The John Hersey High School Symphonic Band earned the Honor Band recognition earlier this month at the Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Hersey captured the Honor Band designation among the bands competing in Class AAA on the Foellinger Great Hall stage in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
John Hersey was among 35 high school and middle school bands to compete at the invitation-only event. The Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival invites only the finest wind band programs in the state of Illinois based on competitive application, which includes a recorded audition.
“This award is only a reflection of the most important aspect of our band’s performance this weekend: students stepped up and performed their absolute best concert of the year,” said Scott Casagrande, Hersey’s director of Bands. “They did a wonderful job balancing ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ while performing and this was a fantastic end to our concert band season and a fantastic end for our graduating seniors.”
Hersey’s victory means the Symphonic Band will return next year for a featured concert as the Honor Band in its division and will not be eligible to compete.
The SuperState Concert Band victory caps a strong year Hersey Band Program. The Hersey Marching Band won first place at the Red & Black Fall Classic at Northern Illinois University, and swept Class 4A first place honors, and top awards in four other categories, at the State of Illinois Invitational High School Marching Band Championship. The Jazz I Combo and Jazz II Ensemble each captured second place awards at the Jazz in the Meadows competition.
This is the third time in the last eight years that the John Hersey Symphonic Band has been awarded this state honor.