1/19/17

Several members of both the Belleville East and Belleville West bands will be in the spotlight at the Illinois Music Education Association Conference Jan. 25-28 in Peoria.

The event is basically an all-star show for band members from schools across Illinois. District 201 schools are in IMEA District 6, which covers the southernmost part of the state, according to Belleville West Music Director, Michael Pond-Jones.

“We’re very happy that the music programs at both Belleville East and Belleville West have had several students be recognized,” Pond-Jones said. “Basically, District 6 is everything from a little bit north of Alton and across the state. Everything south of Highway 50. It’s a big area that includes a lot of good programs.”

District 201 students who have been named to conference bands include:

Belleville East:

Chase Carpenter, Nicholas Christ, Max Dipasquale, Sydney Eschman, Jake Gray, Isaiah Hein, Zac Jablonski, Gwynn McGrady, Noah Miller, Josh Phillips, Jamar Pugh, Delano Redmond, Evan Rist, Arthur Rodriguez, Liam Slawter, Hannah Sweeney, Olivia Tock, Andrew Tufto and Neil Wegrzyn were named to the District 6 Jazz Band.

Chase Carpenter, Sydney Eschman, Kinsey Gamboe, Evan Rist, Arthur Rodriguez, Katie Roy, Nathan Stricker, Olivia Tock, Katie Walker and Carl Walker were named to the District 6 Band.

Freshman Gwynn McGrady was named to the District 6 Orchestra.

Belleville West:

Blake Bagby, Madison Bevirt, Peter Dompke, August Frisby, Caleb Harsin, Grace Higgerson, Maxwell Juhas, Jeremy Kohlmeier, Kaleb Powell, Matthew Ratchford, Nate Robben, Lucas Robben, Andrew Romano, Bailee Schobert, Robert Stock and Stephanie Stock were named Jazz Festival participants.

Sophomore Bailee Schobert was named to the District 6 Band.

Senior Madison Bevirt and juniors Matthew Ratchford and Grace Higgerson were named to the District 6 Orchestra.

Belleville East Director of Bands Mark Tessereau said his performers had an excellent marching band season in the fall and now they’re looking forward to an exciting concert season in the winter and into the spring.

“We won our class at the Mizzou Marching Band Contest and were first at the St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Tessereau said. “We had a total of six contests where we finished in the top two or three. We’re pretty happy with the way the marching season went.”

As they move into the second half of the school year, both band programs have major fundraisers coming up which Pond-Jones and Tessereau hope will help to replace equipment and uniforms and allow the band leaders to plan for future expansion.

Belleville East will host its “Jazz at the B’Eastro” fundraisers Feb. 25 at Bellecourt Manor with Dawn Weber and Friends performing. Go to http://www.lancerbands.org/ for more information or to buy tickets.

The Belleville West band program will hold a jazz dinner dance fundraiser April 8 in the school commons. For information or to buy tickets, email mpondjones@bths201.org.