Support DeKalb Music Boosters During Give DeKalb County on May 6!

Did you know DeKalb Music Boosters is participating in Give DeKalb County this year for the first time ever?

Donations to DeKalb Music Boosters go directly to the support of music programs in DeKalb School District #428. Money may be used to purchase instruments, music, or equipment, fund student scholarships for music camps and college, or to offset travel expenses for music groups to participate in competitions and festivals.

If you’ve not participated before, the event is online, goes all day on Thursday, May 6, from midnight to midnight, and the minimum donation is $5, however our students’ potential is limitless with your support. 

I am confident the generous spirit of our community will ensure that the proud tradition of amazing music will play on in our schools for generations to come.
To learn more and to donate on Thursday, visit our giving profile at

I encourage you to share this message with family, friends and business associates.

Thank you!

Tamara Farrell, President
DeKalb Music Boosters
P.O. Box 249
DeKalb, Illinois

Generous Funding Brings Historic Harp Back to DeKalb

This particular harp is gilded in gold and was completely refurbished in 2015. “It was a challenge to find tradesmen who could repair the gold,” says Mrs. Felder.

Mrs. Sheila Felder, orchestra director at DeKalb High School and Clinton Rosette Middle School, was offered a very special opportunity to bring a piece of DeKalb’s music history back to its birthplace.

“Thanks to the generous financial help once again of the DeKalb Music Boosters, we were able to complete the purchase of the Starke Model Wurlitzer Harp #688, that was made in DeKalb in 1910,” says Felder. “We are very pleased to bring this harp back to DeKalb 111 years later, now to benefit the student musicians of DeKalb School District #428.”

For this instrument acquisition, Felder received grant funding through the DeKalb County Community Foundation, among other funding sources, before approaching the DeKalb Music Boosters for the rest of the funds needed.

“We were thrilled to help Mrs. Felder bring this gorgeous instrument back home to DeKalb, to the fortunate students who will benefit from playing it,” says Tamara Farrell, DeKalb Music Boosters president. “How exciting for our community to see and hear this harp being played by our young musicians. Mrs. Felder has such a resourceful spirit and is always seeking out new opportunities for her students and ways to make them a reality.”

The Wurlitzer Company hired Emil Starke to design and make harps. His model of harp was so creative, much sturdier than European harps, and had much better action, that it has been the model used for all concert grand harps made in the United States since. Starke only made harps for around 10–15 years. The normal price today for a Starke harp is around $20,000–$25,000.

The DeKalb Music Boosters will be participating in the upcoming Give DeKalb County community giving event on Thursday, May 6.  Visit to view the DeKalb Music Boosters’ giving profile to learn how your donations can help our school district’s music programs.

For more information about how you can support local music students through the DeKalb Music Boosters, email

Applications for DeKalb Music Boosters Scholarships Due April 30

If you know any DeKalb High School seniors who participate in music, encourage them to apply for a DeKalb Music Boosters senior scholarship! 
We are offering $500 scholarships for students going on to major in music at college, and $250 scholarships for students who have participated in music in high school, but are majoring in something else in college.
We also have scholarships for 6th–11th graders wanting to attend a music camp this summer (we know it’s all up in the air, but think hopefully!).

Applications are available on the DeKalb Music Boosters website, under “Forms.” 

All applications are due by mail or email by 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 30.

Local Residents Donate Trumpet to DeKalb Music Boosters

Local area resident Brandon Geber donates a trumpet to the DeKalb Music Boosters to benefit student musicians.

The DeKalb Music Boosters is grateful for the support of new residents to the area Brandon and Allison Geber.

Originally from Central Illinois, Brandon Geber, coordinator for the DeKalb-Sycamore Area Transportation Study for the DeKalb County Highway Department, reached out to the DeKalb Music Boosters about a trumpet he had in storage from his schooldays.

“We were interested in donating the trumpet in hopes it will reduce a student’s barrier to pursuing music education and to support our local music programs,” says Geber. “Even though I had not pursued a life-long passion of playing this instrument, the opportunity to learn and grow within the arts has had an immeasurable impact on my life. I feel at peace knowing the instrument is now available to bring that joy to others.”

“On behalf of the DeKalb Music Boosters and the DeKalb School District 428 music programs, thank you Mr. and Mrs. Geber for your donation of this beautiful instrument,” says Tamara Farrell, DeKalb Music Boosters president. “Young musicians will benefit from your kindness and generosity for many years to come.”

The DeKalb Music Boosters will be participating in the upcoming Give DeKalb County community giving event on May 6. Visit to view the DeKalb Music Boosters’ giving profile to learn how your donations can help our school district’s music programs.

For more information about how you can support local music students through the DeKalb Music Boosters, email

DHS Tri-M Music Honor Society News – New Members, Service Projects and More

The DeKalb High School chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society inducted 20 new members on October 1, 2020, for a total of 37 members in 2020-21. 

The DHS Tri-M Music Honor Society has at least two major service projects each year, in addition to their community performance outreach. They did a paper drive for the Barb Food Mart on November 18, 2020. A pick-up full of supplies was delivered in December.

Currently, the DHS Tri-M Chapter is working on a new mentorship program with music students at Clinton Rosette Middle School and Huntley Middle School. They are also putting together a compilation video of holiday music to send out to the area nursing homes that they usually visit in person yearly.

The donated paper products from the annual DHS Tri-M Paper Drive will benefit local families at Barb Food Mart.
Mrs. Sheila Felder, orchestra director, shows the donations received for the annual DHS Tri-M Paper Drive, which was held as a drive-thru event this year due to the pandemic. “It was so successful as a drive-thru event,” says Mrs. Felder. “The students plan on doing it this way in the future.”

Students Selected for ILMEA 2020

The following students have been selected for the Illinois Music Education Association’s Band, Chorus, Jazz and Orchestra divisions, based on their virtual auditions. Congratulations to all!

Huntley Middle School

Junior Band

Christina Blanchard, 8th grade – Flute

Lillian Hetland, 7th grade – Bb Clarinet

Carly Kammes, 8th grade – Tenor Sax

Alissa Kocjan, 8th grade – Alto Sax

Mariana Lundin, 7th grade – French Horn

Benjamin Madere, 7th grade – Tenor Sax

Elora Slater, 7th grade – Bb Clarinet

Jaden Teague-Nunez, 7th grade – Percussion

Jenna Zimmerman, 8th grade – Percussion

Junior Choir

Heidi Gratschmayr, 7th grade – Chorus – Soprano II

Miranda Perez, 7th grade – Chorus – Alto I

Junior Jazz Band

Carly Kammes, 8th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Tenor Sax

Jaden Teague-Nunez, 7th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Piano

Junior Orchestra

Giuliana Alvarez, 8th grade – Cello

Lindsey Nichols, 8th grade – Violin


Clinton Rosette Middle School

Junior Choir

Hope Johnson, 8th grade – Chorus – Alto I

Paige Lewis, 8th grade – Mixed Chorus – Alto

Piper Schiola-Williams, 8th grade – Mixed Chorus – Soprano

Junior Orchestra

Aja Aspinwall, 8th grade – Cello

Berenice Carmona, 8th grade – Violin

Maia Clapp-Duhau, 8th grade – Cello

Rachael Feldacker, 8th grade – Harp

Edmund Jaeger-Solares, 6th grade – Violin

Sydney Myles, 7th grade – Double Bass

Jairo Roman Ortiz, 7th grade – Violin

Emma Reid, 8th grade – Violin

Christopher Thunder, 8th grade – Cello

Cooper Warren, 8th grade – Cello

Ian Wickens-Walther, 8th grade – Cello

Kassidy Zinkel, 8th grade – Viola


DeKalb High School

Junior Chorus 

Julia Glover, 9th grade – Mixed Chorus – Soprano

Grace Leopardo, 9th grade – Mixed Chorus – Alto

Malaysia Stensrud-Holden, 9th grade – Mixed Chorus – Alto

Junior Orchestra

Grace Basnet, 9th grade – Violin

Anna Davies, 9th grade – Cello

Melanie Hernandez, 9th grade – Cello

Evie Heuschel, 9th grade – Cello

Yahaira Marquez, 9th grade – Cello

Senior Band

Madeline Barnes, 12th grade – Percussion

Zaire Burks, 12th grade – Trombone

Briana Castillo, 11th grade – Percussion

Zachary Gennardo, 10th grade – Trumpet

Benjamin Grych, 11th grade – Bb Clarinet

Taylor Hennessee, 10th grade – Trombone

Nya Jencks, 12th grade – Flute

Nya Jencks, 12th grade – Piccolo

Ryan Mays, 9th grade – Trumpet

Megan Medina, 9th grade – Bb Clarinet

Karl Olsen, 12th grade – Percussion

Noah Prince, 11th grade – Trumpet

Julia Rasmussen, 10th grade – Bassoon

Reagan Vander Bleek, 10th grade – Oboe

Senior Chorus

Nevaeh Castañeda, 10th grade – Soprano II

Gabriel Galindo, 10th grade – Tenor II

Jane Leopardo, 12th grade – Alto II

Jisela Marquez, 10th grade – Soprano I

Jaclyn McGraw, 12th grade – Soprano I

Claudie Miller, 12th grade – Alto II

Keegan Moore, 12th grade – Bass I

Joel Pandes, 12th grade – Bass II

liana Rigaud, 10th grade – Soprano II

Lily Slater, 11th grade – Soprano II

Senior Jazz

Matteo Bennardo, 11th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Tenor Sax

Nolan Bunger, 12th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Guitar

Zaire Burks, 12th grade – Jazz Band II – Jazz Trombone

Erik Castro, 10th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Trumpet

Venus Dorantes, 10th grade – Jazz Band II – Jazz Alto Sax

Reilly Farrell, 11th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz String Bass and Electric Bass

Benjamin Grych, 11th grade – Jazz Band II – Jazz Alto Sax

Taylor Hennessee, 10th grade – Jazz Band II – Jazz Trombone

Ryan Mays, 9th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Trumpet

Keegan Moore, 12th grade – Jazz Band II – Jazz Piano

Khadija Nagi, 12th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Trombone

Jason Pedraza, 12th grade – Jazz Band II – Jazz Trumpet

Karl Olsen, 12th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Drum Set

Audrey Palmer, 12th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Piano

Jared Schultz, 12th grade – Jazz Band I – Jazz Alto Sax

Senior Orchestra

John Adams, 12th grade – Bb Clarinet

Betsy Benisek, 12th grade – Viola

Bethany Blanchard, 12th grade – Violin

Lillian Duerkes, 11th grade – Double Bass

Reilly Farrell, 11th grade – Violin

Lauren Gates, 10th grade – Violin

Megan Gates, 10th grade – Violin

Chloe McKendry, 10th grade – Viola

Jessica Ni, 10th grade – Harp

Kelsey Nichols, 11th grade – Violin

Devin Snow, 11th grade – Cello

Keira Specht, 9th grade – Violin

Grace Thurman, 9th grade – Violin

Leah Valentiner, 11th grade – Flute

Sarah Valentiner, 12th grade – Violin

Vanessa Villa, 11th grade – Violin

Jordan Weiss, 12th grade – Violin

Ellison Xu, 9th grade – Harp

Fruit, Cheese and Sausage Sale Benefits Music Scholarships

Support the DeKalb Music Boosters’ Scholarship Fund by ordering from the Premium Fruit, Cheese and Sausage Sale catalogue online from Blue Freedom Farm Markets. Order now through November 16.

Order here:

Pick-up will be available at DeKalb High School in early December or by making arrangements personally with a DeKalb School District 428 music student.

Update: New President, Secretary AND Vice President Announced!

I am proud to take on the position as president of the DeKalb Music Boosters — I follow your great example, Carol Lee Duffin, and I thank you for your hard work as president and your dedication to the music students of DeKalb CUSD #428.

I am glad to welcome our new secretary, Wendy Wakeland. I am also pleased to welcome Jennifer Knutson to my former position of vice president.

Our meetings are open to all interested individuals. Please contact us with any questions or to request access to our monthly virtual meetings.

Tamara Farrell, President

**Cancelled Due to COVID-19** Tickets Now Available! Music Hall of Fame Honorees to be Recognized at Event May 1


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