orchestra Boosters is to give LZHS orchestra students opportunities for enhancing their musical experience. We sponsor fundraisers throughout the year and work directly with Mr. Sackschewsky to collect resources for underwriting professionally coached sectionals and visits by guest clinicians. Last year over $5000 was raised and spent on orchestra students. Booster members assist the orchestra program in funding GUEST CLINICIANS, INSTRUMENT SECTIONALS, FIELD TRIPS TO CSO, JUDGES FOR CONCERTO COMPETITION, SOCIAL ACTIVITIES FOR ORCHESTRA STUDENTS and MORE.

Please become a member of HOPE. In order to get your name in the program you must register by 10/10.  You can register here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MdfAxhGEUVQvkus4XOyiUPqDINS8j-KQ/view?usp=sharing

Concert Refreshments:

The First concert snacks will be provided by Juniors and Seniors:

All Violins and Basses: will bring a treat/snack for after the concert

All Violas and Celli: Will bring individual water bottles or pre-packaged juice

HOPE Volunteer Opportunity: 

 Hello Parents

HOPE, the orchestra boosters, has the wonderful opportunity to raise funds by assisting with the bag check and concession sales at the Homecoming Dance on October, 5, 2019.  We are looking for four volunteers.  The dance is from 7:00-10:00pm.  We are looking for help from 6:45-10:15pm.  Please reach out to

Be th Bejnarowicz, bbejnarowicz@comcast.net or Christine Chialdikas, mikechialdikas@comcast.net  with any questions or to sign up to help. 

Sincerest thanks,

Christine Chialdikas, President

Thank you as always for your support of the orchestra program. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing everybody at the concert on the 15th

Nathan Sackschewsky

LZHS Orchestra Director

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year!

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year. I hope all of you had a restful and enjoyable summer. I am so excited for a year packed with fantastic opportunities for everybody. Every month you can expect a newsletter to be posted here.

See below for important beginning of the year information:

  1. Bear Strings starts this week on Thursday from 3:20-4:30. Bear strings is open to all orchestra students and is a non-auditioned ensemble that focuses on pop, and other non traditional styles of music.
  2. Join HOPE for our first board meeting of the year on Wednesday, 9/4 starting at 5:30 in the orchestra room. We will begin planning for events for the whole year. Come and volunteer your time!
  3. Join HOPE and the orchestra in celebrating the new year on Friday, 9/6  with our 4th annual kick off picnic at Breezewald Park from 4-6. Sign-up here
  4. The school is selling year signs again this year. I would encourage everybody to purchase one for their front yard. How cool would it be to have streets filled with orchestra yard signs? They are only $30 and proceeds go back to LZHS. Please fill out the attached form and return it to the school.
  5. Parents of freshman boys, and boys who grew: Don’t forget to get your men’s tux shirt. This year it is up to students to purchase their own tux shirts in time for the October concert. A possible option is this shirt from Hobby Lobby.
  6. ILMEA Signup is currently going on. Please fill out the form and bring in your $12 to cover your audition cost.  Sign-up is due by Friday, September 13. All ILMEA participants must participate in at least one help session or you will not be allowed to participate. You can sign up for a help session here.
  7. I would encourage you to add the orchestra calendar to your personal calendar. The calendar is all over the orchestra blog, and it will always be the most up to date calendar.
  8. Symphony students should get their trip to Augustana College forms in right away to make sure we have the correct number of rooms reserved. The overnight trip is from 9/26-9/27. We will be home by 6:30PM so students should be able to attend the football game if they need to go.

I will have more information for you about the rest of the year in our September newsletter. I am so excited about the great performance and learning opportunities for orchestra this year. I hope to see everybody soon, but please feel free to reach out to me by email if you have any questions.

Nathan Sackschewsky

LZHS Orchestra Director

May Newsletter

Even though the weather isn’t playing nice, spring is here and we have some fantastic end of the year events and celebrations. Please see below for more information, and I look forward to seeing everybody at the D95 Orchestra Festival on Friday. Congratulations as well to those students who performed in the pit and performed in Spamalot. Great performances from everybody

D95 Orchestra Festival:

Friday, 5/3: D95 String Festival Concert (7:00 in the LZHS Field House): All students must attend this concert for a grade.

High School Rehearsal: All orchestra students should meet in the orchestra room directly after the bell to set up our seating and do our dress rehearsal. We should end our dress rehearsal around 4:15

The grand finale dress rehearsal will start at 6:30 with a call time of 6:20. Please be there on time for full points.

 The dress for the evening will be concert black.

Parents and students are encouraged to park in the PAC lot for the concert.
Help:

All high school orchestra students and parents are encouraged to take a shift if possible to help with set up, tuning, monitoring, and tear-down after the festival.

Set up for non-high school ensemble seating: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090445A4AF28ABFD0-2019

We will also need tuning help: 5th grade tuning starts at 5:20, you can sign up on this list: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090445A4AF28ABFD0-2019

4th grade tuning help starts at 4:35 and you can sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090445A4AF28ABFD0-2019

The last thing that we will need the most help with is tear-down. Parents are strongly encouraged to help out here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090445A4AF28ABFD0-2019 If all of the sign-ups are filled, please plan on coming anyway.

May 21 Concert information:

Note to seniors: We are excited to honor you as part of the festivities of the evening. Remember that your concert grade is part of your summative grade and attendance at the concert in mandatory. A note about senior dress. It is tradition that seniors have the opportunity to wear other formalwear for their last concert. Please remember concert dress protocols of length and other appropriate requirements. Remember you must be able to move to play in whatever you wear, so consider practicing in whatever you choose.

Concert Orchestra:

Dress rehearsal starts at 5:45- please be ready to rehearse at 5:45. Students who are tardy will lose points for their summative orchestra concert grade.

Symphony Orchestra:

Dress rehearsal 12:00-12:44 on 5/21- seniors not testing should plan on attending.

Call time for SO: 6:30

Dress:

Please follow dress code as outlined in the handbook.

Boys must show up in black pants, tux shirt, black shoes, and socks. We will distribute tux jackets and bow ties before the concert.

Girls wear solid black: Girls have the freedom to choose their apparel as long as sleeves extend below the elbow and skirts or slacks to the ankle, and the midriff must not show while standing or sitting. This may be a long-sleeve all black dress or black blouse or sweater and ankle-length skirt. Full black slacks are also appropriate, and encouraged for cello players. Girls must also wear black closed-toe dress shoes (not more than 2” heel) and black stockings or hose.

Orchestra Awards Banquette:

Our Annual Music Awards Night Banquet is on Thursday, May 23 and will be catered by California Pizza Kitchen. It’s an evening to celebrate the past year and to look forward to the new one. We will recognize the contributions to the orchestra from the Senior Class and acknowledge hard work of all orchestra students. Student-designed awards will be given too! In preparation for next year we will also announce the results of the Orchestra Board elections.

Please fill out the information sheet at the bottom and attach a check and return it to Mrs. McLeod in the bookkeeper’s office. Students usually “dress up” for this event.

Please return your reservation with the attached form and a $15 per attendee no later than Friday, May 17.

Orchestra Board

Orchestra Board applications for President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Librarian are due by Thursday, 5/9 Read more about the open positions and how to sign up here:

Senior Bios

Seniors, please complete your bio information by Friday, May 10th or your information will not be included in the program:

As always, thank you for your support of the orchestra programs here at LZHS. I look forward to seeing all of you at our end of the year events!

April Newsletter

Happy spring! I hope that everybody had a great spring break. I have enjoyed learning about what everybody did over spring break, I especially enjoyed hearing what the Choir did in the tour of Italy this year. It makes me excited for our orchestra tour in 2020-21. For those of you who are sophomores and juniors, start saving now!

Before I get into upcoming dates, I wanted to congratulate everybody once again on a great couple weeks of concerts in March.

Sinfonietta also had a great performance on March 16th at the PDC. We had several great soloists and even a siting from baby Nora.

Great work to everybody who participated in solo and ensemble on March 18th. We have five performances selected for best in room: Schubert Quartet (Olivia, William, Annette, and Alex); Dvorak Viola Quintet (Gabby, Andrew, Lydia, Kirsten, Tiffany); Nathila, violin solo; Andrew, violin solo; and Annette, viola solo. Congrats to everybody!

Bear Strings finished up the week before break with a mini tour to three elementary schools. It was so great to meet the enthusiastic string players over there, and I look forward to seeing them in a few years at the high school!


We have a very busy end of the end of the year. Please take some time to make sure these events are on your calendar, and make sure that you know what performances you are required to attend.

-Tuesday, 4/2:  Honors recital from solo and ensemble: Come watch the Schubert Quartet and Andrew perform their winning pieces from solo and ensemble. The concert starts at 7:00 in the choir room.

-Tuesday, 4/16: Bear Strings and MS district Alt. Strings Festival (7:00 on the stage in Middle School North): All current Bear String members should plan on attending. The performance starts at 7:00, dress rehearsal at 6:00.

-Friday, 5/3: D95 String Festival Concert (7:00 in the LZHS Field House): All students must attend this concert for a grade. Rehearsal 4:00-4:30, call time for dress rehearsal with all students starts at 6:15. Students who are not on time for either rehearsal will lose points for their performance grade. Pay attention to future emails for opportunities to sign up to help. Students will be able to get tri-m credit for the event.

-Tuesday, 5/21: Spring Orchestra Concert (7:00 in the PAC): Dress rehearsal for Concert Orchestra will start at 5:45, Symphony call will be 6:30. Symphony seniors should plan on being at the 12:00 rehearsal the day of the concert. We will also be honoring our seniors at the performance. Attendance is mandatory.

-Thursday, 5/23: Orchestra Awards Night @LZHS: more information to come, the event will be catered with food from California Pizza Kitchen. All orchestra and orchestra parents are encouraged to attend. At the awards night seniors will be able to pick up their picture, students will get superlative awards, and we will announce Orchestra Board election results for the 2019-2020 school year.

Thank you as always for your support of music at LZHS, and I look forward to seeing you at the great events coming up this spring!

Nathan Sackschewsky
LZHS Orchestra Director

March Newsletter and Concert Information

March Newsletter and Concert information:

I can’t believe that our March concerts are next week already. We have two concerts coming up, and a busy couple of weeks to prepare.

Today we were visited by Mr. Jason Heath who worked with all of the orchestras today. Mr. Heath has the popular Contrabass Conversations podcast and travels the country talking about the bass and directing orchestras. We were lucky to have him stop by.

Please continue reading for more information about the upcoming concerts:

Tuesday, March 12th concert- 7:00 in the PAC:

Concert Orchestra:

Call time is 5:40 for rehearsal. Please come dressed and we will also take a picture for the yearbook at that time. Call times are the time that the rehearsal will start. Students not in their seats and ready to perform will be marked down on the summative concert attendance grade.

Symphony Orchestra: Call time at 6:30

Snacks

Trying to get the right mix of students bringing snacks here is what we are going to try, Snacks for Juniors and Seniors this concert:

Violin, Viola and bass: A snack or treat

Cello: Water or juice

Dress:

Please follow dress code as outlined in the handbook. Boys must show up in black pants, tux shirt, black shoes, and socks. We will distribute tux jackets and bow ties before the concert

Girls wear solid black: Girls have the freedom to choose their apparel as long as sleeves extend below the elbow and skirts or slacks to the ankle, and the midriff must not show while standing or sitting. This may be a long-sleeve all black dress or black blouse or sweater and ankle-length skirt. Full black slacks are also appropriate, and encouraged for cello players. Girls must also wear black closed-toe dress shoes (not more than 2” heel) and black stockings or hose.

Sinfonietta:

There is a bust week this week and next as we finish of the Sinfonietta Season. There are two performances left as well as an extend rehearsal on Friday. The schedule is as follows:

3/5- Normal rehearsal

3/8- Extended rehearsal 3:30-5:30- special guest clinician, Mr. Fawkes

3/12- Perform Tchaikovsky at the orchestra concert

3/16- 5:00 dress rehearsal

6:00 concert at the PDC- Mozart, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky and potentially chamber ensembles ready to perform.

Sinfonietta parents, please sign up to bring something for the refreshments at the end if you have not done so already

Bear Strings:

We are doing the first ever Bear Strings tour to the elementary on Wednesday, March 20th. Please have the permission slip returned by Friday, March 8th.

I want to make sure that all Bear String performers have the joint MS and HS concert at MSN in the calendar for April 16th. More information to come!

Solo and Ensemble:

Solo and Ensemble will be held on Monday, March 18th. I will have an official schedule out to everybody in the next day or two. Please remember that Symphony Orchestra chamber ensembles are free, however all other entries must pay $10 for solos and $15 for ensembles to Mrs. McLeod in the bookkeeper’s office before you can participate.

Auditions for Symphony Orchestra:

Auditions for Symphony will be held next week. Students will perform there auditions during class after the week of the concert. I would encourage students to stop in and do a demo audition this week. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Some other big events from the month of February:

On February 13th Sinfonietta performed at the Norther Illinois University Orchestra Clinic. It was a great day with performances from area schools, the Avalon String Quartet and even a masterclass, where Olivia performed some Bach and received some comments.

On February 20th, Dr. Allan Dennis from Midwest Young Artists- No pictures, but it was a great time!

On Saturday, February 23rd, Symphony Orchestra traveled to the University of Illinois to perform for the orchestra clinic. We received great comments from the two renowned clinicians and really had a fantastic experience overall.

As always, thank you to everybody for all of your support of the orchestra program. I look forward to seeing everybody at the concerts coming up.

February Newsletter

I hope that everybody is getting into the swing of the second semester. Although January seemed like a slow month, we are ramping up with several opportunities here at LZHS. Please read through the events going on in February and March for your ensemble, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Andrew and Alex braving the cold at ILMEA

A special congratulations again to Andrew and Alex who represented the orchestra so well in the ILMEA Honors Orchestra this year at ILMEC. We are so proud of the work that you put in. Congrats and what a fantastic performance!

Solo and ensemble:

Solo and Ensemble Sign-up: Solo and Ensemble will be on Monday, March 18th at LZHS. Students will take part in master class sessions. Family and friends are welcome to come and watch! All solos must have a piano accompaniment unless an unaccompanied piece. The fees are: $10 for solos and $15 per ensembles. Please make checks out to Lake Zurich High School and turn the money into Mrs. McLeod in the bookkeeper’s office.  Students may register for S&E here:

Our accompanist list is here

All Symphony Orchestra students will be required to perform with their chamber ensemble on Solo and Ensemble Night. Symphony Students will not be charged for that event.

Students are eligible to receive a best in room and be asked to perform on the April 2nd honors concert here at LZHS.

Symphony Orchestra:

We will have Dr. Allan Dennis of MYAC rehearse the Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, February 20th to prepare for our performance at the U of I Orchestra Festival on Saturday, February 23rd.

All Symphony Orchestra Students are required to attend the U of I festival on Saturday February 23rd. We will leave school around 11:00AM and return around 11:00PM. The trip offers an opportunity to perform in the Great Hall at the Krannert Performing Arts Center and work with some fantastic clinicians. You can find the permission slip here.

Sinfonietta:

  1. We will still be having our extended rehearsal this week on Friday the 8th from 3:30-5:30. Students should plan to be there for the whole rehearsal. There will not be a preview for this rehearsal, but plan on joining us at the last one on March 1st.
  2. Please get permission slips in this week for the NIU string day on 2/13. If your permission slip did not make it home last week you can get it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UGBjPklSZ6z-8g6nPcexneex-RXPoYH0/view?usp=sharing
  3. We have an important gig coming up on Saturday, and we still need some people to sign up and play. You can get NHS or Tri-M credit for performing at this opportunity.

As always, thank you for your support of the orchestra program, and please let me know if you have any questions,

Nathan Sackschewsky

LZHS Orchestra Director

December Newsletter

December Newsletter:

I can’t believe that we are already a little more than a week out of the concert. We have some important dates coming up. Please look through for all of the information for the upcoming week.

A special reminder for symphony students, there is a mandatory rehearsal on Wednesday, 12/5 from 7-9 in the orchestra room.

Congratulations:

Alex and Andrew were accepted to perform at the 2019 ILMEA All State Conference

 

Alex Kisiel and Andrew Orals were accepted into the ILMEA All-State. I look forward to hearing them with the orchestra in Peoria in January.

 

Congrats as well to Alex Kisiel for winning the 2018-2019 LZHS Concerto Competition. He will be performing the Grieg Piano Concerto on the May concert. Thank you as well to HOPE for sponsoring our second judge for the event.

Sinfonietta posing on stage in Orchestra Hall for their 12/3/2018 perfomrance

Please also see the link below for a video from the Concert Choir performance with Sinfonietta at Orchestra Hall last night. https://goo.gl/d76yVp

 

Concert information:

The orchestra department is participating on several concerts December. All orchestra students are performing on the Winter Orchestra Concert on Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 in the PAC. It is a required performance as part of the orchestra classes.

Concert Orchestra: Students must be on stage to rehearse at 5:30. It is important that students are at the dress rehearsal, in their seat, and ready to play at 5:30 It is important that we are ready to play for a call time. I would suggest arriving at least 15 minutes before the call time to ensure that everybody is set and ready to go for the performance.

Symphony Orchestra: Students must be dressed, and on the stage by 6:20 to rehearse Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Please make sure you are here and ready to go by 6:20. Students should plan an appropriate amount of time to get their instrument out and ready to go for the performance.

Concert Dress: Please follow dress code as outlined in the handbook.

Boys must show up in black pants, tux shirt, black shoes, and socks. We will distribute tux jackets and bow ties before the concert.

Girls wear solid black: Girls have the freedom to choose their apparel as long as sleeves extend below the elbow and skirts or slacks to the ankle, and the midriff must not show while standing or sitting. This may be a long-sleeve all black dress or black blouse or sweater and ankle-length skirt. Full black slacks are also appropriate, and encouraged for cello players. Girls must also wear black closed-toe dress shoes (not more than 2” heel) and black stockings or hose.

 

Snacks:

Trying to get the right mix of students bringing snacks here is what we are going to try, Snacks for Freshman and Sophomores this concert:

Violin, Viola and bass: A snack or treat

Cello: Water or juice

 

Bear Strings performance:

Bear Strings:

On 12/19 there will be a dress rehearsal starting at 5:00 for the 7:00 concert. Pizza will be provided. Please wear a “ugly sweater” for the performance.

Sinfonietta:

I think there was an error on the schedule I sent out in December. Please see the calendar for the official performance times for Sinfonietta:

December 2017

11        Rehearsal 3:20-4:30

12        Choir Concert- 7:00- Choir pieces

13        Orchestra Concert 7:00- Mozart Dissonance

14        Gig at Echo- 5-7th period

18        Rehearsal 3:20-4:30

Thank you again for a great performance last night. I look forward to hearing everybody at the upcoming concerts.

HOPE News:

Please join us for our HOPE meeting tonight at 6:30 in the orchestra room!

 

As always, thank you for your support of the orchestra program at LZHS. I look forward to seeing all of you at our concerts in the next couple of weeks.

November 2018 Newsletter

November Newsletter:

Congratulations again to everybody on a great performance in October. Please refer to my email for a digital download of the concert recordings. Thank you as well to HOPE for sponsoring the recordings.

 

To everybody who ate at Culvers for the concert. Thank you we raised almost $70 for HOPE. Our next dining night is on November 16th. Please join us at California Pizza Kitchen. If you show this flyer 20% of your total purchase will go to support HOPE!

Important information for Upcoming Events:

 

 

ILMEA

Congratulations to our four ILMEA District Orchestra participants this year. Alex, Andrew, Ethan, and Kyle will be performing with the top musicians in the northern part of Illinois on Saturday, November 10th. Congratulations to all of them for their hard work!

Concerto Competition:

The concert competition will be held on Wednesday, November 28th. Please turn this from in no later than November 16th. All students are invited to audition and one student will have the opportunity to perform with LZHS Symphony Orchestra. The cost is $15.

Symphony Orchestra:

Please mark your calendars for the December 5th evening rehearsal. The rehearsal is mandatory and will run from 7-9PM. This is a rehearsal to combine with winds for our first concert of the year.

Sinfonietta:

Some important upcoming dates:

Friday, November 30th– Extended Rehearsal with dinner 3:30-5:30

Monday, December 3- Performance with Choir at Symphony Center- Leave school after 6th period- see upcoming email for more information about tickets.

Friday, December 14th performance at Eco- more information to come.

 

From HOPE:

Please become a member of HOPE. You can register here: https://squareup.com/store/hope-orchestra-boosters

October Newsletter

Orchestra Parents and Students:

I can’t believe it is already October, and we are a week out from our first concert of the year on October 17th at 7:00. More information about that below.

The 2017-18 CSO trip

The last month we have done some great things in orchestra. There have been several opportunities to get to know classmates both in and out of class including a fantastic picnic, decorating for homecoming, and we are also looking forward to a great trip to the CSO on October 19th with the band.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Chetel working with Symphony Orchestra

I would also like to thank Dr. Chetel for joining us from Augustana College to work with Symphony Orchestra on the Respighi Ancient Aires and Dances Suite III.

 

 

 

 

 

On the night of the concert Culvers will be hosting a LZHS Orchestra Night. I encourage

all of you to grab your pre-concert dinner, or post-concert custard from Culvers on the 17th. 15% of the sale will go directly back to support LZHS Orchestras and HOPE. You can present or mention this flyer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/13IwMz-_uXc55tbKjHPGC4D_vMAmYnuUh/view?usp=sharing

 

News:

Concert Information: The concert will start promptly at 7:00-

Performance order:

Concert Orchestra

Bear Strings

Symphony Orchestra

 

Concert Orchestra:

Call time is 5:00 for rehearsal. Please come dressed and we will also take a picture for the yearbook at that time. Call times are the time that the rehearsal will start. Students not in their seats and ready to perform will be marked down on the summative concert attendance grade.

Symphony Orchestra:

Call time is 6:15. Please be dressed by 6:15 so that we can take the yearbook picture.

Dress:

Please follow dress code as outlined in the handbook. Boys must show up in black pants, tux shirt, black shoes, and socks. We will distribute tux jackets and bow ties before the concert

Girls wear solid black: Girls have the freedom to choose their apparel as long as sleeves extend below the elbow and skirts or slacks to the ankle, and the midriff must not show while standing or sitting. This may be a long-sleeve all black dress or black blouse or sweater and ankle-length skirt. Full black slacks are also appropriate, and encouraged for cello players. Girls must also wear black closed-toe dress shoes (not more than 2” heel) and black stockings or hose.

 

Sinfonietta Auditions: Auditions for the after school orchestra here at LZHS called Sinfonietta will be the week of October 16th. The rehearsals will be every Tuesday from 3:15-4:30. Students should audition on an excerpt from a prepared piece and the ILMEA scale sheet (I will pick one major and one minor scale). Students will be performing advanced music composed for small chamber orchestras. This year students will perform at Symphony Center in December with the Choir, and at the NIU string day in February. Any student interested in auditioning should sign up for a time here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZHwpohIblDCjfvcb9Qe23r4SzupjEird5GNKAVCThKM/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)
You must have the following contract signed at the time of your audition along with reviewing the calendar:

Contract:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nZhXqEWDwFjOQPx4lwEdiUI00TLOInHC/view?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Calendar:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NUkd648qYmFDEWmw6StoeLyyYB9b56_Z/view?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Rehearsals will begin Tuesday, October 23

 

News from HOPE:

Please become a member of HOPE. In order to get your name in the program you must register by 10/12.  You can register here: https://squareup.com/store/hope-orchestra-boosters

 We need your help:

The mission of the Orchestra Boosters is to give LZHS orchestra students opportunities for enhancing their musical experience. We sponsor fundraisers throughout the year and work directly with Mr. Sackschewsky to collect resources for underwriting professionally coached sectionals and visits by guest clinicians. Last year over $5000 was raised and spent on orchestra students. Booster members assist the orchestra program in funding GUEST CLINICIANS, INSTRUMENT SECTIONALS, FIELD TRIPS TO CSO, JUDGES FOR CONCERTO COMPETITION, SOCIAL ACTIVITIES FOR ORCHESTRA STUDENTS and MORE.

The Board is looking for new parents to serve in leadership roles (Secretary, Fundraising, co-Treasurer, co-President) for the school year. Without a new officers, we fear we will not continue beyond the current school year.  Please consider working alongside current officers so we can continue our mission. If you are interested, please contact Marie.Gilbert@comcast.net

Concert Refreshments:

This year we are going to try something a little different for the reception after the concert.  We are going to divide treats up by section instead of grades. For this concert:

All Violins and Basses: will bring a treat/snack for after the concert

All Violas and Celli: Will bring individual water bottles or pre-packaged juice

HOPE Fundraiser: We are currently in the middle of a Yankee Candle Sale. You can sell all products online, and the credit you receive can be used toward trips, concerts, or any other orchestra related expense. You can download the login information here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WT4KUx4_WzUU2gPh9TcmMK66jVdxLRX_/view?usp=sharing

 

Thank you for supporting our Patron Booster Program.

HOPE board.

 

Thank you as always for your support of the orchestra program. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing everybody at the concert on the 17th.

Nathan Sackschewsky

LZHS Orchestra Director

 

September Newsletter

I hope that the first few weeks of school are going well. As much as I enjoy the freneticism of the beginning of school, I really love the feeling of getting settled into the swing of the year where we can start really making music. I would like to offer a special thank you to Marie Gilbert and Christine Chialdikas for helping with the Orchestra Picnic last Friday. We had almost 50 students attend. It was so fun to see the students have an opportunity to socialize together outside of class. As you are looking through the news, please make sure that students who are planning on participating in ILMEA have their registrations completed by this Friday.

News:

  1. This year the Orchestra will be attending the CSO on Friday, October 19th. It is a field trip during the school day, and students can expect to be back about 5:00. There are a limited number of tickets, and because the band students are joining us tickets will sell out fast. Please get your form and money in ASAP.
  2. Join HOPE: Please take the time to join HOPE this year. We are looking for 100% participation from families. You can join here.
  3. Parents of freshman boys, and boys who grew: Don’t forget to get your men’s tux shirt. The cost for each shirt is $17, please fill out the attached form and bring in your check for $17.
  4. ILMEA Signup is currently going on. Please fill out the form and bring in your $5 to cover your audition cost. I will have audition prep times if you would like to come in and get some audition help and tips. Sign-up is due by Monday, September 17. If you have not registered and brought in your check by Monday, you will not be able to audition.
  5. I would encourage you to add the orchestra calendar to your personal calendar.The calendar is all over the orchestra blog, and it will always be the most up to date calendar.
  6. Bear Strings has started. If you are looking for a fun opportunity to work on different music styles from what we do in class, I recommend joining Bear Strings, which rehearses on Thursdays from 3:20-4:30. You can find more about it here.
  7. Sinfonietta auditions will be the week of October 15th. Remember that students should plan on auditioning with no more than 5 minutes of a concerto and one major and minor scale from the ILMEA scale sheet.

I look forward to seeing everybody at our first concert on October 17th, more information as we get closer.

Nathan Sackschewsky

LZHS Orchestra Director

 

Welcome Back

Welcome to the Orchestra News Page. Every month you will find important information about activities, and ways to stay involved in the program.

I will post more after we get going the first week, but some important information for everybody before the first day:

  1. You will not need instruments on Wednesday. We will get lockers and instrument assignments on Wednesday, so plan on playing on Thursday.
  2. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Orchestra Open House on Wednesday, August 29th at 7:00 in the orchestra room. HOPE will once again supply some treats. Come and learn about the year in orchestra, and meet some fellow orchestra parents.
  3. Join HOPE and the orchestra in celebrating the new year on Friday, 9/7  with our 3rd annual kick off picnic at Breezewald Park from 4-6. More information to come, but mark your calendar now!
  4. The school is selling year signs again this year. I would encourage everybody to purchase one for their front yard. How cool would it be to have streets filled with orchestra yard signs. They are only $30 and proceeds go back to LZHS. Please fill out the attached form and return it to the school.
  5. Parents of freshman boys, and boys who grew: Don’t forget to get your men’s tux shirt. The cost for each shirt is $17, please fill out the attached form and bring in your check for $17.
  6. ILMEA Signup is currently going on. Please fill out the form and bring in your $5 to cover your audition cost. Mr. S will have audition prep times if you would like to come in and get some audition help and tips. Sign-up is due by Friday, September 14.
  7. I would encourage you to add the orchestra calendar to your personal calendar. The calendar is all over the orchestra blog, and it will always be the most up to date calendar.

I will have more information for you about the rest of the year soon. I am so excited about the great performance and learning opportunities for orchestra this year. I hope to see everybody soon, but please feel free to reach out to me by email if you have any questions.

Nathan Sackschewsky

Orchestra Director at LZHS