Hard Work Pays off for Young Musicians
Womer, Kelly, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Kelly Womer Daily Herald Correspondent
For the past several weeks, Jenni Carlson and other chorus members at Indian Trail Junior High School in Addison have been making an extra effort to stand up straight, hit all the right notes and sing in perfect harmony.
For less than 30 minutes, they put their practice to the test during the Illinois Grade School Music Association state contest. The results were music to their ears after the judges awarded them a one - the highest mark on the score sheet.
"It means we did very good," said Jenni, 11, who lives in Addison. "But you have to work hard at it and practice."
Indian Trail hosted the annual competition for more than 2,200 students from 46 junior high schools throughout the suburbs. The contest welcomed bands, choirs and orchestras that qualified by scoring a one at the district competitions.
"This is the cream of the crop," said Penny Lemes, a board member of the Addison Music Parents, which helped coordinate the competition. "It means a lot to them, and they're hoping to be the best. A lot of planning and practice has gone into this. They really work hard, and the directors demand a lot."
The students nervously waited for their turn to perform in front of the judges, who rated each group on tone quality, balance, rhythm, stage presence, technique and musical abilities.
The groups performed an average of three songs. Then it was off to the cafeteria for a slice of pizza and another wait for the judges' scores to be posted.
"It's special to be here because we've been working really hard," said Michael Oren, 14, an orchestra member from Edison Middle School in Wheaton. …