DeKalb HS music ensembles head to NYC for competitions

By Juliana Leprich

Students from DeKalb High School will sing scales and toot their horns to the Big Apple in the coming weeks for national musical competitions.

The DeKalb High School a capella Ensemble earned a spot in the International Championship of High School a capella competition in New York City April 27.

The following week, The DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble will compete in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition, also in New York City.

“The two competitions are very similar,” said Travis Erikson, Dekalb High School choral director. “They are about the same level of competition. We’re one of 10 finalists out of 80 groups.”

Erikson said the a capella group placed second in the national competition and was selected as one of three wildcard groups to compete at the International Championship of Highschool a Capella competition.

The DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble will also be competing in New York after a selection process.

“Essentially Ellington is in its 19th year,” said Steve Lundin, DeKalb High School band director. “They raise enough money so they can send the music to the schools. Schools are sent six songs and pick three to record and send in, which are reviewed in New York. In the end, 15 bands are selected.”

Both ensembles have planned fundraisers to help cover expenses for the trips.