Posted in Arts News

Violinist Wins Two Recent Competitions

Niles North High School student Aidan Perreault is just a freshman, yet the supremely talented violinist serves as the concertmaster in the school’s prestigious Symphonic Orchestra, and is the recent winner of two local musical competitions.

On February 1, he won the North Suburban Symphony’s Young Musicians Competition in which he performed the first movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. He will solo with the orchestra during its spring concert program.

Perreault is also the overall winner in the Midwest Young Artists (MYA) 17thannual Walgreen’s National Concerto Competition, Senior Division. He played the Sibelius Violin Concerto for this competition as well, and he will solo with the MYA Symphony Orchestra in a concert that will be held at 7:30 p.m. on February 24 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University in Evanston.

He picked the Sibelius to perform, partly because, he said, “My teacher thought it would be a good one for competition. Also, I just like it. I’ve been listening to it for a few months now.”

Perreault picked up the violin at age 5, after attending a chamber music concert. He has played the instrument for about 10 years, which is more than half of his life. He said, “I was always the one that wanted to keep practicing.” In general, he plays about three hours a day, sometimes more when he is preparing for a competition. In addition to practicing, he plays in a chamber quartet, and the MYA orchestra. He also finds time to compete on Niles North’s Math Team.

Perreault said he would like to study music in college, which means more time devoted to the violin. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s a way to express yourself through music that you can’t necessarily express in other ways,” he said.

Posted in Arts News

Artists Win in Scholastic Art and Writing Competition

An astounding 70 Niles Township High School District 219 artists earned recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, an organization that identifies teens with exceptional literary and artistic talent. The competition, founded in 1923, is the nation’s longest-running, largest, most prestigious recognition program for creative teenagers in the visual and literary arts. Notable past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.

The Awards are an important opportunity for students to be recognized for their creative talents. Teens in grades 7 through 12 can apply in 30 categories of art and writing for the chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited or published.

Gold Key winners have achieved the highest level of recognition on the regional level. Their work is sent to compete on a national level for scholarships. Gold Key winners:  (Niles North)  Andrew Ardelean, photography; Richa Basnet, design; Marom Benzaken, drawing; Lianne Coballes, drawing; Serena Hocharoen, mixed media and drawing; and Diana Shlikhtova, drawing. Silver Key winners demonstrate a high level of achievement. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of all regional submissions earn Silver Key Awards. Silver Key winners:  (Niles North) Andrew Ardelean, photography; Hoa Cao, design; Taylor Hillen, design; Justin Salomon, design; Kevin Luc, photography; Corie Adams, drawing; Shenar Dinkha, photography; Gabrielle General, drawing; Anna Hershinow, drawing; Serena Hocharoen, drawing; Alexa Jasenof, drawing; Noreen Khan, ceramic/glass; Marta Lemesh, photography; Kelsey Pedrosa, drawing; Anna Poloz, drawing; and Jungha Suk, drawing. The Honorable Mention Award recognizes students with artistic potential. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of all regional submissions receive these awards. Honorable Mention: (Niles North) Andrew Ardelean, digital art; Arina Durmic, photography; Saba Kalantarpour, design; Regina Roberg, photography (3 awards); Corie Adams, drawing; Mali Gorovoy, drawing; Sarah Lewin, drawing; Mateo Ruiz, painting; and Victoria Sorin, drawing.

The Alliance presents over $250,000 annually in awards and scholarships to top winners of the Awards and their teachers. Niles North and Niles West award winners are taught by (Niles North) Lori Real, Deanna Sortino and Amy Zwikel.

Posted in Arts News


The Niles North Pep Band has been selected as one of four bands in the state to perform as an Official Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Pep Band during the IHSA Girls State Final. Recorded samplings of their songs were sent to a panel of judges at IHSA. They will play at four semi-final Girls Basketball games which are being held March 1, 2013 at Illinois State University. They’ll perform during timeouts, halftime and commercial breaks at the competition and will be featured on Comcast Sports Net.

This competition has opened up many great opportunities for the Band. The Niles North Pep Band is considered an extracurricular class, performing at football games and basketball games while entertaining the crowd. This is the first time in five years that they have performed outside of the Niles North campus.

“I’m grateful for all of these students who have been so committed and truly expressed their schoolspirit and love.” Band director Cheryl Filipek, said.

pep bandedited

Thanks to Ryan McTague, Jason Brown and Cheryl Filipek for helping make this happen!

Posted in Event

See ‘The Birds’ Feb. 12, Feb. 13

Who really controls your facebook account? You? Hmm. With the foresight only a Greek philosopher could provide, the ancient satirist Aristophanes tells of a world created by birds — who manipulate the relations between man and god. If you control all communication, you can become god-like yourself, right? Part of Niles North’s celebration of “Coming Together in Skokie” through the Greek culture, The Birds celebrates the extraordinary contribution of the ancient Greeks to contemporary American culture.

These performances will be directed by guest artist Ann Hartdegan

Performances are Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m., in the Drama Performance Center.


Posted in Arts News

A Tribute To Pam Hendrix

Bpamhendrixy Rebecca Oppenheim

Editor’s Note: The following article appeared in The Scroll, Winter 2013. The Scroll is the official publication of the Illinois American String Teachers Association.

“Ms. Hendrix is the reason I am still playing violin. She has made me a better player and taught me a lot more than any other teacher and she was the highlight of my freshman year,” stated Mia Temkin (Niles North High School class of 2015). Pam Hendrix is an outstanding music educator who has been teaching at Niles North High School for 22 years.

When I was placed at Niles North High School in 2011 as Pam’s student teacher she immediately took me under her wing. She has a warmth and enthusiasm about her that is contagious to anyone who comes in contact with her. She has a wonderful way of making every student feel important and loved. I remember Pam standing by the door and greeting every individual student who entered the classroom. She holds her students to a high standard and pushes them to always strive for excellence.

“The thing about Ms. Hendrix is that it is not only about the music but about her students as well. She always takes every possible step to help her students in any way she can.”Jazib Gohar (Niles North High School Class of 2014). Pam is such an incredible musician and educator. The students and teachers of Niles North High School adore her.

“Not only is Pam Hendrix a great director and music educator, but she is an incredible person with a kind heart. Her students look at her not only as a teacher and mentor, but as an extra parent, or in some cases their main parent. She is kind, sensitive and always is willing to step up and help her students, colleagues, school and community, especially when it involves educational experiences to further students’ experiences and knowledge.” Daniel Gregerman (Choral Director Niles North High School)

“Pam is one of the most inspirational teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I have seen her not only train students to be better musicians, I have seen her train them to become mature and caring young adults. She has certainly made her mark in string education and has led the charge of making music education a valued aspect of a student’s life.

Several years ago as I was a new teacher in the Chicago area, I was looking to start a string program in northern Lake County, where none existed. The person everyone told me I had to observe was Pam Hendrix. She had created and developed a beginning strings program that brought new meaning to beginning an instrument at the high school level. Through her dedication and recognition for this need, I was able to begin one at the high school level in my own school district.

Pam Hendrix has accomplished many things with her students, both at the high school level and beyond. She has trained “the best of the best” student teachers to become extremely accomplished music educator’s them­selves. I value her as a colleague, fellow music educator and friend. Congratulations to Pam Hendrix on her retirement and on her years of stellar contribution to music education.” (Teralyn Keith, Department Chair for Fine Arts, Maine South High School).

Pam is a star in the world of orchestra teaching and her presence in the classroom will truly be missed. During retirement she plans to help find forever homes for the greyhounds and work with her therapy dog, Lily, helping autistic children. Thank you Pam for all of the lives you have touched over the years. You are a gift to the teaching profession.