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St. Charles D-303 students excel in state music program

Students selected for top ensembles

ST. CHARLES – Musicians from both St. Charles East and St. Charles North High Schools performed as part of the Illinois Music Education Association’s 2018 All-State Student Programs in Peoria from Jan. 24 through 27, officials announced in a news release.

Students qualified for participation during auditions and district festivals last fall.

From around the state, 1,500 students were selected from a pool of 24,000 students to be part of the program in Peoria, the release stated.

In addition to the bands, orchestras, choruses and jazz ensembles, students took part in composition workshops and the future music educators seminar, giving students the opportunity to learn from master teachers and conductors, as well as grow as musicians and explore a future in music education, the release stated.

St. Charles East students selected for top ensembles were: Lucas Coker on guitar for the Honors Jazz Workshop; Katie Swenson on trumpet for Honors Orchestra; Ayu Seiya on violin for Honors Orchestra; Stella Childs in the Honors Orchestra; Storey Childs on viola in the Honors Orchestra; Trudie Childs on cello in the Honors Orchestra; principal string bass Alexander Carroll in Honors Orchestra.

St. Charles North students selected for top ensembles were: principal viola Jacob Rollins in Honors Orchestra; Mike Anderson on tuba in Honor Band; Ashley Storinger in Future Music Educator; bass Ajay Gustafson in All State Vocal Jazz; and Bass Brett King on guitar in All State Jazz Band.

“It is really impressive to have three students from one district chosen as principals,” Daniel Beder, orchestra teacher at East, stated in the release.

“Stella, Alex, and Jacob worked very hard to earn this distinction, as did Lucas, to be chosen for the top guitar spot in the state,” Beder stated in the release. “All the students who were involved did a great job representing our District 303 music programs.”

Students in the performing ensembles represent the best student musicians in Illinois and came together to present a series of All-State Concerts.

The St. Charles East Chamber Orchestra, the Thompson Middle School 8th grade Choir and the St. Charles North Jazz Workshop were chosen to perform, the release stated.

The All-State Student Programs run concurrently with the Illinois Music Education Conference, the premier professional development opportunity for music educators in Illinois.

This event brings more than 10,000 students, educators, parents and music education industry vendors to the Peoria Civic Center to celebrate and promote music education in Illinois.

For more information on the Illinois Music Education Association and opportunities for student musicians and music educators, visit

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