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Senior Heather Sledzinski Achieves All State Choir Honor

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Montini Catholic congratulates senior Heather Sledzinski on being only the second Bronco to achieve All State Choir.  (Mahmoud Jabir '20 was the first student to achieve this honor in 2019.)  Earlier this fall, Heather was among four Montini seniors (Nora Sypkens, Maddie McDowell and Kenneth Sledzinski) chosen to represent the Lasallian college preparatory high school at the Illinois Music Education Association District 9 Ensemble, an annual event sponsored by the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA).

"This year's ILMEA auditions were held virtually," said Music Instructor, Mr. Donnie Glowinski.  "Heather was required to record her part for specific songs, as well as scales and triads."  She is enjoying her second time being honored by ILMEA.  "What a wonderful and talented young lady," said Glowinski.  "This being her second time being selected, I had hopes that her second time around truly would be a charm - and it was!"  

The ILMEA Student Programs have been developed to encourage musical performance and creative expression and the many forms that may take for student musicians. Ensembles include symphonic orchestras, wind bands, choral ensembles, jazz bands and combos, and vocal jazz ensembles. The students named into these ensembles represent the best and brightest student musicians and the high-quality music education provided by music educators across Illinois.

The 2021 IMEC has been cancelled due to COVID-19. ILMEA has tentative plans to hold an event - May 10-13, 2021 in Peoria for an All-State Student Experience.  "Hopefully we will be allowed to gather at that time," said ILMEA Executive Director, Darcy Nendza.  "The decision on whether to move forward with those in-person dates, or move to a virtual event, will be made by February 15."

Heather was most recently named Vice President of Montini's National Honor Society.  She is enjoying her second year as a member of Montini's Peer Ministry Team.  She is a member of LaSallian Youth, as well as Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  She also represents Montini Catholic as a Student Ambassador.  Heather is this year's Tri-M (Music) Honor Society Treasurer and shares her musical talents as a member of the Treblemakers.  She also tried her hand at Pep Band her sophomore year.  She is quite honored to be a member of the Student Government, helping to plan engaging events for her peers.  Academically, Heather is a member of the Math Team, the Spanish Club, the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.   She was also named an AP Scholar with Distinction this fall.  Earlier this year, Heather received Montini's Robert Huntoon Memorial Scholarship which recognizes exceptional talent in mathematics.  Like Nora, she too received the Fermilab Science Award this past spring.  And lastly, athletically, she has been a vital member of the Bronco Cross Country and Track and Field Teams.

During a typical school year, the ILMEA invites junior high and senior high school students from all areas of the state to prepare for and attend auditions to be selected into District Band, Chorus, Jazz and Orchestra ensembles. In the Fall of 2020, the Illinois Music Education Association wanted to offer this experience despite remote learning and changes in teaching environments, and launched the first-ever digital audition opportunity for music students in Illinois. Over 8500 students submitted auditions in these different areas of music education and of those submissions, over 6500 students were selected for participation in the 2020 Virtual District Festival, to take the place of an in-person performance festival.This virtual event featured masterclasses presented by expert practitioners from around the country offering performance advice, tips and techniques to participating students, as well as a keynote address presented by Professor Barry Hauser of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Students in grades 10-12 are eligible to be selected into ILMEA All-State Student Programs for Band,Chorus, Jazz and Orchestra; of the 6,000 high school students who auditioned and the 4,700 students who were selected into District Festivals, ILMEA is pleased to announce that approximately 1,500 students have been named into the 2021 ILMEA All-State Student Programs.

"I could not be happier for Heather," said Mt. Glowinski, who just completed a virtual Christmas CD featuring Heather and her peers (band and choir students).  "Especially this year, when we have been so hampered in the world of making music, it's great to see students being recognized for their talent, hard work and effort."

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