All posts by Ellen Singer

Newsletter (March 2018)

String ensemble preparing to perform at S&E Contest 2018.

Congratulations to all of the students who performed so well at our recent contests! Our students performed at the Solo & Ensemble Contest at the end of February and at Organization / Jazz Contests in March. In our third year, NIMCon has continued to grow and we are glad to provide an opportunity for our students to shine.

Contests By The Numbers

Solo & Ensemble Contest (Feb 24)

  • 987 total events registered
  • 1698 student performers (many performed in multiple events)
  • 22 participating schools
  • 49 directors participating
  • 25 judges

Organization Contest (Mar 9 & 10)

  • 2 host sites
  • 37 ensembles performed (19 bands, 7 orchestra, 11 choirs)
  • 17 participating schools
  • 2130 student performers

Jazz Contest (Mar 13)

  • 6 ensembles performed
  • 4 participating schools
  • 131 student performers

Thank You

Trombone & Trumpet duet at S&E Contest 2018.

Thank you to all of our contest hosts! You exemplify the student/director centered qualities that NIMCon stands for. Thank you to: Sara Kumpula, Julie Dee, Jen Grabot, Alex Moberg, Steve Stenzel, and Cindy Severino.

We look forward to our contests next year, hosted by Renee Brown (Palombi MS), Deb Saam & Jessica Rosales (West Oak MS), and Chuck Naffier, Genevieve Klein, & Samantha May (Hawthorn MS South).

Next Year Dates

Post-Contest Surveys

Directors, if you have not already done so, please complete the post-contest surveys below:

Board Meeting (April 26)

The NIMCon Board will be holding a board meeting on April 26. If you have anything that you would like us to discuss, please contact us or Ellen Singer (NIMCon President) directly.

Board Officer Nominations

Thank you to the current Board for their work in our first three years as an organization. As we near the end of the school year, and look towards the Fall, we are accepting nominations for Board Officers.

If you would like to nominate someone or yourself for an office, please contact us or Ellen Singer (NIMCon President) directly.

More pictures…

Newsletter (May 2017)

Thank you for another successful year! The board of directors would like to thank all of the members of NIMCon for your active participation this year and for continuing to help make NIMCon the best organization it can be! We are thrilled with the positive feedback we have received, and we look forward to starting our third year in August!

Thank you to all of the contest hosts – Lake Zurich MS North, Hawthorn MS North and West Oak MS- for enabling us to have a successful contest season. Your hard work is appreciated!

2018 Contest Dates

  • Solo and Ensemble Contest – February 24 @ Big Hollow MS
  • Organization Contest – March 9/10 @ Beach Park MS
  • Jazz Contest – March 13 @ TBA

As you can see, we are still in need of a host for jazz contest. Please contact us if you can help. The board has put together a rotation schedule for the following years and it will be posted on the website soon. Thank you for the feedback following contest! Because of your feedback and participation, we are able to improve and grow as an organization.

Judges Wanted

We continue to look for qualified judges from within our professional community. We are looking specifically for string and vocal judges, but wind and percussion suggestions will be accepted as well. Who do you know who understands the elementary and middle school musician and would make a good clinician? Please send their names to us.

Pictures Wanted

We are looking for pictures from contest to post on our website. If you have pictures of students participating in contest, and have permission to post, please send them to us.

Fall Membership Meeting

The fall membership meeting will be held on Monday, September 18, 2017 @ Lake Zurich MS North at 7:00 PM, with dinner at 6:15 PM. Please plan to attend. We will be sending out information about NIMCon to other directors in the area who are not yet members. If you have names of specific directors you would like us to contact, please send us their names.

Treasurer Bids Farewell

The board of directors would like to thank Laura Blanchard for her two years of service to NIMCon. She has done an outstanding job as treasurer, going above and beyond to stay on top of our financials and help us obtain 501c3 status. We will miss you, Laura. Good luck in New York! We are looking to fill her position IMMEDIATELY with an interim treasurer. If you are interested, please contact Ellen Singer.

Laura writes:

Hello NIMCon Colleagues: It is with a heavy heart I announce to you that I have accepted a role within my current organization that will relocate me to New York City effective Tuesday, May 16th.

The NIMCon organization is a dream to so many and I am honored to have been a member. I know the work we do everyday makes the lives of our beloved colleagues, business we partner with, and the young people of Illinois who participate in our programs better. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you, know you, and share in the respect. All the best to each and every one of you!

Laura

In Memoriam

As you know, Art Hildebrand, NIMCon board member and colleague, passed away in January. The Deerfield Community Band, which Art conducted, will be having a Memorial Concert on Sunday June 18th at 2 PM at the Patty Turner Center in Deerfield. Some of the board members are planning to attend. Please join us for this opportunity to remember Art and his contribution to music in our community.

Newsletter (November 2016)

Contest Registration Deadline

December 1st is the deadline to enter for Organization and Solo & Ensemble Contests. Use the above links to register. In addition, the Contest Fees Sheet and checks or purchase orders must be postmarked by December 1st and mailed to Ellen Singer. Late entries will not be accepted.

Contest Hosts Needed for 2018

We need one more Organization Contest host for March 2018. We will need a site with two performance rooms to accommodate choirs and the rest of the bands and orchestras. Please contact Ellen Singer, President at nimusicconference@gmail.com.

Grant Writing Committee Survey

We are collecting information that will help us in the grant writing process. The survey is anonymous. Please complete this survey no later than December 20th, 2016.

If you have questions about the survey, or have trouble accessing the survey, please contact us at nimusicconference@gmail.com. Thank you for your feedback. If you would like to participate in the grant writing team efforts, we would be happy to have you join us – please let us know! We are always excited to hear from you!

Newsletter (October 2016)

Contest Registration

It’s time to register for contest! Please be sure to read the Rules & Procedures carefully and feel free to email us with questions. Several rules have changed as of this year’s Membership meeting, so please take the time to read them carefully before registering your students for contest.

Once you have registered for contest, please print out and return the Contest Fees Sheet to Ellen Singer, NIMCon President, by Dec. 1st. Please consider that date when you set your (earlier) deadline for your students to sign up with you for Solo and Ensemble Contest. We will not accept late entries. Be sure to PRINT out your registration from the website so you have a copy, and use that to fill out the payment form. Your form and check (or copy of your check request) are due by Dec. 1st.

Register for 2017 Organization Contest
Register for 2017 Solo & Ensemble

Recent News

NIMCon is officially recognized as a 501c3 charitable organization! This status will enable us to function as a tax-exempt organization.

The Honors Invitational Contest will take place on Friday, April 28, 2017. All organizations receiving a Division I rating at Organization Contest are eligible to attend. If you have not done so, please take a quick survey regarding this exciting addition to our contest offerings.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Membership meeting on Sept. 22nd. We are thrilled with the active participation of our membership and appreciate you taking the time to attend and contribute your ideas for making this organization better every year. Click to read the Meeting Minutes.

Newsletter (September 2016)

Fall Membership Meeting

Please RSVP

The annual membership meeting will be on on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 PM @ Lake Zurich MS North. Lou Malnati’s pizza dinner will be served at 6:15 PM. Dinner includes, salad, pizza (cheese, spinach, pepperoni, sausage), beverage and dessert. Please RSVP for dinner and/or the meeting  by September 19.  Agenda items will include contest information, budget, by-law updates, and election of Board of Directors. The nomination committee has slated the following persons for the Board of Directors.

  • President: Ellen Singer
  • Vice-President: Elise Matusek
  • Secretary: Margaret Delligatti
  • Treasurer: Laura Blanchard
  • Webmaster: Riley Broach
  • Judge Hirers: Jim Garbrecht, Art Hildebrand, Steve Stenzel

Second-Level Contest Survey

We are in the process of finalizing a site and details for a second-level contest (temporarily named “Honors Festival”). Please take the following (very short) survey to help us determine the needs of our directors.

Future Survey for Grants

Survey says… Lookout next month for a survey inquiring about “how you use NIMCon” to develop you, your students, and your program. This information will be used for grants to support NIMCon initiatives…ultimately supporting future program participation and offerings! More information to come at the Fall Meeting and future newsletters.

Join NIMCon

Membership applications are currently being accepted for the 2016-17 school year. Click to join NIMCon and become an active member. Every director should register; however, dues are only $75 PER SCHOOL DISTRICT. Membership dues should be mailed to Ellen Singer, NIMCon President  by September 15.  We are excited to hear from you!

Newsletter (August 2016)

Join NIMCon!

Membership applications are currently being accepted for the 2016-17 school year. Click above to join NIMCon and become an active member. Every director should register; however, dues are only $75 PER SCHOOL DISTRICT. Membership dues should be mailed to Ellen Singer, NIMCon President  by September 15.  We are excited to hear from you!

Membership Meeting

The annual membership meeting will be on on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 PM @ Lake Zurich MS North. Lou Malnati’s pizza dinner will be served at 6:15 PM. Dinner includes, salad, pizza (cheese, spinach, pepperoni, sausage), beverage and dessert. Please RSVP for dinner and/or the meeting.  Agenda items will include contest information, budget, by-law updates, and election of Board of Directors.

Welcome and congratulations!

Congratulations to Jen Lydigsen on her new job in St. Charles. Unfortunately for us, that means Jen will no longer have time to serve on the NIMCon board. We are sad to see you go, and wish you the best in your new position! Serving as Interim Secretary to finish out Jen’s term will be Margaret Delligatti from Northwood Jr. High in Highland Park. We welcome Margaret into the position and appreciate her willingness to jump in and serve the organization.

General Information

Photos by Claire Esker / 22nd Century Media (from lakeforestleader.com)
Photos by Claire Esker / 22nd Century Media (from lakeforestleader.com)

Remember, all of the information you need for NIMCon can be found here at nimcon.org. Notable pages include: Rules & Procedures, Solo & Ensemble Contest, and Organization Contest. We received an outpouring of positive feedback after our first year from directors, parents, and students. Many of these testimonials have been posted on various pages of nimcon.org. Thank you to everyone who put your trust in us and joined us last year. We are looking forward to an even more successful second contest season! Please continue to send us your feedback privately or publicly with a comment below.

Newsletter (April 2016)

It is hard to believe that a year ago, NIMCon was just an idea. The board of directors would like to thank all of the directors who put their confidence in a new organization, and shared their vision with us. We are thrilled with the positive feedback we have received, and we look forward to the future!

Thank you to all of the contest hosts for enabling us to have a successful first contest season. Your hard work is appreciated!

2017 Contest Dates

We will be putting together a rotation schedule for the following years and will have that ready for the fall meeting. Thank you for the feedback following contest.

Rubric Update

We will be continuing work on the rubric and comment sheets this summer. Please send your feedback to Elise Matusek (ematusek@dist50.net).

Fall Membership Meeting

The fall membership meeting will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2016 @ Lake Zurich MS North at 7:00 PM. Please plan to attend. We will be sending out information about NIMCon to other directors in the area who are not yet members. If you have names of specific directors you would like us to contact, please send their names to Ellen Singer (ellens@csiw.com).

Newsletter (March 2016)

Organization Contest 2016

Plans are well under way for Woodland Middle School Music Department to host the first ever Northern Illinois Music Conference Organization Contest on March 11th & 12th.

Here are a few important notes as you prepare to visit us!

For Directors:

  • Remember to have 3 music scores with each measure numbered for the judges.
  • Please check information that was sent regarding maps for bussing, drop-off and parking.
  • Please share maps with parents so they know where to park as well.
  • Please review NIMCon rules with your students so we have a safe and successful weekend.
  • Please consider sharing the new rubrics with your students so they also know about our new format.
    • A note about our judging rubrics: the scoring is based on information from the National Standards for Music Performance. The point system was created based on the overall five point system, removing ‘5’ which is considered high school levels. This information will be shared with judges prior to our performances.

For Parents, Families, and Friends:

  • Please remind parents, families and friends that everyone is welcome to come hear any of the performance ensembles. There is a $1 admission fee for non-performers (but not bus drivers or chaperones).
  • Wiley’s Cafe will be open for the duration of our contest!

The WMS Music Department staff are excited to see you this weekend!

No Second-Level Contest this year

Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a host for a second level contest for this spring. We are already hard at work to find a location for next year. If anyone has any suggestions, please contact Ellen Singer at ellens@csiw.com.

Contest Dates for 2017

Please mark your calendars! These are tentative dates based on the January survey results. As soon as hosts are confirmed, we will send out the official dates. Thank you to those directors who participated in the survey. Your input is greatly appreciated!

  • Solo and Ensemble Contest @ February 25
  • Organization Contest @ March 10/11 or March 17/18
  • Jazz Contest @ March 16 (based on Organization being March 10/11)
  • Honors Festival @ April 22 or April 29

Board of Directors Meeting

The Board of Directors is meeting on Sunday, April 10th. We will be discussing ideas for next year, and have received all of your comments from the Solo and Ensemble Contest survey. We also plan to send out an Organization and Jazz band survey next week. If you have any other comments that you would like us to discuss at our meeting, please let us know by April 3rd. These ideas will help generate an agenda for the general Membership meeting in September.

Newsletter (February 2016)

Hello NIMCon Members,

It’s contest season and here is everything you need to know. If we forget anything, please, leave a comment below.

Solo & Ensemble Contest

Solo & Ensemble Contest is just around the corner! All around Northern Illinois students are working hard toward perfecting their music. What an awesome thing to contemplate. Music making is happening everywhere!

Contest is on February 20 at Lake Forest Country Day School. Thank you to LFCDS directors for their hard work in hosting contest this year.

Below are a handful of reminders about the big day.

Remember to Practice Your Scales / Rudiments!

As a membership, we value the idea that instrumental soloists need to learn the scale that makes up their piece. With that in mind, you probably noticed that the rubric for soloists includes a score of 1-3 points for the student’s performance of a scale. As a friendly reminder, be sure you are preparing students to perform a scale that makes sense for their piece.

Because this may be a new process for everyone participating in NIMCon, here are the details for each instrument type.

Winds & Strings will play a scale in the key of the solo being played. The scale should be up and down and at least one octave. Tempo and note length are at the soloist’s discretion. Beginning students may play the scale in split octaves, that is, a beginning clarinet player may play CDEFGA (drop the octave) BCB (back up the octave AGFEDC. Similar accommodations might be made for other instruments.

Percussionists (mallet players) will play a scale from the Scales for Mallet Players sheet.

Percussionists (snare drum) will play snare drum rudiments. Students should prepare all designated rudiments based on their years of experience.

Percussionists (drum set) will play drum set patterns. Students should prepare all designated patterns based on their years of experience.

Instrumental Ensembles & Vocal Performers do not need to play / sing scales.

S&E includes Short Clinics

Performance time slots have been expanded to 10 minutes to allow for a short clinic where the judge can work with the student. Please, prepare your students so they expect a short clinic where the judge may ask them to play various sections again as well as try different things.

S&E Scoring Rubrics

To provide meaningful feedback for students, performances will be evaluated based on the scoring rubrics below. Along with the rubric system comes a scoring system where students score up to the division rating. If you haven’t already seen the scoring rubric sheets, we encourage you to check them out below.

Rubric scoring sheets allow our judges to select areas of solid playing / singing, or areas that need work. Ample space is provided in each box to make a comment, a note, a rhythm, a dynamic, etc. Judges will receive a sample scoring sheet with their contest information. Several of our hired judges have already expressed excitement about our scoring rubrics!

Best of all, the scoring rubrics are based on the 2014 Music Standards from the National Association for Music Education.

Special thanks to Elise Matusek and Carolyn Awe for the research, writing, rewriting, and reformatting of the new rubric sheets. As we proceed through this first contest season in the new format, please don’t hesitate to forward any thoughts, comments, and suggestions regarding rubrics.

Organization & Jazz Contests

March contests will be here before we know it. Thank you to the directors at Woodland MS in Gurnee for hosting Organization Contest (Mar 11-12) and Nippersink MS in Richmond for hosting Jazz Contest (Mar 17).

Stay tuned for more information. Be sure to visit the event pages as they are updated.

Organization Contest includes a Short Clinic

Performance time slots have been lengthened slightly to allow for a short clinic where the judge can work with the ensemble. All ensembles should make every effort to enter and perform promptly to maximize their time for the clinic.

Please, prepare your students so they expect a short clinic where the judge may ask them to play various sections again as well as try different things.

Organization Contest Rubrics

Ensembles will be evaluated based on the following rubrics.

Judges

If you are judging for us, thank you! Be sure to visit the various event pages and Judges page for all information.

Contest Rules & Procedures

As always, you can view the Contest Rules & Procedures at any time.

Newsletter (January 2016)

Solo & Ensemble Contest

Members, you should have received a first draft of the Solo & Ensemble schedule. If not, please contact Jennifer Lydigsen (jennifer.lydigsen@lfcds.org) asap and we’ll be sure to get it to you.

If you see any major conflicts, please contact Jennifer. As always, try to resolve any conflicts within your school and be sure to  email Jennifer the changes. Also, please let us know if you have any students that have dropped.

Organization Contest

Stay tuned, performance times will be sent out sometime next week.

Second Level Contest (update)

Unfortunately, we were unable to secure an auditorium in either a professional venue or a high school for this year. We would still like to offer a second level “State” contest for those who are interested. If you are willing to host at your school, please contact Ellen Singer (ellen.singer@nimcon.org) as soon as possible. The board of directors has already begun looking for a location for next year. Suggestions are welcome.

Looking Ahead to Next Year (2016-17)

Can you Host?

Please, contact Ellen Singer (ellen.singer@nimcon.org) if you would like to host any contest for 2016-17 (as well as 2017-18).  We will take requests first, and then we will make up a rotation for the following years. If you have any special requests, please contact Ellen Singer.

Survey: What Dates are Best for You?

We would like to set dates for next year’s contest. Please take a quick survey and let us know what dates you would prefer. Please complete the survey by January 27th.

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