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Five Friar Musicians Earn All-State Status!

January 8, 2021

Illinois Music Education Association recognizes “quintet” of talented students from Fenwick’s performing arts’ programs.


Five performing-arts students from Fenwick High School have been selected as “All-State Musicians” by the Illinois Music Educations Association (ILMEA) for the 2020-21 school year. “These four singers and one composer scored in the top percentage of more than 6,000 high-schoolers from throughout the state of Illinois,” explained Ms. Rizelle Capito, chairperson of Fenwick’s Expressive Arts Department. “To say that we are proud of them would be quite an under-statement!” The All-State performers are:

Michael Bucolo ’22 - Elmhurst (Sandburg Middle School)
Rock Band Composition Contest with his song "Hearts to Eleven"


Belle Hart ’21 - Oak Brook (Timothy Christian School, Elmhurst)
All-State Choir, Soprano 2


Dante Nottoli ’22 - River Grove (St. Vincent Ferrer School, River Forest)
All-State Choir, Tenor 2


David Sobkowiak ’22 - Downers Grove (St. Mary of Gostyn Parish School)
All-State Choir, Tenor 2


Kate Turner ’21 - Hinsdale (St. Isaac Jouges Parish School)
All-State Choir, Soprano 1


“I am so incredibly happy for our All-State Musicians,” praised Mr. Caleb Faille Naimy, Fenwick's Choral Director. “In addition to the typical audition requirements, they had to learn how to film, edit, and submit online auditions this year. They all worked so hard and make Fenwick Performing Arts so proud.”

During a typical school year, ILMEA invites junior high and senior high school students from all areas of the state to prepare for and attend auditions to be selected into District Band, Chorus, Jazz and Orchestra ensembles. In fall 2020, the organization offered this experience, despite remote learning and changes in teaching environments, by launching the first-ever digital audition opportunity. More than 8,500 students submitted auditions in these different areas of music education and, of those submissions, some 6,500 students were selected for participation in the 2020 Virtual District Festival, to take the place of an in-person performance festival.

This virtual event featured master classes presented by expert practitioners from around the country offering performance advice, tips and techniques to participating students, as well as a keynote address presented by Professor Barry Hauser of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Students in grades 10-12 are eligible to be selected into ILMEA All-State Student Programs for Band, Chorus, Jazz and Orchestra; of the 6,000 high school students who auditioned and the 4,700 students who were selected into District Festivals, ILMEA is pleased to announce that approximately 1,500 students have been named into the 2021 ILMEA All-State Student Programs. In addition to the performing ensembles, this group also includes students who applied for and were accepted into the Future Music Educators Seminar for those students interested in pursuing a careers as professional music educators, and the students who entered the ILMEA Composition Contest and were selected to participate in the Composition Track, a workshop geared towards those students who are working in the areas of traditional composition, remix, singer/songwriter and other areas of music writing and production.


ILMEA All-State Student Programs

The ILMEA Student Programs have been developed to encourage musical performance and creative expression and the many forms that may take for student musicians. Ensembles include symphonic orchestras, wind bands, choral ensembles, jazz bands and combos, and vocal jazz ensembles. The students named into these ensembles represent the best and brightest student musicians and the high-quality music education provided by music educators across Illinois.

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



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