WHS Music Ranked 3rd in Illinois Again

WHS Music Ranked 3rd in Illinois Again
Posted on 05/02/2024
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For the second year in a row, Waukegan High School’s Waukegan High School’s music program has finished its competition season as the 3rd ranked program in Illinois. Musicians in the band, choir, and orchestra combined for a 3rd place finish among all Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class AA schools.


Music programs are ranked annually based on individual and group performances at competitions. Student musicians are rated individually based on their performances at Solo/Ensemble Contests. Each music group is also rated as part of Organizational Contests. Points earned from both competitions are then added up to give a final ranking. 

With 936 points scored in the Solo/Ensemble and Organizational contests, the music students at WHS were the highest-ranked among all local schools. Collectively, the band (3rd place), orchestra (5th place), and choir (6th place) each finished in the top 10 statewide during the early March solo/ensemble contest in their respective category. 

During the solo/ensemble contest, a total of 95 WHS performances earned a Division I rating – the highest rating possible --  either as a soloist or in a small ensemble. Several Waukegan High School music students earned “Best of Day” designation during the Solo/Ensemble contest. They included:  Adrian Rodriguez - Snare Drum Solo;  Julian Todd, Alejandro Lopez, Gustavo Astudillo, Madelyn Montiel, and Daniel Velazquez - Saxophone Ensemble. 

In the Organizational Contest, 7 WHS groups received a Division 1, or “Superior” rating. They included: the Varsity Choir, Bulldog Big Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Rendition, and Bulldog Jazztet. Additionally, the Bulldog Big Band earned Best of Day at the Organizational Contest.

The WHS music groups are directed by Mr. Connor Allison, orchestras; Mr. Michael Kennedy and Mr. David Grayson, bands; and Ms. Jennifer Wagner and Mrs. Emily Heslinga,  choirs.


Below is the music program’s overall state ranking through recent years.

2024 - 3rd

2023 - 3rd

2022 - 6th

2020-  7th

2019 - 5th

2018 - 3rd

2017 - 5th

2016 - 2nd

2015 - 3rd

2014 - 5th

2013 - 8th

2012 - 7th

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