CHS Spring Band Concert To Be
Band Director Guter's Farewell Performance
On May 20, the Community High School Music Department will present its annual Spring Band Concert. The Symphonic Band will perform a wide variety of music including the "Second Suite in F" by Gustav Holtz, and a "Sonata" for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble featuring Wes Skidgel as trumpet soloist. Skidgel is a graduate of Community High School and a former band member who is doing graduate work at DePaul University. The band will also perform two Percy Grainger selections, a march by Strauss, a Duke Ellington medley and music that was sung by Frank Sinatra.
The second half of the program will feature the Jazz Band and Jazz Combo. The Jazz Band will perform a variety of literature including Latin, Swing, and two selections sung by our male and female vocalists. The Jazz Combo will end the performance with a Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter.
There will be a surprise ending to the concert according to Jim Guter, director of bands. He won't say what it is, only that you will have to attend to see for yourself. The concert is free and will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium located at 326 Joliet Street in West Chicago.
The concert will also be the final one led by Jim Guter, CHS's Fine Arts Department Chair and Director of Bands, who will retire from teaching this June after 37 years. He has been active in music education in Illinois, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut as a Band Director and Supervisor. He belongs to many state and national music educators professional associations. He is a Sinfonian and was a charter member of Lambda Mu Chapter. He was selected as an Outstanding Young Man in America, Outstanding Jazz Educator from NBA, and received a Citation of Excellence for Outstanding Contributions to Bands and Band Music from the National Band Association. He was named to Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 2002 & 2003, and Who’s Who in America 2002 & 2004. Guter began with 67 students at Community High School. During this final year, the marching band grew to 150 members. The band program was recently acknowledged as a Program of Excellence by Community High School.
Guter said that his best memories of Community High School are of all of the students he "had the pleasure to teach and to help grow into young men and women who became an asset to themselves, their families and their community." The band trips are also especially memorable to him, particularly the Millennium trips to London and Paris, and those to St. Louis and Boston.
"I will miss the students," said Guter. "They have been wonderful to know and work with." After working as the Director of Bands at six high schools, Guter says he feels that the West Chicago students were the best and the most fun to work with. "I know I will miss them, the High School, and all the friends I have made while working there. I wish my students a rewarding life," he added.
"Jim Guter has been outstanding for my son Peter," said band parent Nancy Mantz. "He has been absolutely great, and I applaud him."