HHS Vocalists Take 1st at IHSA State Music Contest

Huntley High School vocal music students took first place in the AA division at the Illinois High School Association state music series in March. It’s the first time the school has claimed such a title.

The state music series comprises performances competitions at sites throughout the state in vocal music, band, and orchestra. Vocalists from HHS performed at Harvard High School, claiming first place in the state.

The school’s composite score placed 19th in the state, when combining vocal music, band, and orchestra scores. That placement is very impressive when noting that orchestra has not yet been implemented at HHS.

Huntley High choir teacher Nancy Cross said an extensive amount of work went into preparation for the competition.

“We spent third quarter working in and outside of class. Many selections were in foreign languages, especially Italian and French,” she said, noting that HHS junior Jonathan Kaye captured the “best of the day” honor for singing an Italian art song.

Vocal scores were based on eight or more categories, including tone quality and intonation. Students may perform solos or small ensembles.

In April, IHSA also hosts an organizational contest. Full choirs and bands and orchestras compete and are rated. Organizational scores for schools are combined with the solo/ensemble contests scores for final ratings.

This year HHS Vocal music students won 127 gold medals for Division I ratings and seven Division II silver medals. HHS won (including the band student entries) 129 gold medals and 20 silver medals. One student got a Division III score.

“The performance of the high school students is the cumulative result of all the years of music instruction in District 158,” said choir teacher Nancy Cross. “Without a solid music background, they would not be able to achieve this impressive result. We hope to keep the momentum going in years to come.”