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By Allie Rios

Providence Catholic Music Students Selected to ILMEA District 1 Music Festival

The Providence Catholic High School Music Department late last year made school history, as seven students were selected to ILMEA District 1 Music Festival. These students are now eligible for state competition.

Those chosen are Adam Jostes, bass 1 (choir); Kate Koszulinski, alto 2 (choir); Chloe LaBine, alto 2 (choir); Nathan Pugh, bass 1 (choir); Nick Pugh,  bass 1 (choir); Michael Melei, trombone (band); and Abigail Pintoy, clarinet (band).

“The festival is virtual [during 2020],” said Dr. Stacy Eckert, director of choirs, liturgical music, and theater at Providence Catholic. “The students submitted audition videos as a one-shot deal. They had only this one video audition, which was used to decide District 1 participants. District 1 is the largest in the state. The video serves as their audition for state, as well."

The Illinois Music Educators association is comprised of choir, band, orchestra, and jazz directors from throughout the state who promote high- quality music education and outstanding musical experience for Illinois learners.

"We are extremely proud of our music students and their hard work and dedication," said Dr. Eckert.

"Auditioning for ILMEA this year was very different, but I am so grateful that we are finding new ways to continue music education. I feel very honored that I get to be a part of this, especially in such a year [in 2020] when much of the music world has been put on pause," said Kate Koszulinski.

"I am so thankful that they are still making a performance happen [in 2020], just in different circumstances," added Chloe Labine. "It will be an exciting new type of production that I am grateful to be a part of."

“As a musician, sometimes it doesn't feel like all of your hard work and practice pays off and it sometimes can be hard to stay motivated and keep putting effort into it,” said Michael Melei, a senior. “I’ve felt this way a lot this year because of the cancellations of concerts and the switch to online competitions. This honor has reminded me and motivated me to keep on going through this obstacle because in the end it will pay off.”

“Providence Catholic has seen tremendous success in recent years with our music programs,” said Father John Merkelis, O.S.A., president of Providence Catholic. “We are very proud of these seven students and look forward to what they continue to accomplish this year.”