Saxon Scribe

The Schaumburg High School student news site

Saxon Scribe

The Schaumburg High School student news site

Saxon Scribe

The Schaumburg High School student news site

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Schaumburg Musicians Shine at the IMEC

Schaumburg High School’s IMEC participants.

This year, a record ten students from the SHS music department were selected to participate in the Illinois Music Education Conference (IMEC), an annual event held in Peoria, Illinois that brings together educators from every area and age level of music education. 

The IMEC is a part of the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA), and it includes all areas of Illinois. Some of the programs included in the conference are general music events, the ILMEA Composition Contest, and the Future Music Educators Seminar. Being for all ages of music education, the musicians are divided into Elementary levels, Junior levels, and Senior levels. 

Schaumburg High School usicians included:

  • Leah Robin  – Horn
  • Andrew Shadel – Future Music Educators 
  • Jacob Mendez – Lead Alto Saxophone 
  • Edie Silker – Viola 
  • Amelia Sanders – Viola  
  • Haruko Kawasaki – Double bass
  • Sarah Sekiguchi – Piano
  • Esteban Avila – Bassoon
  • Narin Kim – Honors Band – Clarinet   
  • Melanie Medina – Composition 

Musicians must master challenging repertoire, perfect their scales, and hone their etudes. Many candidates spend their entire high school music careers aiming for a chance to participate in IMEC without making the cut. 

“ILMEA was one of the things that pushed me the most as a musician, last year I auditioned in ILMEA and didn’t place in any bands, and that motivated me to better myself as a musician,” says Jacob Mendez. “Through all of my hard work and determination, I surpassed my goals and my expectations, and I was placed into the IMEC Jazz Ensemble as the Lead Alto Saxophonist.”

A majority of the preparation for the IMEC audition occurs outside of the classroom. Students are introduced to the audition materials and repertoire through their director and can seek help as needed. Outside of the classroom, musicians spend countless hours focusing on disciplined practice and meet with private instructors to produce a strong audition.  

The orchestra, choir, and band perform at the Illinois Music Education Conference.

“We provide band and jazz students with audition materials in the spring. Other than some classwork on the scale component of the audition, students learn all the materials on their own and with guidance from their private teachers. As directors, we provide pre-audition feedback in the fall and then students submit their auditions at the beginning of October,” Mr. Inendino shares. 

Beyond showcasing the skills of the students, IMEC provides opportunities for networking and connection with professional musicians, encouraging IMEC participants to explore their career as a musician beyond high school.

“Opportunities like IMEC allow students to work with outstanding guest conductors and make music with other highly motivated musicians from other schools,” says Mr. Inendino. “These kinds of experiences are invaluable for our students, both in their personal journeys as musicians and as opportunities to share their new knowledge with other musicians at SHS.”

“Being a musician has taught me many skills. The foremost of which I would argue is simply my ability to talk to people. Music has shown me that people can connect and have fun, regardless of background,” shares Andrew Shadel. “Music has given me a space where I feel I can express myself openly. I also feel that in most ensembles I am a part of, there is a family energy where everyone is pretty comfortable with each other.”

Although competitions like IMEC encourage students to be at their best, they can also cause students to feel burnt-out with their instruments as they require years of preparation and strict self discipline.

“To be completely honest, I had a love-hate relationship with music at first. Hours of practice and rehearsals while stuck in a slump of ‘just one more audition’ made it hard to stay committed,” Narin Kim shares. “But at a certain point, I realized how far I’d come and started to put in the effort to truly enjoy the music. Changing my mindset allowed me to rekindle my passion for music and fight for what I want.”

IMEC season is an exciting time for both students and their directors. Music is an integral part of their lives and has shaped who they are beyond the rehearsal room.

“My life has been shaped immensely by my experiences with music as a listener, performer, and educator,” Mr. Inendino says. “It’s a powerful art form that can help us make sense of the world, and participating in an ensemble specifically helps musicians develop as collaborators and communicators in ways that transfer over to many other areas of our lives.”

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