Sycamore High School’s music department wins third in state

SYCAMORE – Sycamore High School’s music department won third place in the 2022 Illinois High School Association Music Sweepstakes Competition for Class A schools.

Class A programs are the second largest in Illinois.

This year’s rankings are the seventh time that Sycamore High School has placed in the top three since 2009, and it is the fourth consecutive top-three finish.

SHS scored 774 points. Chicago High School for the Arts, at 864 points, won first, and Ottawa Township, at 798 points, won second. Results were finalized April 25.

The points were based on results from student solo and small ensemble performances at the IHSA Solo/Ensemble Festival in Harvard, as well as band, orchestra and choir performances at the IHSA Organizational Festival in Harvard.

The SHS orchestra program placed first in Class A for its solo and ensemble results. Sycamore’s vocal program won fifth place, and the band program won eighth place.

The contest marked the first year of a return to mostly in-person competitions and performances. The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the contest to become mostly virtual for the previous two years.

“Our results this year are an absolute tribute to the dedication and excellence of our SHS music students,” Scott Mertens, music department chairman, said in a news release. “Their motivation and determination are what allowed Sycamore to thrive in this competition, and they should take great pride in their achievement. Their accountability, their attention to detail and their willingness to work together for common goals are all traits that will serve them well.”

Mertens also congratulated the students’ teachers and private instructors.

“Their trophy is an award that our students, school and community can take pride in,” Mertens said in the release.

Sycamore superintendent Steve Wilder also praised the music program.

“Every year, we become more delighted with – but not surprised by – our music programs,” Wilder said in the release. “Persistence, passion and dedication are qualities that run through the core of each of our students, and each of our teachers and staff members. It’s wonderful to be able to share and celebrate their achievements and how much pride Sycamore music instills in the district and in the community.”