Providence Catholic Music Earns 45 Superior Awards and Three Perfect Scores at the IHSA Solo and Ensemble Competition

Providence Catholic music students earned 45 Superior Awards (1st place medals) and three perfect scores for 18 performances at this year’s IHSA Solo and Ensemble Competition in March.

“This is an exceptional accomplishment for our student musicians,” says Dr. Stacy Eckert, Director of Choirs, Liturgical Music and Theatre at Providence Catholic. “I am so very proud of their work ethic and performance abilities. They did a wonderful job and represented Providence Catholic well.”

“These student musicians have worked incredibly hard all year to better their skills and performance, and it is reflected in their results,” adds Kyle Baltzer, Director of Bands at Providence Catholic. “We are grateful for our success, and to the parents and Celtic community for supporting us all year long.”

Awards included:

Superior Solos

  • Amelia Connors, Soprano (Perfect Score)
  • Meghan Connelly, Trumpet
  • Kalina Gandurski, Eb Alto Sax
  • William Garrison, Marimba
  • Anna Gleason, Tuba
  • Addison Gosslin, Soprano
  • Cassidy Lloyd, Soprano
  • Celia Minonne, Bb Clarinet
  • Tyler Santry, French Horn
  • Cecilia Santschi, Soprano
  • Lillie Scherf, Bb Clarinet
  • Paige Shepherd, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Elise Stoub, Soprano

Superior Ensembles

  • Honors Choir (Perfect Score)
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Santschi/Shepherd Duet
  • Singing Celtics (Perfect Score)

Each year, students rehearse the music and songs they have chosen. They then perform for a judge at a host school, and judging is based on tone quality, phrasing, performance, musicality, correct notes, and rhythms. “With vocal events, we are also judged on diction, ensemble with the accompanist and how well the overall mood, emotion, and performance of the text was performed,” says Dr. Eckert. “It is an all-day event that begins at 8 a.m. and goes until 5 or 6 p.m. Students can compete in different events throughout the day.”

Providence Catholic musicians have had a very successful year. In November, Paige Shepherd and Hunter Chentnik were selected to the District 1 ILMEA Music Festival. Paige was then selected to All-State Honors Choir – the sixth year in a row that a Singing Celtic been selected to State. In the Fall of 2022, the Marching Celtics grew their streak of placing in the top three in their class by finishing in the top three for their 40th consecutive competition. Also in the fall, the band was invited to perform at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville. Emily Amann was also selected for the ILMEA District 1 Festival for percussion.

“In the spring, the Concert and Jazz Bands will travel around the Chicagoland area to a variety of venues including Hersey High School for the Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival,” says Baltzer. “The band program also aims to bring in the best talent from across the country. This year the band was able to work with acclaimed composer Jarod Hall as they prepared one of his pieces for performance.”

For more about music and theatre at Providence Catholic, visit

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