LZHS grad returns with U of I symphony
Lake Zurich High School grad Jared Cooney plays the clarinet in LZHS' wind ensemble during his sophomore year. Now a freshman at the University of Illinois, Cooney will return to LZHS on Dec. 7 when the U of I wind ensemble plays at the high school. | Photo courtesy of Jared Cooney GRID: edu in focus
Updated: November 29, 2012 3:00PM
LAKE ZURICH — Songs like “Lincolnshire Posy” and “A Lincoln Portrait” will fill Lake Zurich High School’s Performing Arts Center next week when one of the top collegiate wind symphonies comes to town.
Band director Josh Thompson said the high school is excited to welcome the University of Illinois’ Wind Symphony on Dec. 7. The concert also will feature LZHS alumni Jared Cooney, a clarinet player for the elite collegiate symphony.
Thompson is requiring all 175 of his students to attend.
“I want these kids to realize that this is something that can become part of their lives, whether they get paid to do it as a career or as something they do on the side, which is what most of us end up doing,” Thompson explained.
All students and members of the community are invited to the concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. In an effort to boost student attendance, tickets will cost them only $1 at the door. Tickets will cost $5 for adults.
“It’s good for our kids to hear high-quality music and see what an option for them might be if they continue on with music after high school,” Thompson said.
Cooney felt the same way about coming back to perform for his alma mater.
“I think it will be really cool to be able to play for people that I know, and hopefully inspire some of them,” he said.
Part of the reason Cooney said he tried out for the university’s selective wind symphony was because it was scheduled to perform at LZHS. The other reason was to continue exercising the award-winning talent and passion he’s had for years.
A disciplined clarinet player since the fifth grade, Cooney’s musical accolades from his days in District 95 include multiple visits to IMEA’s District 7 festivals and the all-state concert in Peoria.
Today, Cooney is one of 60 undergraduate and graduate students in the symphony who have attained the highest level of proficiency on their instruments.
All music majors enrolled in the university’s applied wind, brass and percussion instruments were required to audition for the top-tier ensemble; non-majors were welcome to audition under the stipulation that they were approved to do so by one of the band directors in their acceptance audition.
Despite the odds, Cooney beat out the graduate and undergraduate music majors that tried out for the group. He is currently a freshman pursuing degree in material science engineering.
Director Robert Rumbelow and his wind ensemble will be treated to dinner at the high school upon their arrival Dec. 7, and are slated to sit down with the high school’s oboe players to do a master class before the concert.
“I want my students to learn that music is something to enjoy and to pursue; that’s the main reason why we bring them in here — to get them motivated and excited about it,” Thompson said.
For more info about the concert, contact Thompson at (847) 540-4204 or email@example.com.