ILMEA 2023


Benet Academy

Benet Academy band, orchestra and choir students that were chosen for ILMEA pose for a picture.

Editor’s Note: This piece was also posted in the Benet Herald 2023 Graduation Edition.

The Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) is an organization that supports music education in Illinois schools. Benet is widely recognized for its strong music program and dedication to providing music education opportunities for its students. One of the most popular programs is the ILMEA All-State Music Festival. This festival brings together the best high school musicians from throughout the state to perform in various ensembles. According to Sarah Gilette, a sophomore at Benet and an involved musician, “The festival is highly competitive, and students must go through rigorous auditions to participate, and this year it was digital, which is a new feature compared to previous years’ more conventional in-person audition.” In 2023, eight gifted Benet students- Bella Mckendall, Colby Van Gelderen, Kyle Spiegel, Lily Joy Santos, Mina Chang, Kevin Hernandez, Mary Kipp, and Emily Loftus- were selected to participate in the festival, held in Peoria, Illinois. The students performed in various ensembles including the All-State Band, Orchestra, and Choir. Riordan Klisiewicz, another involved sophomore singer at Benet, describes the event as “A great opportunity for students to showcase their musical talents, meet other musicians, and learn from professional conductors.” ILMEA also offers a Solo & Ensemble Festival, which allows students to perform solos and small ensemble pieces in front of judges. This festival is an excellent way for students to gain performance experience, receive constructive feedback, and improve their musical skills. In addition to its participation in the All-State Music Festival, Benet also hosted various music events throughout the year, such as the annual Christmas and Spring concerts, showcasing the talents of its student musicians. In 2023, Benet Academy continued to excel in music education, thanks in part to its partnership with ILMEA. Benet’s music program has been a great source of pride for the school and fine arts community which will only continue to grow in the future.