The John Hersey High School Symphonic Band won the title of AAA Honor Band at the Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival this past Saturday, May 4th, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This was Hersey’s eighteenth performance at the festival, under the direction of Mr. Scott Casagrande.
Over 100 of the best bands in the state of Illinois submit a competitive application to play in the prestigious festival every year, but only 38 were invited to perform. Of these bands there were only five, one from each of the different classifications, that were awarded top honors with the elite “Honor Band” title. Winning the title means Hersey is automatically invited to perform as Class AAA Honor Band for the 2020 SuperState Band Festival.
“I am so proud of our students and the significant work that went in to today's performance,” said the band’s director, Scott Casagrande. “They played a work rarely performed by high school bands and performed at an amazing level of proficiency and musicianship. They did everything asked of them and performed a concert that I will never forget. Buttons are popping!”
The John Hersey Symphonic Band has been selected to perform at the Illinois
SuperState Concert Band Festival eighteen times since 2001. They have won the “Honor Band” title four times, in the years 2008, 2012, 2017, and 2019.
Hersey captured the Honor Band designation with their performance of Symphony in B-Flat, movements I, II, and III, by composer Paul Hindemith. The performance took place on the Foellinger Great Hall stage in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.