NCHS Orchestras

...creating lifelong purveyors of music

Monday, March 20, 2023

Krispy Kreme & Nelson's Fundraisers; Last Call Europe Registrations

With $12, you can't buy happiness, but you can buy a dozen doughnuts and support Normal Community High School!! 🍩 We have just launched a GroupRaise x Krispy Kreme Digital Dozens fundraising campaign. From now until April 18, 33% of orders will be donated back to the Normal Community High School Orchestras, when you purchase your doughnuts using our fundraising sales page. Find out more/place your order here.  Simply purchase your doughnuts online, and show the appropriate validation at your local Krispy Kreme. Share this link on all of your social media pages as this fundraiser is valid for pickup at Krispy Kreme stores across the country (excluding Connecticut and Puerto Rico Krispy Kreme stores)!!! 

Please note: this is a general fundraiser for the orchestra program and is NOT going into individual trip accounts. 

Don't forget Nelson's dinner ticket orders are due THIS THURSDAY (March 23rd).  This fundraiser is going directly into trip accounts.  We also need volunteers to help plate/distribute food the day of the event - please sign up to work a shift!  

We're running out of time to get participants registered for the Europe trip - please make every effort to get that taken care of before spring break so that we can determine the viability of the trip.  

Monday, March 6, 2023

IHSA Solo & Ensemble Contest Wrap-Up; IMEC Recordings Payment Due; Unit Orchestra Calendar Change

Congratulations to the Normal High School Orchestra program on winning the Class AA IHSA Solo & Ensemble Sweepstakes for strings!!!  Students from all four orchestras contributed to our narrow three-point victory over Loyola Academy.  Way to go Iron Strings!

A HUGE thank you to all of the students and adults who helped out with contest this weekend - we adjudicated hundreds of young musicians and fed them and their families at the concession stand.  Set up and tear down went faster than it ever has, and this was one of the most smoothly run contest days that we can remember!  All of the volunteers this year were simply amazing and we couldn't have done it without you - we are truly blessed to have such a fantastic group of individuals working behind the scenes to help provide these kinds of opportunities for our students and the students of other local districts!

If you ordered an IMEC recording, the company is ready to begin finalizing the finished product.  I will send a reminder email to everyone on the list, but if you could get $30 per recording ordered sent to school as soon as possible, our invoice is now due. Checks can be made payable to NCHS Orchestra.  We will also have a few extras available for purchase if you missed the initial order. 

All Unit Orchestra rehearsals and concert have been cancelled.  We will be replacing this event with the IHSA Organization Contest on April 14th.  More details will be forthcoming as they become available, but will most likely involve a "field-trip" style event with orchestras being bussed to Heartland sometime during the school day to perform.  Students will also perform part of their repertoire for this performance on the spring concert as we understand it is unlikely most parents would be able to attend this event in the middle of the day. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

Message from the Unit 5 Music Parents Association


Hello Parents,

 WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We need help staffing informational tables at upcoming music concerts in March. If you are passionate about your music student and their ability to continue receive great music opportunities at school, please sign-up to help.  Visit the Sign-up Genius to let us know you can assist us in providing parents. We will provide all of the set-up, literature, and information you need to help us.

Our sincere thanks,

Unit 5 Music Parents Association

Friday, February 24, 2023

Europe Informational Meeting, Monicals Info, & IHSA Solo & Ensemble Update

We are ready to go with our Europe trip itinerary! We will be holding a Europe 2024 kickoff meeting on Monday, March 6 at 6:30 pm in the NCHS Auditorium. Our tour company representative will be here to present the itinerary, discuss costs, and answer questions.  It is not required that you attend the meeting to go on the trip, but we would encourage you to come if you can (or send someone from your family) so you can learn more about it.

For your planning: trip registration will occur in the month of March, with initial deposits ($285 per traveler) due by March 21.  To make this trip affordable, we have to have at least 85 people, but we would prefer to have at least 100 for better rates.  We will send out a message with the details after the meeting for those who aren't able to attend.

We are very excited to get this trip off the ground, and hope you'll join us as we plan to head to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, and points in between in June 2024!

Don't forget about our Monical's Dine-to-Donate night on Monday February 27th.  You must provide a PAPER copy of this form in order for us to get credit for your purchase (no "cell phone pictures" allowed).  Physical copies are available at school if you don't have access to a printer.  Please be advised that no one is allowed to distribute these on Monical's property or place copies into people's mailboxes. 

We are still in desperate need of volunteers for the IHSA Solo & Ensemble contest on March 4th.  This is a big fundraiser for the NCHS music department and helps us purchase things that we share as a department (ie music stands, pianos, uniforms, etc.).  Please consider helping us out on Saturday!  

Saturday AM Shifts (March 4) - students and adults

Saturday PM Shifts (March 4) - students and adults

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

IHSA Solo & Ensemble Contest - Volunteers and Schedule

Dear NCHS Music Students & Families,

We are hosting IHSA Solo-Ensemble Contest next Saturday, March 4. This event is a big undertaking, as we will be hosting over 900 student performers from 27 high schools in the area. 

We are known for being great hosts of this event, and that is because we have excellent volunteer help!  We are asking that you please consider helping us in any capacity - we need students and adults to set up, monitor rooms, run judging sheets, help with concessions, tear down, and several other positions. We have divided the jobs into Friday, March 3 (students only), and am / pm shifts on Saturday. This can be for students who are performing or not - we need over 130 volunteer slots filled, so we will take anyone willing to help!

For students performing: please look at the performance schedule, and see if you can sign up for a shift outside of the time of your performance(s). Parents - if you are volunteering when your student is performing, you can absolutely take a quick leave to go watch their performance.

Attached is the performance schedule. Once you have looked at that (if you’re performing), please click on one of the links below to sign up to help. You can sign up for more than one shift if you desire!

Friday sign up (March 3) - students only

Saturday AM Shifts (March 4) - students and adults

Saturday PM Shifts (March 4) - students and adults

Please let me know if you have any questions. We greatly appreciate your help, and ask that you go ahead and sign up right away instead of waiting to let everyone else sign up first! : )  We are hoping to complete these lists without having to send out multiple emails!!!


Mr. Luginbuhl

Mrs. Siebenthal

Mr. Carter

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A SCHEDULE OF CONTEST EVENTS - this is information for those students performing and contains performance times and room numbers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Showcase Concert Updates and Gobena Fundraiser Reminder

Thursday, Feb. 16th

Time: 7:00 pm (call time 6:15)

Personnel: Chamber Orchestra ONLY (program also includes Chamber Choir and Wind Ensemble)


Dress:  Full concert uniform (tuxedo/dress)

Cost:  Free!

Parking: the School Street Parking Garage has about 450 spaces that can be used for free after 5:00 pm. The address for the lot is 400 S School St, Normal, IL 61761. It is directly behind the CPA.  You can enter the building from there and just walk up to the front lobby, which faces the ISU Quad.  The South University Street deck is also near the CPA, and it is $1 per hour for parking. The address for that lot is 450 S. University Street, Normal IL 61761.

To quote the staff at the CPA regarding the School Street deck parking:  "There will be a parking sign illuminated to “open” to verify parking is available (at the School Street Garage). Basically, you can park anywhere once the car starts up a ramp. The bottom floor is accessible and some spots that are reserved 24/7 and the very top floors are blue zones that are off limits. But the middle of the garage has about 450 spots available for free parking for Fine Arts events!"  Please pay attention to parking signs to avoid getting a ticket. 

Reminder that our Gobena coffee fundraiser forms and money are due this Friday, Feb 17th.  Checks should be made payable to U5MP or U5 Music Parents.

There are still several slots open for the April 1st Bagging for Tips at Hy-Vee.  Please note that this is during spring break.  Click here to sign up.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Chipotle Reminder and Trip Info

Don't forget about our Chipotle Dine-to-Donate Wednesday, Feb 8.  See the attached flier for more info and note that there is now a code that can be used for online orders.  Make sure to show them the flier below on your phone or click here to download and print the PDF.

A few updates for you on the upcoming trips and fundraisers:

Tennessee Trip (May 31-June 4):

We currently have 44 people signed up for this trip - very close to our minimum of 50 to be able to go.  Registrations and the $250 down payment for this trip are due February 8. If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time! Our bus will hold 54 people, so if we go over that we will take those who signed up first. Register at

Payment plan for Tennessee Trip:

Feb. 8: $250 deposit due

March 1: $400 payment due

April 6: $400 payment due

May 5: Remaining Balance

*fundraised money can be applied whenever you would like - once trip is set, we will make a plan.

Europe Trip (June 2024):

We are still working on the itinerary, trying to lower the cost a little. As of right now, plan on approximately $3500, give or take a few hundred. The currency exchange rate is high right now. This is the best estimate I can give you at the moment.  We hope to have a parent meeting this month with the plans!


Don't forget about our Gobena coffee trip fundraiser. Orders and money are due Feb. 17. If you don't know anything about Gobena, 100% of the profit they make goes to orphaned children around the world. So, not only will you be helping yourself earn money towards your accounts, but also helping others! And it's great coffee!  More fundraising opportunities will still be taking place this spring - we'll let you know as they become available.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Gobena Coffee & Chipotle Fundraisers

Order forms for our Gobena Coffee fundraiser are now available and the forms and payments should be returned no later than February 17th.  Money earned from this fundraiser will go into individual student accounts to be used for either the Memphis trip this summer or the Europe trip in 2024.

Our next Dine-to-Donate will be Chipotle on Feb. 8th.  Mark your calendar for chips and queso!!!  See the attached flier for more info and note that there is now a code that can be used for online orders.  Make sure to show them the flier below on your phone or click here to download and print the PDF.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

IMEC Wrap Up and Shared Photos

What a truly outstanding performance by the NCHS Chamber Orchestra on Thursday!  We are so proud of their hard work and dedication over the last five months.  Friends and family of the orchestra can click here for access to a shared folder that will include photos, videos of the performance, and a copy of the program.  We are asking that if you got any photos of the event that you upload them to the "Photos" folder so that others may view them (we don't have many good shots of the group in either warm ups or the performance at this point).  Concert videos will be uploaded within a day or two, so check back and relive the experience with us!

Don't forget our Panera Dine-to-Donate is Monday night (Jan 30).  Click here for more information.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Panera Dine-to-Donate Reminder


Don't forget about our Dine-to-Donate at Panera this Monday, Jan. 30th!  Just use the code in the flier above online, in the app, or at the kiosk inside the cafe.  Not having to cook dinner gives you something to look forward to on a Monday ;-)

Sunday, January 22, 2023

IMEC Information Document and Ticket Information


The final itinerary for IMEC is set, the programs are printed, and we are three rehearsals away!  Chamber Orchestra students and parents can click here for the itinerary (also posted to Google Classroom) and ticket information (also emailed to those who ordered tickets).  This is a living document and any changes or additions made in the coming days will be highlighted.  Best wishes to our "state bound" musicians as they continue to grow this week as we race to Peoria!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Memphis Trip Registration

We now have the registration link ready to go for the Tennessee trip that is taking place this summer!  We are traveling with Bob Rogers Travel, and they have a site that handles all payments and registration details.  Please note: there is an option to purchase trip insurance. Bob Rogers Travel highly suggests that if you do use this option, to use the Enhanced Plan, as it has "cancel for any reason" assurance. The standard plan does not include that.  

Click here for the trip registration link, and please sign up as soon as possible.

Monday, January 16, 2023

IMEC Preview Concert Information

Thursday, January 19th

Personnel:  Chamber Orchestra only

Orchestra Call Time: 5:25 pm

Choir Call Time:  6:00 pm

Concert Time: 6:45 pm (hall will not open until 6:30 pm)

**Orchestra will rehearse after the concert until 8:30 pm - the actual concert for the audience is anticipated to last approximately 30 minutes***

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Extra IMEC Tickets & Chipotle Dine-to-Donate

Extra tickets are now available for Chamber Orchestra's performance at IMEC on January 26th.  If a performer's family would like additional tickets, please email me asap and let me know how many more in addition to your initial order you would like.  I will then add that to your original total.  Remaining tickets will be opened up to alumni, the public, etc. on Monday.

Don't forget to make sure our Chipotle Dine-to-Donate is on the family calendar for January 9th.  Instructions for the event will be available a few days before.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Urgent: Chamber Orchestra Parent IMEC Responses Needed

Chamber Orchestra Parents: We have just been given some deadlines from IMEC that have become pretty tight for us with our extra-early winter break.  If the following information pertains to you, please have this Google Form completed no later than midnight on Monday (Dec 12)

IMEC Concert Tickets:  Those family members planning to attend our performance in Peoria on Thursday, January 26, should click on the Form to reserve tickets.  We are given a limited number of complimentary tickets, so please try to limit this first round to 2-3 tickets per family (performers do NOT need a ticket).  Extra tickets will be released after district/building administration, school board members, etc. have had the opportunity to reserve what they need.  More information regarding specifics will be provided in January, but the performance will be at the Peoria Civic Center and will start at 4:15 with Hawthorn Junior High School performing before us.  In years past, tickets have been unavailable for pick-up until the group registered the day of the performance, so please make sure to include the name of the person responsible for picking them up outside the door before the concert.  Also in years past, these tickets were a formality and were never needed or distributed.  However, we want to be prepared just in case.

IMEC Concert Recording:  Our performance will be professionally recorded by Mark Custom Recording Service, Inc.  This is a New York based firm that specializes in international location recording (with a couple of Grammy nominations to their credit!).  It would be a great way to preserve this memory for students, send to out-of-town family, etc.  The cost would depend upon the number of CD's ordered (assuming that we have enough interest to make this financially viable), but is anticipated to be between $20-$30.  If we have enough interest, money will be collected in January from those who ordered.  Keep in mind that if you complete that portion of the Form and there is enough interest, your CD will be ordered this week...  If you would like to purchase a CD, please indicate on the Form how many you would like.