Sponsored post by Lake Forest Country Day School
On Saturday, February 22, Lake Forest Country Day School students competed at the annual Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) Solo & Ensemble Contest and not only reinforced the School’s reputation for being an institution of musical excellence, but also reflected the rapid growth and popularity of the School’s music program as a whole. Under the leadership and mentorship of band instructor Jen Lydigsen and music teacher/Chair of the Fine Arts Department Scott Baeseman, over fifty LFCDS students Grades five through eight participated in a myriad of beautiful musical performances scaling from woodwinds and brass to piano, strings, and voice.
Participating in duets or solos of varying styles, degrees, and difficulties, each LFCDS student confidently expressed their musical talents in front of a judge who gave them each individual feedback, followed by a rating code. Each rating code fell into a skill category ranging in excellence from Perfect Score, followed by Division I down to Division III. Much like many of the athletes competing on the recent Winter Olympics, these students shouldered immense amounts of pressure and nerve and displayed an incredible amount of integrity and perseverance as they masterfully flexed the golden pipes or tickled the ivories in front of a large audience, not to mention judges who were scrutinizing their every move.
And when the judging was all over, LFCDS students took home three perfect scores, forty-eight Division I awards, and two Division II awards. Although there were many outstanding performances, three of the highlights were Saphie Potts’ flute performance, Victoria Giambrone’s alto saxophone performance, and Katie Schilling’s Trumpet solo.
If the quality of these performances show the high standard of excellence LFCDS holds over their music department, the quantity of the performers reflect the recent surge in popularity in music at the School. According to Mrs. Lydigsen, who just completed her fifth successful trip to the IGSMA annual contest with LFCDS, there were not more than ten students who competed in the first year. Now, there are over fifty. Although LFCDS provides many opportunities for their students to present their talents before crowds to foster confidence and free expression, the IGSMA contest is perhaps the best reflection of these types of opportunities and an excellent venue for students to learn and execute this valuable lesson. They succeeded with flying colors.