As many people know, the Chester Music Department has had a history with the IHSA Music Sweepstakes competition. The group actively participates in both the Solo and Ensemble as well as the Organizational contests. In 2018, the department placed first in the series. After a class change in 2019, the music department faced much bigger schools and still placed in the top ten.
This year was a more challenging year. Going in, Mr. Colonel knew that he wanted as much normalcy for the group as possible, this meant being competitive in the sweepstakes competition. The number of events sent to Solo and Ensemble contest suffered compared to previous years. The whole process was also completely different. Students had to record videos of their events and submit them to judges, rather than performing in front of the judge. The rating that students receive on their performances have associated point values, and that is how to point system is tallied. This posed as a more stressful situation for many of the students. After the contest was finalized, the music department was sitting in second place by six points.
Then came Organizational contest. This year was different. Early on in the process, it was released that only 50 musicians (including the director) could record at one time. This meant that Mr. Colonel had to cut the band down more than halfway to meet the guidelines set forth by the IDPH and IHSA. So, to stay competitive, Mr. Colonel cut the band down to meet the regulations. The department treated everything else relatively normally. The Jazz Band, Concert Choir, and Swing Choir all competed as well. The departments rating were as the following: Jazz Band- I, Concert Band- II, Swing Choir- I, Concert Choir-I. Once the scores were finalized, it was announced the the CHS Music Department finished as the state runner up in class C.
The unveiling of the trophy will take place at the Spring Concert, being held on Tuesday May 11. The concert can only be entered with a voucher. Mr. Colonel will be distributing them on Monday in his classes. If you are not able to attend in person due to not having a voucher, the whole concert will be streamed on the NFHS Network. The concert will be just as a “normal” concert in a “normal” year. Mr. Colonel will present his band and choir awards as well as have all of the ensembles perform.