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Community Corner - page 2

Thank you from the Kaneland Arts Initiative

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative
The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) will conclude its 2013-14 season with the fifth annual summer theatre production, “Once Upon A Mattress.” Throughout the year, KAI has been pleased to present the Magic of Garry Carson, the Fox Valley Concert Band Halloween Concert, Lee Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert, “The Laramie Project,” the 14th Annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, the Cavern Beat, and Dreams Dance Studio Recital. In addition to the amazing performances, KAI was thrilled to provide the second annual KAI Artist in Residence program, the private music lesson program, and the third annual KAI Fine Arts Scholarship.
The Kaneland Arts Initiative opportunities are made possible by grants from the Dunham Fund and the Kaneland Foundation. Parent teacher organizations from Harter Middle School and John Stewart Elementary School donated funds, as well as over 100 individual arts patrons. KAI would also like to extend a huge thank you to the following local businesses whose donations have led to the successful KAI 2013-2014 season:
• Premiere Sponsors ($1,000 and up)—Elburn Herald, Midwest Window and Supply, Open Range Southwest Grill
• Masterpiece Sponsors ($500-$999)—Elburn Chiropractic and Acupuncture, Ross Electric, Inc., Vons Electric, Inc., Waubonsee Community College
• Visionary Sponsors ($250-$499)—Engineering Enterprises, Inc.; Michael J. Greenan, CPA; Harry F. Krauspe, D.D.S.; Maple Park American Legion Post 312; National Bank and Trust; Ottosen, Britz, Kelly, Cooper, Gilbert and DiNolfo, Ltd.; Weiland Excavating, Inc.
• Portfolio Sponsors ($100-$249)—Behm Plumbing, Builders Asphalt, LLC, Conley Outreach Community Services, Cortland Animal Hospital, Hair Directors, Hampton Inn and Suites Aurora, P & M Sewer & Water, Inc., Peg’s on Main, Sally Jane Photography, SignFX, T & A Contractors, Inc., Village Bible Church
• KCFAF Friend ($1-$99)—Amazing Grace Antiques, Franklin’s Frames and Art
You are all invited to attend “Once Upon A Mattress,” presented July 11-13 and July 18-20 in the Kaneland High School auditorium. Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 7 p.m., and Sunday performances will begin at 2 p.m. The show is appropriate for all ages and runs 2 hours long, including one 15-minute intermission.
Tickets are currently on sale on the Kaneland School District webstore, www.kaneland.org. The prices are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and students, and $25 for the popular Family Ticket. The Family Ticket admits all family members currently living in one household for the singular price of $25. As always, preschoolers can attend for free. Seating is reserved. Groups interested in seeing the show should call (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, for group-rate pricing. For more information, visit the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: Summer Theatre with the Kaneland Arts Initiative

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative
The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) will conclude its 2013-14 season with the fifth annual Summer Theatre Production.

This year’s production will be Once Upon a Mattress,” directed by Diane McFarlin. Auditions were held in May, and a cast was chosen for this lighthearted retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea.”

Opening in May of 1958, “Once Upon A Mattress” delighted audiences with songs such as “Shy,” “Song of Love” and “Happily Ever After.” The show is notable for the Broadway debut to a young Carol Burnett, who played principal character Princess Winnifred, resulting in the introduction of America to one of its brightest stars.

KAI in pleased to announce this year’s cast members: Pamela Gianakakos, Alec Kovach, Peter Loptin, Beth McDonald, Jordyn Withey, Mitch Bateman, Teresa Arnold, Steve Hommowun, Emily VanDelinder-Birchfield, Nicole DiSandro, Trisha Mills, Claire Cerny, Aimee Frost, Sabrina Massa, Anna Lopatin, Mace Jendruczek, Jarod Kovach, Josh Herrero, Patrick Murphy, Zack Eckhardt, Chris Wido, Erica Johnson, Connie Gush, Robyn Lycan, Sally McClellan, Sarah Ball, Caitlin Carlson, Zoe Haenisch, Abigail Heinicke, Julianna Klecka, Julianna Miller, Betsy Mills, Natalie Mills, Emily Murphy, Cyrena Pierce, Mirella Ramos and Jade Sadowski.

“Once Upon A Mattress” is produced by the talented team of producer and pit conductor Maria Dripps-Paulson, director Diane McFarin, music director Brandon Staker, choreographer Rebecca Hof, technical theatre director Chad Carlson, scenic designer Emily VanDelinder-Birchfield and stage manager Andriy McFarlin. As one would expect, to create a professional quality production such as is the practice of the Kaneland Arts Initiative, volunteers are always welcome to help with set construction, ushering and much more. Volunteers are encouraged to contact Laura McPhee at laura.mcphee@kaneland.org.

“Once Upon A Mattress” will be presented in the Kaneland Auditorium of Kaneland High School, July 11-13 and July 18-20. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m. and Sunday performances begins at 2 p.m. The show is appropriate for all ages and runs 2 hours long, including one 15-minute intermission.

Tickets are currently on sale on the Kaneland District webstore, www.kaneland.org. The prices are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and students, and $25 for the ever-popular Family Ticket. The Family Ticket admits all family members currently living in one household for a singular price. As always, preschoolers may attend for free. Seating is reserved. Groups interested in seeing the show should call (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, for group-rate pricing. Please visit the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org, for more information.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Thank you from Kaneland Blackberry Creek PTO

in Community Corner by

by Laura Gampfer, KBC PTO Secretary
The Kaneland Blackberry Creek (KBC) Elementary School PTO would like to thank the many families and businesses that have supported our fundraising efforts for the 2013-14 school year. Our fundraisers have included a “Run for Fund,” ButterBraid sales, Manna gift card sales, Family Knight Out and a Family Bingo and Auction Night. Continued support from our local community has enabled the KBC PTO to supply the KBC students and school with so many wonderful and needed items.

A few of these great items are field trips for all grade levels, a new illuminated school sign, school assemblies, fifth-grade class photos and outdoor education T-shirts, staff spirit wear, birthday books for all students, recess and playground toys, family movie nights, an ice cream social, multi-purpose room projector and sound system, a new library scanner, after-school enrichment classes, Chrome Books, and mini-iPads with Otter Boxes.

We would like to also thank these local businesses that have supported our monthly “Family Knight Out” events: Elburn McDonald’s, Paisano’s Pizza and Grill and Potbelly Sandwich Shop of Geneva. And many thanks to the Elburn Herald for its continued publicity of our KBC PTO events.

With the support of our local community, parents, teachers and neighbors, the KBC PTO has supplemented our school with some incredible items this school year, and for that we thank you.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: Arts Initiative celebrates festival, welcomes Cavern Beat

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative

Three thousand guests attended the 15th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Patrons and participants alike enjoyed their time celebrating the arts by viewing over 500 Kaneland student art pieces, participating in theatre workshops, watching “James and the Giant Peach” along with other wonderful performances in the Kaneland auditorium, and learning about visual art mediums from over 15 professional artists.

In Festival exit surveys, patrons were complimentary of the “interactive artists willing to let kids participate,” the science club and art club participation, and the variety of artists.

Mixed-media visual artist Valerie Lorimer gave the festival a review after attending it for the first time as a participant.

“Oh wow. I cannot tell you how impressed I am with this event,” Lorimer wrote. “Great atmosphere and terrific interactive experiences for the kids. Awesome performing arts, as well. I am very impressed by the community’s support of the arts. I hope to be asked back again.”

The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) was also pleased to partner with Changing Children’s World Foundation, which held an art contest in conjunction with the festival. Ken Evans, owner of Franklin’s Frames from Sycamore, awarded the Golden Palette Award to selected Kaneland students. KAI unveiled six pieces of art created by 2012-13 KAI Artist in Residence Eric Nye, which were presented to the Kaneland School District at its April 28 School Board meeting.

KAI was excited to announce at the festival that the 2014 KAI Fine Arts Scholarship would be awarded to Matthew Alfrey in May.

After the success of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, KAI is thrilled to invite the Cavern Beat back to the Kaneland stage on Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m.

The Cavern Beat borrows its name from the now world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. The Beatles played more shows there than anywhere else in their whole career. Starting with founding Cavern Beat member and drummer Alan Wagner in 2005, the initial idea was a simple one: perform the music of The Beatles as it was, by them. The band uses only guitars, drums and true voices. No computers or digital processors, no tapes or loops, no modern sounding amps—just pure, original Beatles. The band’s site is www.thecavernbeat.com.

Joining The Cavern Beat on the stage this Friday will be the MidKnight Special. The MidKnight Special, directed by Mrs. Rachel Shershen, is the top choir at Kaneland Harter Middle School. This is the second year that the MidKnight Special has sung with the Cavern Beat. Tickets are on sale at the Kaneland Webstore, found at www.kaneland.org. Adult tickets are $10, student and senior citizen tickets are $8, and the ever popular family ticket is $25. The family ticket allows all members currently living in one household to be admitted for the single price of $25. More information about the event and upcoming events can be found on the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitative.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: Fine Arts Festival will delight all ages

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson,
KAI executive director

Sunday, April 13, will mark the 15-year anniversary of the Kaneland Arts Initiative’s signature event, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival.

The festival was born out of a need to offer an event to showcase the arts at a professional level to Kaneland families and community members. Attended by over 3,000 patrons, the festival has always been free to attend and is a wonderful tradition for all ages.

This year’s festival is no exception, promising to delight all ages. Besides the hands-on art and storytime provided by Kaneland public libraries, preschool-aged students will be treated to the interactive African folktale “Handa’s Surprise,” where they will be able to make masks and take part in the tale told by Lande Sanusi from The CAKE Village (www.thecakevillage.com).

The Kaneland High School art club will provide temporary tattoos, face-painting and balloon art. Workshops will include origami, glass fusing, Korean calligraphy, and the ever-popular caricature drawings of Michael Shiroda.

Professional visual artists will create art in traditional art forms such as oil, acrylic, watercolor and pottery. Several artists will be creating art in mixed media, combining multiple materials and mediums. Kaneland student artwork will be available for auction next to professional artwork donated by this year’s artists. Over 500 students’ art pieces will be displayed from all of the schools within the Kaneland School District.

This year’s Kaneland Alumni Spotlight will be the Dylan Good Trio at 11 a.m. in the Kaneland auditorium. Dylan is a graduate of Kaneland High School and will bring his jazz trio to the Festival.

Also on the Kaneland Auditorium stage will be the Fox Valley Children’s Chorus, American Eagle Shows’ production of “James and the Giant Peach,” and the “Barefoot Hawaiian.” In the Arts pavilion, the Kaneland Youth Orchestra will return to play, as well as the Hix Bros. Ukulele Ensemble.

For 15 years, the award-winning Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival has been supported by the Kaneland School District, as well as many other financial sponsors. The Kaneland Arts Initiative would like to thank its sponsors: Elburn Herald, Midwest Window and Supply, Open Range Southwest Grill restaurant, Elburn Chiropractic & Acupuncture, Ross Electric, Inc., Vons Electric, Inc., and Waubonsee Community College.

More information can be found on the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org, or the KAI Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KanelandArtsInitiative.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community corner: Fine Arts Festival will delight all ages

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson,
KAI executive director
Sunday, April 13, will mark the 15-year anniversary of the Kaneland Arts Initiative’s signature event, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival.
The festival was born out of a need to offer an event to showcase the arts at a professional level to Kaneland families and community members. Attended by over 3,000 patrons, the festival has always been free to attend and is a wonderful tradition for all ages.
This year’s festival is no exception, promising to delight all ages. Besides the hands-on art and storytime provided by Kaneland public libraries, preschool-aged students will be treated to the interactive African folktale “Handa’s Surprise,” where they will be able to make masks and take part in the tale told by Lande Sanusi from The CAKE Village (www.thecakevillage.com).
The Kaneland High School art club will provide temporary tattoos, face-painting and balloon art. Workshops will include origami, glass fusing, Korean calligraphy, and the ever-popular caricature drawings of Michael Shiroda.
Professional visual artists will create art in traditional art forms such as oil, acrylic, watercolor and pottery. Several artists will be creating art in mixed media, combining multiple materials and mediums. Kaneland student artwork will be available for auction next to professional artwork donated by this year’s artists. Over 500 students’ art pieces will be displayed from all of the schools within the Kaneland School District.
This year’s Kaneland Alumni Spotlight will be the Dylan Good Trio at 11 a.m. in the Kaneland auditorium. Dylan is a graduate of Kaneland High School and will bring his jazz trio to the Festival.
Also on the Kaneland Auditorium stage will be the Fox Valley Children’s Chorus, American Eagle Shows’ production of “James and the Giant Peach,” and the “Barefoot Hawaiian.” In the Arts pavilion, the Kaneland Youth Orchestra will return to play, as well as the Hix Bros. Ukulele Ensemble.
For 15 years, the award-winning Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival has been supported by the Kaneland School District, as well as many other financial sponsors. The Kaneland Arts Initiative would like to thank its sponsors: Elburn Herald, Midwest Window and Supply, Open Range Southwest Grill restaurant, Elburn Chiropractic & Acupuncture, Ross Electric, Inc., Vons Electric, Inc., and Waubonsee Community College.
More information can be found on the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org, or the KAI Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ KanelandArtsInitiative.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: A thank you and an opportunity

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative

The fifth annual Kaneland Arts Initiative Fine Arts Feast, held on Feb. 21, was by all accounts a resounding success. Approximately $5,000 was raised by the guests attending the event, as well as individuals interested in becoming arts patrons of the organization.

Highlights of the evening were the announcement of the summer musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” performances by Diane McFarlin, Trisha Mills and Tom Kirkland. And the awarding of many raffle and silent auction items.

Special performances were given by Matthew (11) and Zachary (8) Uzarraga who began their theatre careers in Kaneland Arts Initiative productions and now are acting and modeling professionally in the area. Zachary this past fall portrayed Tam in the Paramount Theatre (Aurora) production of “Miss Saigon” and received rave reviews. In 2013, Matthew performed in the Jeff Award nominated musical “Oliver!” at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook, Ill. Matthew can be seen as Gavroche in Drury Lane’s upcoming performance of “Les Miserables” from March to June.

The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) would like to extend a genuine and heartfelt thanks to chef Greg Slager, his family, and the Open Range Southwest Grill Restaurant located in the Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove. For five years, chef Greg has donated the dinner, as well as the use of the beautiful Pine Room, at no cost to the Kaneland Arts Initiative, making the evening truly 100 percent profit for the Kaneland Arts Initiative. KAI would like to encourage families and individuals to support the Open Range Southwest Grill restaurant by enjoying a meal at the wonderful, family-owned business.

As KAI begins to prepare for the 15th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 13, it is pleased to announce a new partnership with Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation (CCWF) of Geneva. Artists and their families in the Kaneland School District are encouraged to participate in the Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation art contest. CCWF is a not-for-profit organization that provides public awareness and education, professional education, parent and caregiver psycho-social support groups and services, and related children’s sessions and materials, on empathy, positive communications and strong relationships. The CCWF mission is for every child and adolescent to be supported by a caring network of parents, caregivers and professionals within loving, non-violent families and peaceful communities.

CCWF, in partnership with KAI, is pleased to announce the Changing Children’s Worlds art contest. The purpose of this contest is to collect quality artwork that represents the International Child Development Foundation guidelines that are the central principles of the CCWF mission. All students in the Kaneland School District are encouraged to enter this contest. Artwork submitted will be judged by a panel of representatives from CCWF and KAI. Eleven pieces will be chosen and become a part of CCWF’s permanent art collection. Artwork will be displayed at the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, and winning students will be recognized at an upcoming School Board meeting. Full details can be found on the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community corner: A thank you and an opportunity

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative
The fifth annual Kaneland Arts Initiative Fine Arts Feast, held on Feb. 21, was by all accounts a resounding success. Approximately $5,000 was raised by the guests attending the event, as well as individuals interested in becoming arts patrons of the organization.
Highlights of the evening were the announcement of the summer musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” performances by Diane McFarlin, Trisha Mills and Tom Kirkland. And the awarding of many raffle and silent auction items.
Special performances were given by Matthew (11) and Zachary (8) Uzarraga who began their theatre careers in Kaneland Arts Initiative productions and now are acting and modeling professionally in the area. Zachary this past fall portrayed Tam in the Paramount Theatre (Aurora) production of “Miss Saigon” and received rave reviews. In 2013, Matthew performed in the Jeff Award nominated musical “Oliver!” at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook, Ill. Matthew can be seen as Gavroche in Drury Lane’s upcoming performance of “Les Miserables” from March to June.
The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) would like to extend a genuine and heartfelt thanks to chef Greg Slager, his family, and the Open Range Southwest Grill Restaurant located in the Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove. For five years, chef Greg has donated the dinner, as well as the use of the beautiful Pine Room, at no cost to the Kaneland Arts Initiative, making the evening truly 100 percent profit for the Kaneland Arts Initiative. KAI would like to encourage families and individuals to support the Open Range Southwest Grill restaurant by enjoying a meal at the wonderful, family-owned business.
As KAI begins to prepare for the 15th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 13, it is pleased to announce a new partnership with Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation (CCWF) of Geneva. Artists and their families in the Kaneland School District are encouraged to participate in the Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation art contest. CCWF is a not-for-profit organization that provides public awareness and education, professional education, parent and caregiver psycho-social support groups and services, and related children’s sessions and materials, on empathy, positive communications and strong relationships. The CCWF mission is for every child and adolescent to be supported by a caring network of parents, caregivers and professionals within loving, non-violent families and peaceful communities.
CCWF, in partnership with KAI, is pleased to announce the Changing Children’s Worlds art contest. The purpose of this contest is to collect quality artwork that represents the International Child Development Foundation guidelines that are the central principles of the CCWF mission. All students in the Kaneland School District are encouraged to enter this contest. Artwork submitted will be judged by a panel of representatives from CCWF and KAI. Eleven pieces will be chosen and become a part of CCWF’s permanent art collection. Artwork will be displayed at the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, and winning students will be recognized at an upcoming School Board meeting. Full details can be found on the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: A different kind of March Madness

in Community Corner by

by Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

March Madness to most means the events surrounding the single-elimination Division I college basketball tournament. But to the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters, March Madness is a horse of a different color.

On Sunday, March 2, the community will have the opportunity to see and hear some of Kaneland’s middle and high school musicians on stage at the second annual Knight of Performances, sponsored by the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters. Beginning at 2 p.m., this event will showcase more than 40 acts, including students who are either performing a vocal or instrumental solo or ensemble, Harter Middle School (HMS) Mid-Knight Special, HMS Jazz Band, Kaneland High School (KHS) combos, a rock band, and actors from this year’s KHS spring musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

The afternoon will also include a basket raffle and barbecue dinner. The event will take place at Harter Middle School, 1601 Esker Drive in Sugar Grove.

The Knight of Performances Committee has worked diligently to acquire many wonderful items for the basket raffle, such as: one reserved parking space for a KHS student for the 2014-15 school year; Chicago Cubs tickets; “Rent” tickets; local restaurant and business gift certificates; wine and coffee baskets; music lessons; Elgin Symphony Orchestra tickets; Disney princess basket; Thirty-One, Vera Bradley and Tastefully Simple merchandise; hand-crafted jewelry; and much more. All money raised at this event will directly benefit the students involved in the band, choir and theatre programs at KHS and HMS.

Guests will enjoy barbecue from 5B’s Catering in Waterman, Ill. Dinner options include either a pork chop, chicken or combo dinner, or a kids hot dog meal. A vegetarian option will also be available. All dinners include side dishes and a choice of homemade dessert. There are still a few openings for volunteers for the afternoon. If interested, send an email to info@knightmusic.org.

And if we weren’t busy enough, the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters are teaming with the high school music directors to coordinate the Illinois High School Association’s 2014 Solo & Ensemble Music Contest, hosted this year by Kaneland. On Saturday, March 8, more than 850 music students representing 20 area high schools will attend the event at Harter Middle School.

This is both an honor and a huge undertaking to host such a prestigious event. The Boosters will coordinate the volunteers and operate a concession booth serving both breakfast and lunch items. Many volunteers will be needed for either two- or four-hour time slots throughout the day for jobs such as: concessions, room monitors, hall monitors, score runners, welcome table, and to donate items to be sold at our Booster-run concession booth and to feed the judges. If interested, send an email to info @knightmusic.org and we’ll place you in a volunteer position.

To top off our busy month, the Boosters are coordinating the box office ticket sales and volunteers needed for the KHS spring musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Show dates and times are 7 p.m. on Friday, March 21, and Saturday, March 22, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 23. The musical pays tribute to the jazz-age shows of the 1920s. It all begins when a musical-theatre fan plays his favorite album on his turntable, and the musical comes to life in his living room. Cast of characters include a reluctant bride, a groom on skates, a tap-dancing best man, a womanizing gigolo, gangsters posing as bakers, and an intoxicated chaperone. Tickets are on sale now. To order, simply visit the Kaneland website at www.kaneland.org.

If you would like additional information about the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters or how you can help with any of these events, find us on Facebook or send an email to president@knightmusic.org. Come join in the March Madness fun.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: An invitation to the Fine Arts Feast

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson,
Kaneland Arts Initiative executive director

The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) would like to extend its thanks to those in the community who were able to attend the performances of “The Laramie Project” in January. It was a very special event in partnership with the Kindness Campaign, telling the story of the death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., through the eyes of the citizens of the town, as well as the people who were directly in touch with the events surrounding his brutal murder.

The event also marked the first performance held in Kaneland’s Black Box Theatre since the opening of the facility in 2005. KAI guests who attended the performance, and members of the production staff, were thrilled to be in the space. The intimate setting and the gripping performances were the perfect combination to create a very powerful message about true acceptance. KAI wishes to thank all involved, cast members, crew, the Kindness Campaign and the audience for starting many important conversations about the good we can produce through positive interactions.

This month, on Friday, Feb. 21, you are cordially invited to attend the fifth annual Fine Arts Feast and Silent Auction, to be held at 5 p.m. in the Pine Room at Open Range Southwest Grill Restaurant in Sugar Grove. This event is KAI’s fundraiser to invite individuals to become Kaneland Arts Initiative individual arts patrons.

The schedule for the event is as follows:
• 5 p.m. Cash Bar and Silent Auction opens (only persons 21 and older are invited to the event)
• 6:30 p.m. Program begins with dinner

The program will outline the mission and various programs produced by the arts initiative and will include performances by various KAI artists. KAI that evening will also announce the summer musical, held in July. Silent auction items and raffle prizes will be available to win, along with the ever-popular cork pull.

The meal is free to those who attend, and there will be an opportunity for donations to be collected for KAI. Reservations are limited, as there are only 150 seats in the Pine Room. If you are interested in attending this event, call Maria at (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, or email 10911@kaneland.org.

Upcoming events in the KAI calendar include the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 13; the rescheduled Cavern Beat performance, and the summer musical. More information can always be found on the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org, or the KAI Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KanelandArtsInitiative.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: Kaneland musicians, actors prepare for busy winter

in Community Corner by

by Denise Blaszynski, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters president
The excitement of winter break and stress of finals have ended. As we move through the long, dreary days of winter, our Kaneland musicians and actors are gearing up for what is going to be a very thrilling and busy few months.

This year, the Kaneland Harter Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Rebecca Andersen, was chosen to perform at the annual Illinois Music Education (ILMEA) Conference in Peoria, Ill. (See related story on page 9A.) The jazz band, comprising of seventh- and eighth-grade student musicians and one sixth-grader, will travel to Peoria on Friday, Jan. 24, to perform. Only a select few middle school jazz band are given this honor.

The students will perform six songs at the Friday concert. What an incredible honor. Congratulations to Mrs. Andersen and her students.

Four student musicians from Kaneland High School will take part in the ILMEA All-State Conference festival Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Jan. 22-25, in Peoria: Matt Alfrey, Ryan Koeppen and James Tockstein for choir, and Carter Taylor for band. Participation in this event is one of the most prestigious honors in high school music in Illinois. The students auditioned last October for the state event during district-level performances. Alfrey received the highest score in his section, so he will represent KHS as a member of the Honors Choir. Students will work with guest conductors and perform with the best high school musicians in the state. The festival will close with a concert at the Peoria Civic Center arena on Saturday.

On Monday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. is the sixth-grade band concert at Harter Middle School. This is always an exciting concert as we listen to the first band performance of these promising musicians.

For the first time, Kaneland High School will host the Eighth-Grade and KHS Choir Festival on Saturday, Feb. 8. Madrigals and Bella Voce will be teaming with eighth-grade choir students for an afternoon of rehearsals, team building activities and dinner, ending with an evening concert at 7 p.m. It is the choir directors’ hope that experiences like this will encourage eighth- grade students to continue to be involved in choir at the high school. The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters will provide dinner for the students.

In March, the Kaneland community is fortunate to once again have the opportunity to see some of Kaneland’s finest musicians and actors on Sunday, March 2, at the second annual Knight of Performances Barbeque Dinner, sponsored by the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters. Beginning at 2 p.m., this event will showcase our talented middle and high school students on stage, where their music and acting abilities will shine. This annual event is held to raise funds to support the band, choir and theatre students and programs at KHS and HMS. We are seeking support from local businesses through sponsorship of the evening or a donation of an item to put in our basket raffle. If you are interested in sponsoring this event, send an email to president@knightmusic.org. The event will be held at Harter Middle School, 1601 Esker Drive in Sugar Grove.

Throughout the state on Saturday, March 8, will be the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Solo and Ensemble Contest. Kaneland will play host to this year’s high school contest, which is sure to be one of the biggest music events at Kaneland this year. The event will take place at Harter Middle School, and many adult and student volunteers will be needed to help with set-up and clean-up, runners, information table, room monitors, concessions, hospitality and the judges’ luncheon. If you would like to volunteer, send an email to info@knightmusic.org.

If you would like additional information about the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters or how you can help with any of these events, find us on Facebook or send an email to president@ knightmusic.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald .com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: Knights wrestling stays strong through winter months

in Community Corner by

by Michelle Parks, Knights Wrestling Club president
Snow is flying in the air, the temperatures are dropping, and as everyone else is bundling up, Kaneland wrestlers are in full swing into their season.

The Kaneland High School varsity wrestling team has made some strong showings at Paletine’s Berman Tournament, with senior Justin Diddell placing fifth, junior Tom Price placing sixth and senior Dane Goodenough placing seventh, and Sycamore’s Invitationa,l where the entire roster placed 17th or higher.

Holding various duel wins over area schools such as Plano and Rochelle, this young team doesn’t look to be buckling under the pressure. Not to be outdone, the JV Team took six wrestlers to the Dekalb Black and Orange Tournament and placed second, with two individual first-place finishers on their roster: freshman Austin Kedzie and sophomore Ben Long.

The high school is getting prepared to go into conference after this coming week, where they will host Rochelle for Senior Night, and then participate in the Kaneland individual tournament.

As Harter Middle School came to a close after winter break, some of their wrestlers merged onto the Knights Wrestling Kids Club mat. Recently, the Knight’s hosted 15 area clubs with a tournament of over 350 wrestlers for their Knights Open. Since their home meet, they have traveled to Stillman Valley, Sycamore and Crystal Lake, as well as Yorkville. Their rookies have dropped into two beginners tournaments in Marengo and Waubonsee Valley, sweeping some top places. This week, the squad will take a break before heading into their last four tournaments. They are laying down some serious miles as they travel to Batavia, Lemont and Dundee Crown in order to ready themselves for the IKWF state series.

All levels of Kaneland Wrestling will band together on Saturday, Jan. 18, 6 to 10 p.m. to host a wrestling social at Calamity Jane’s in Sugar Grove. This event is open to parents of wrestlers of all ages, as well as alumni and all supporters. There will be a silent auction, as well as door prizes.

If you know a Kaneland wrestler, you may have already been hit up for the 2013-14 raffle ticket. The earned monies will go into a split between the high school and kids club to boost both programs. The winning ticket will be pulled at the social. The cost for the event is $10 per person and will include an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, fountain pop and iced tea.

For more info on the social, visit www.kanelandknightswrestlingclub.com or call Michelle Parks at (815) 216-6007.

Editor’s note

The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: Exciting KAI events for the new year

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative

The Kaneland Arts Initiative wishes everyone a Happy New Year filled with prosperity and joy, and invites everyone to its upcoming events of the new year in the Kaneland Auditorium.

As the Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI, formerly the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival) strives to promote professional quality arts in Kaneland, it is pleased to launch its inaugural performance of the Winter Theatre Production, “The Laramie Project,” presented by KAI in partnership with the Kindness Campaign. Performed in the Kaneland Black Box Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24-26. “The Laramie Project” is a drama that depicts the account of the townspeople in Laramie, Wyo., after the tragic death of Matthew Shepherd.

Tickets are available for “The Laramie Project” by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens. Seating is very limited in the Black Box Theatre at Kaneland High School, so KAI recommends advance ticket purchases. Tickets will be general admission seating. Please note: subject matter featured in “The Laramie Project” is sensitive, and appropriate age recommendations are for middle school aged students and older. The Kaneland Arts Initiative and the Kindness Campaign will lead a discussion after each performance for interested audience members.

Finally, KAI is pleased to welcome The Cavern Beat back to the Kaneland Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. with special guests, the Kaneland Harter Middle School MidKnight Special. The primary mission of The Cavern Beat is to bring to life the excitement of The Beatles’ original recordings and live performances from the Cavern Club era onwards. Critics the world over have agreed that the group has the sound, energy, and excitement of The Beatles, second to none. Ray Johnson of the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, commented that The Cavern Beat has “the finest Beatles harmonies I have ever heard.”

Information on all KAI events is available at www.kanelandartsinitiative.org or by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

KAI’s newest initiative

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative

Rehearsals are about to begin on the Kaneland Arts Initiative’s newest project: the Winter Theatre Production.

As the Kaneland Arts Initiative (formerly known as the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival) strives to promote professional quality arts in Kaneland, it is pleased to launch its inaugural performance of the Winter Theatre Production, “The Laramie Project,” presented by KAI in partnership with the Kindness Campaign. Performed in the Kaneland Black Box Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24-26, “The Laramie Project” is a drama that depicts a pivotal event in our nation’s history.

According to www.tectonictheaterproject.org, “in October 1998, Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wy. Five weeks later, Moises Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, and over the course of the next year, conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play ‘The Laramie Project,’ a chronicle of the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder. ‘The Laramie Project’ is one of the most performed plays in America today.”

Casting auditions took place in the middle of November, and KAI and the dynamic production team of director Diane McFarlin, technical theatre director Chad Carlson and scene designer Emily VanDelinder-Birchfield, are pleased to announce the cast of The Laramie Project: Pamela Gianakakos, Trisha Mills Rebecca Hof, Ben Mitchinson, Peter Lopatin, Patrick Murphy Sabrina Massa, Doug Orlyk, Caitrin Mills, Laszlo Reed and Justin Schaller.

Tickets are available for purchase by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens. Seating is very limited in the Black Box Theatre at Kaneland High School; KAI recommends advance ticket purchases. KAI is pleased to be producing its first event in the Black Box Theatre, a space that is both versatile and intimate. Tickets will be for general admission seating.

Please note that subject matter in “The Laramie Project” is sensitive, and appropriate age recommendations are for middle-school-aged students or older. The Kaneland Arts Initiative and the Kindness Campaign will lead a discussion after each performance for interested audience members. More information can be found at www.kanelandartsiniative.org. Kaneland Black Box Theatre is located on the campus of Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Enter through Door 32 on the north side of building.

Prior to The Laramie Project, KAI is thrilled to produce Lee Murdock’s annual Hometown Concert, featuring guest artists Joe Filisko and Eric Noden. Murdock’s concert will take place on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kaneland Auditorium. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students ages 8 and up. Anyone under the age of 8 will be admitted free of charge. More information on Lee’s performance and his guest artists can be found on www.leemurdock.com and www.rootsduo.com.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

KBC PTO to host ‘Kids’ Korner Holiday Shop’

in Community Corner by

by Laura Gampfer
President, Kaneland Blackberry Creek PTO

The Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School PTO will host its annual “Kids’ Korner Holiday Shop” on Friday, Dec. 13, from 3:35 to 5 p.m., and on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon. This fun event allows KBC students to make a holiday shopping list, budget their items, and even calculate their purchase totals with help from parent volunteers.

KBC students and their families are welcome to come in and shop for unique gifts for everyone on their holiday lists. Children of all ages can find the perfect gift for mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and even pets. Gift prices range from $.25 to $13. Each gift will be sent home in its own gift bag with a label attached. All students must attend with a parent/guardian.

To preview the Kids’ Korner product line, KBC parents can visit www.Kidskornerusa.com. For more information, visit the KBC PTO website at kbcpto.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Community Corner: A thank you from Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

in Community Corner by

by Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

The autumn season, specifically Thanksgiving, is the perfect time of year for reflection—a time when we are thankful for what we have and what we have been given.

The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters is thankful for the great work that has been achieved this fall. What many people may not realize is that most of this achievement would not be possible without the support and dedication of hardworking parent and student volunteers.

The Boosters would like to express their overwhelming appreciation to the following individuals for sharing their time and talents with our organization. From the heat and humidity of a late summer evening to a cold, damp night in October, the following community members braved the ever-changing elements at our football candy table. Thank you to Lois Kral, Teresa Witt, Valeria Mass, Judy Lopez, Shevon Ramirez, Sheila Albano, Laura Keske, Michelle Klecka, Colleen Weiberg, Sue Speckman, Laura McPhee, Kathy Zoppa, Dee Withey, Lisa Eaves, Jacque Bridge, Jennifer Matias, Trisha Mills, John Purnell, Joe Blaszynski, Sara Mitchinson, Jillian Mitchinson and Ally Mitchinson. We could not have done all of this without the behind-the-scenes work from Robin Urich for purchasing the candy, and Matt Gale, JoAnn Krueger and Trisha Mills for the setup for the evening.

There were even more opportunities for parental help throughout this fall season. It was 9 p.m. on a cold, wintry Friday evening in Almost, Maine, and magic can be seen in the twinkling lights of the Aurora Borealis. That magic of Kaneland High School’s fall play, “Almost, Maine,” was due in part to the many parents who helped with donating food and beverages for the cast and crew, coordinating meals for Tech Week, or donating time at each of the performances at either the will call or star table, as an usher, handing out programs or working in the box office. Thank you to Rose Miller, Anne DiSandro, Maggie Heinzer, Kristi Grams, Jay Grams, Tim Hayman, Darla Hayman, Kelly Gallagher, Tiffany Swain-Bolden, DeJon Bolden, Ryan Koeppen, Trisha Mills, Mike Miller, Charia Bolden, Gloria Swain, Jane Lynn, Lisa Eaves, Dani Hayman, Carol Tindall, Matt Gale, Kara Morris and Spencer Serwin. Thank you to Cathy Shaver for coordinating the box office and the volunteers for the play—an incredibly huge undertaking.

This Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Kaneland Harter Middle School will present “Crumpled Classics,” a series of plays within a play. It’s a comedy treat sprinkled with outrageous takes on some very familiar characters, such as Romeo and Juliet, the Phantom of the Opera, Holmes and Watson, and more. Donated baked goods and candy will be sold at the concession table run by parent volunteers.

Parental involvement is one of the key pillars in any nonprofit organization. Whether you donate your time or your talents, the key to our success rests in our volunteers. For more information about the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters, please send an email to info@knightmusic.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

An invitation to support arts programs with your time and talents

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
KAI Initiative executive director

October was a full month for the Kaneland Arts Initiative (formerly the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival). The 2013-14 season started with two exciting performances that were very different from each other.

On Oct. 11, the Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) hosted Las Vegas magic act Garry and Mihaela Carson, who performed the “Magical Mystery Show” to the delight of the approximately 200 audience members attending the event. On Oct. 26, KAI was pleased to bring the Fox Valley Concert Band to the Kaneland Auditorium for the Fox Valley Concert Band’s Halloween Concert, which played to an audience of approximately 120.

Here are comments that volunteer members of KAI heard from those who attended the events:
• “(The magician) was really good. I mean, really, really good.”
• “I have been to all of your events, and they never disappoint.”
• “Thank you for bringing these types of performances to Kaneland.”
• “It’s great to hear wonderful live music like this in an amazing space.”
• “I cannot wait to see (these groups) again next year.”
• “I wish more people would come to these events. They really are amazing.”

In fact, KAI rarely hears a negative comment from audience members who attend KAI events, and 100 percent of the performers who take to the stage are willing and excited to come back to perform in Kaneland again.

We know that we are offering great arts programs to our community by the response the patrons give us who have attended an event, and by the eager requests to return that we receive from our performing artists. However, it is often difficult to assess when attendance at events is low. The Kaneland Arts Initiative provides a unique and affordable opportunity to experience the arts, and we invite every community member to partake in these events.

While two events on the KAI calendar have passed, there are many more still to come. By checking out the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org, you will not miss another event.

Another way to support arts programs is to volunteer. Our volunteer coordinator, Laura McPhee, is fabulous at finding the perfect way for you to serve within our organization. We welcome volunteers of almost every age, and can use help with ushering and planning, as well as building and designing. Contact Laura at laura.mcphee@kaneland.org or by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180.

We invite you to support the arts at the following upcoming Kaneland High School and Kaneland Arts Initiative Events:

• “Almost, Maine,” the Kaneland High School fall play, directed by Christina Staker, will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-17, at KHS Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now at www.kaneland.org
• Auditions for The Laramie Project, the KAI Winter Theatre Production, directed by Diane McFarlin, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. in the KHS Black Box Theatre. More audition information will be available soon at www.kanelandartsinitiative.org.

The arts are a vital part of life, and Kaneland has so many wonderful programs offered throughout the year. We hope that you will accept our invitation to support them.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Support KBC’s Family Bingo Night and Silent Auction fundraiser

in Community Corner by

by Laura Gampfer, KBC PTO secretary
The Kaneland Blackberry Creek (KBC) PTO feels very fortunate to have support from our local community for our fundraisers. Fundraising allows us to purchase great items for our students and school, such as playground equipment, library books, Nooks, assemblies, field trips, bike racks and much, much more.

We will hold our inaugural Family Bingo Night and Silent Auction on Feb. 1, 2014. This event, for KBC families, will include free admission and Bingo, “celebrity” callers, a 50/50 raffle, silent auction items, classroom basket auctions, and teacher-donated items and events. It is a guaranteed fun night out for our KBC students, parents, and siblings.

If you or someone you know is interested in supporting this great family event, we are looking for donations of goods or services to use in our silent auction. Sporting goods, event tickets, memorabilia, electronics, services, products or gift certificates are all examples of great silent auction items. Monetary donations to sponsor this event are always welcome, too.

For donation forms and more information, visit the KBC PTO website at kbcpto.org, or e-mail us at kbc_pto@yahoo.com. All donations are tax exempt and are due by Jan. 3, 2014.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

As weather cools down, Kaneland Music and Theatre departments stay hot

in Community Corner by

by Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

While the local fall sports season is coming to an end, Kaneland’s Music and Theatre departments are still going strong. Countless rehearsals, auditions and competitions have filled the calendars of parents who often ask, “How can we do all of this?” Yet, those are the same parents who are beaming from ear to ear when they see their students perform and sad when it’s over.

There is nothing quite like the sound of the Kaneland Marching Knights to put a smile on your face on a crisp fall evening. This season, our band students have spent hours on Monday and Thursday evenings perfecting this year’s field show for competition and exhibition. The Marching Knights have performed at home football games, at the Rochelle Hub Exhibition, the Illini Marching Band Championships, and the Sandwich Musicfest. The KHS Marching Knights took home three awards in Sandwich: first place for music; first place for drum majors; and second place for Class 3A. Learning basic marching skills begins at the middle school level. Harter seventh- and eighth-grade band members took to the field in September at a middle school football game to perform, and joined their high school counterparts on the field at a high school game.

While the band students have been perfecting the skills of marching, KHS choir students have been equally as busy. For several weeks, students auditioning for IMEA attended twice-weekly rehearsals in preparation for the audition.

A bus filled with KHS students traveled to Addison Trail High School in early October for the District IX Illinois Music Educators Association auditions. District IX includes nearly 60 schools and is one of the most competitive in the state. As a result, 10 Kaneland high school students were selected to perform at the District IX music festival in November for choir, band or jazz band, and one student was selected to perform at both band and choir.

Our middle school students should not go unnoticed. Auditions were held on a Saturday morning in early October for the ILMEA junior division; and five Harter Middle School students were selected to represent Kaneland.

This year’s 36th annual Madrigal dinner, abundant with culture and gallantry, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 13; Saturday, Dec., 14; and Sunday, Dec.15. An event this grand takes months of preparation and planning with students attending a two-day retreat in Oregon, Ill., in early November. Tickets for the dinner will be available for purchase in November.

Forty students were selected to join Harter Middle School’s choral ensemble, Mid-Knight Special, this year. From standard choral repertoire, to show tunes, and classics, these students rehearse weekly in order to perform at various events throughout the year.

Our theatre students, many of whom are in band, choir or both, have been rehearsing daily for months for their upcoming fall play. KHS will present “Almost, Maine,” a sequence of short vignettes that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine. The dates are Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be ordered online at www.kaneland.org.

What is sure to be a hit is this year’s Harter Middle School fall play, “Crumpled Classics.” The audience will discover a new and humorous way of looking at classic tales. The dates are Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

What we can’t fail to mention is the amount of support and assistance that comes from parents. Each of the aforementioned events requires hours of rehearsals and planning, and a myriad of volunteers. The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters is fortunate to have the support of the parents, while Kaneland students are fortunate to have some of the finest music and theatre directors in the area.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Knights Wrestling Club readies itself for upcoming season

in Community Corner by

by Michelle Parks
President, Knights Wrestling Club

It’s October already, which means there are Knights wrestlers of all ages on the move. Knights Wrestling Club (KWC) has opened its doors for its first-ever online registration, which will run from now until Thursday, Oct. 31.

KWC is a feeder program designed for wrestlers who are ages 5-14, and it has been passing down knowledge of the sport for over 25 years. We work with multiple age groupings, as well as skill level. With practice times that are off-kilter, we allow both groups usage of the Kaneland High School wrestling room.

For our 8-and-under wrestlers, we focus on learning the basics while making the practice period fun. With games and repetition, we emphasize what they need to know to begin to participate in tournaments as they feel ready. We generally attempt to pick two rookie tournaments a year, which showcases wrestlers with one or two years of experience.

For our older divisions, while we do cover the basics, we strive to begin teaching them more complex moves and defensive strategies. Pairing partners with similar skill abilities, we condition and train them for competition.

Middle school wrestlers are always welcomed into the room, and are greatly encouraged to attend our program at a discounted rate after the completion of middle school’s season in December. We offer growth in their “off” season, as well as build on what they learned in the HMS wrestling room.

Your registration fee will cover everything for the wrestling season, from tournament selection to usage of our unique headgear and shoe-lending bin. We do have hardship grants available. Wrestling season will begin on Monday, Nov. 11, and run through February. To take advantage of our easier sign up, or learn more about KWC, check out our website, www.kanelandknightswrestlingclub.com/.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

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