NCHS Orchestras

...creating lifelong purveyors of music

Friday, April 26, 2024

Spring Concert & U5MP Update

Spring Concert Updates:

Date:  Tues. May 14

Time:  7:00 pm

Call Time:  6:00 pm

Personnel:  ALL Orchestras

Dress:  Uniforms (seniors will have a separate requirement)

Misc:  ALL students will RETURN THEIR UNIFORM that night as part of their concert grade.  Please make sure that your student has clothes to change into. 

Refreshments:  We will have a refreshment table following the concert.  Please consider helping us out and donating punch and cookies or helping work the table.  Click here for the SignUp Genius list.  

Dress Rehearsals:  Please keep these dates on your calendar (May 10 & 13) - personnel TBA.  Rehearsals will be utilized if necessary. 

Our Unit 5 Music Parents organization, which serves as a district-wide music booster program, is currently facing a shortage of parent volunteers. Unfortunately, due to personal commitments, some key members of the board (President, Vice President, and Treasurer) will be stepping down. As a result, we are in urgent need of new volunteers with leadership experience to step up and help keep Music Parents running smoothly.

If you have any experience in leadership roles, such as PTO or other board commitments, please consider reaching out to the current President Josh Jensen ( and Secretary Angela DeJaynes ( of our Unit 5 Music Parents organization. They hold monthly parent meetings and focus on advocacy and managing funds for our music programs.

You are welcome to join with friends, as no single person needs to take on a specific role alone. In particular, if you are comfortable with budgets and spreadsheets, additional support for the Treasurer position would be greatly appreciated.

Your involvement and support in this matter would greatly benefit our music programs and the students involved. Thank you for considering this important opportunity to contribute to our school community.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

BCME Award and Nothing Bundt Cakes Fundraiser

Congratulations to the Unit 5 Music Program for again being recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants as a "Best Communities for Music Education".  It was a rigorous application process and is a huge honor for our music students and staff!

Nothing Bundt Cakes fundraiser has kicked off.  Please see the order form for all of the details and make sure that you have due dates and pick up dates on your calendar.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Orchestra Updates: Mid-Winter Concert, Dine-to-Donate, Showcase Concert Recordings, Sweepstakes Win

Midwinter Concert Update:

Date:  Tues. March 19, 2024

Location:  NCHS

Time:  7:00 pm

Call Time:  6:00 pm

Dress:  Uniforms

Personnel:  Concert, Sinfonia, & Intermezzo Orchestras

Misc:  KJHS 5th, 6th, and 7th grade orchestras will be performing in the auditorium at 5:45 pm that night - welcome!!!

Papa Murphy's Dine-to-Donate is next week, with all money raised benefiting the orchestra and choir programs' general fund.  As in past D2D's, we need to fill the required # of RSVP's.  Please click here to add your name to the list - remember this is not a binding commitment, we just need to fill the list to be allowed to proceed with the fundraiser.  Mark your calendars and enjoy an easy meal next week!

If you missed the Chamber Orchestra's performance at the Showcase concert at the ISU CPA last week, you can find recordings here.  It was an outstanding evening of music that featured the Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Choir, and Wind Ensemble.  

Congratulations to the NCHS Orchestra program on their state championship win for the IHSA Solo and Ensemble contest!  This was a combined effort of so many of our students across a number of the orchestra ensembles and is the 3rd year in a row for this achievement!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Showcase Concert Final Info

 Thursday, Mar. 7th

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

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. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Mid-Winter Updates

Upcoming Fundraisers

Tuesday, February 20th
- THAT BURGER JOINT - As with a number of our previous fundraisers, we need to create an RSVP list in order for the fundraiser to continue to move forward.  This is not a binding agreement to attend the fundraiser, we simply just need to fill the list with names.  Please click here to add your name to the list and view the instructions to ensure we get credit for your purchases should you choose to attend. 

Wednesday, March 20th  -  PAPA MURPHY'S - While you're in the groove adding your name to RSVP lists, would you consider doing the same for our Papa Murphy's fundraiser next month as well?  You can click here to add your name to this list too!

**Profits from both of these fundraisers will go directly to the orchestra and choir programs to be used to purchase music and supplies**

Upcoming Events

Thursday, March 7th -  SHOWCASE CONCERT  -  Chamber Orchestra personnel only.  Like last year, the concert will be at ISU and will feature Chamber Choir, Chamber Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble.  Students will be bussed to ISU that day late morning for dress rehearsals and clinics.  More info to come. 

Tuesday, March 19th  -  MIDWINTER CONCERT  -  Concert, Sinfonia, and Intermezzo Orchestras personnel only.  This concert might start a little later than usual as our friends from KJHS will be performing their concert on stage that night before ours.  More info to come. 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

NCHS Orchestra Winter Concert Cancelled

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the NCHS Orchestras' Winter Concert has been cancelled for Monday, Dec. 18th.  Students have overwhelmingly opted to reschedule the event for January.  Stay tuned for details as they are finalized, students should continue to check Google Classroom frequently this week for updates regarding the event and final exams. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Winter Concert Info

  Mon. Dec. 18

Call Time:  6:00 pm

Performance:  7:00 pm

Personnel:  All orchestras

Dress:  Concert uniforms

Dress Rehearsal:  Canceled for all orchestras

**Due to final exams the next day, we have decided to forgo refreshments to encourage families to "skeedaddle home" after the concert and "hit the books".**

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

D2D, Poinsettia Update, U5 Music NAMM Apparel

Jason's Deli has graciously given us a second night this week for our Dine-to-Donate fundraiser.   Simply go there today (Tuesday, November 21st) and mention that you are there for the NCHS Orchestra/Choir fundraiser for us to get credit. 

Poinsettia delivery will be November 30th.  Please make arrangements to pick up your orders after school.  The plants aren't heavy, but are really too delicate and bulky to ride the bus home...  More info will be given to students next week.  

We are excited to celebrate Unit 5 Music and its second year being recognized as one of the Best Communities for Music Education. From now through Friday, December 1, you can purchase Unit 5 Music Apparel by clicking on the following link: 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Extravaganza Information & Concession Volunteers for Saturday

U5 Music Extravaganza Update

The Unit 5 Music Extravaganza is the 2023 concert and fundraiser sponsored by the Unit 5 Music Departments and the McLean County Unit 5 Music Parents Association (U5MP). We hold an online fundraiser along with the students offering a wonderful night of musical performances at each high school. Our talented students get to showcase their talents with musical performances on the following days:


Monday, 11/13/23 at Normal Community High School, 5 pm

  • Jurassic Grill and A to Z Catering food trucks will be in attendance
  • A merchandise vendor will be on site with items ready to customize and take home!

Your generous financial donation will be distributed evenly between all Unit 5 band, orchestra, and choir programs at the junior high and high school levels.


Our programs desperately need your financial support and every donation helps! All donations made to U5MP are deductible charitable donations and you will receive a receipt for your donation.


Your donations help to support the music programs with the following expenses:

  • Music purchases (one piece of music costs up to $150)
  • Classroom essentials like music stands, stools, risers, etc.
  • New instruments and repairs
  • Supply needs for at risk students
  • Uniform cleaning
  • Concerts
  • Accompanists


Here is the link to the online fundraiser:


Please share this fundraising campaign with your friends, neighbors, family, and alumni who enjoy hearing our young musicians!


Thank you for your donation and support to keep our music programs going!


Unit 5 Music Parents Association

Extravaganza Volunteers Needed

Please take a moment to review the Sign-Up for the event and consider ways in which you could lend a hand. Each Sign-Up also lists the schedule of performances so you can ensure you don’t miss your student!  
Thank you for your consideration. We are so excited to showcase the musical talents of Unit 5! 
Thank you in advance for your help!

NCHS Orchestra Extravaganza Schedule:

Date:  Monday, Nov. 13th
Location:  NCHS Auditorium
Time:  5:30 performance (students will have rehearsal after school and should plan on staying after school until the performance)
Dress:  New black short-sleeve orchestra t-shirt and jeans
Personnel:  Required event for all orchestras

ILMEA Update

Please have your ILMEA student keep their eyes on Google Classroom as information will start to appear soon.  We'll be collecting money for lunch, verifying students have rides home, posting directions to the event and all student info/schedules, etc. 

Football Playoff Concession Stand

We are in need of some last minute volunteers to fill in at the concession stand for tomorrow's playoff football game (Sat 11/4).  Any Europe participants will have the funds put into their trip account.  For those not going on the trip, the money will come back to the orchestra and choir program.  Click here for the Signup Genius to volunteer

Monday, October 30, 2023

Post-Hauntcert Thank You's & Fundraiser Updates

Overwhelmingly grateful Hauntcert thank-you's to everyone who helped us with this year's production!  The volunteer list was full and things worked seamlessly Thursday night.  There's no way we could bring an event like this to the stage without so many dedicated students and parents, and there is no way to express how thankful I am to everyone.  This was surely our most attended Hauntcert to date and the community saw a polished, well-oiled machine.  Thanks again!  Stay tuned for upcoming links for videos and pictures. 

Don't forget about our Papa John's Dine-To-Donate on Halloween - pepperoni goes great with candy!!!  Click here for instructions to make sure the orchestra and choir get credit for your order.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Orchestra Updates 10.19.23

Hauntcert Rehearsal/Concert Information

Monday, Oct 23rd - 3:35-6:00 pm; combined Sinfonia, Intermezzo, Chamber Orchestras with percussionist

Tuesday, Oct 24th - 6:00-9:00 pm; dress rehearsal for combined Sinfonia, Intermezzo, & Chamber Orchestras

Thursday, Oct 26th

    Call Time: 5:00 pm

    Show Times:  6:00 & 7:30 pm

    Dress:  Concert uniforms

**This is a long week for our musicians - please make sure students are staying on top of their school work and working ahead when necessary.  Also encourage your musician to get plenty of rest, eat healthy, etc. so that they can stay "germ free" and are ready to perform!**

Thank you to all who volunteered to help out with our production this year.  An email will be sent with a link to instructions for the various jobs.  We are still in need of someone to oversee our trick-or-treating volunteers and another stage manager.  Please consider helping us out in these positions.

We are still in need of many bags of candy and AAA batteries and would be so grateful to any families who could help us out with this.  Please make sure that you or your student sign in any candy donations so we know how much we have.  We are also still in need of extension cords to borrow.

Students have access to paper copies of the Hauntcert flier, but if you have a need for access to an electronic version for e-bulletin boards etc. you can find it by clicking here.

Don't forget to put Papa John's Dine to Donate on your calendar - Oct 31st

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Orchestra Updates 10.14.23

Rehearsal Reminder: there is rehearsal on Monday, October 16th from 3:30-6:00 pm for Sinfonia, Intermezzo and Chamber Orchestras.  Students who can get a ride to school should bring their cellos from home, students need to have their ride waiting for them at 6 pm and should be picked up in the bus lane. 

Hauntcert Donations:  we are in need of a number of items for our production this year.  Many bags of candy are needed to provide treats for our little ones trick-or-treat hallway (and a few more volunteers are needed to pass out candy).  We are also in great need of AAA battery donations for our many stand lights.  Borrowing extension cords for our electric stand lights is also a priority.  If you have cords we could borrow, please make sure to label with your name and send to school this week.  There are also still spots on the volunteer list that we would like to fill.

Hauntcert Decorations: our program this year consists of movie music and our theme is "Villains on Strike".  We are seeking to borrow anything you might have at home we could use as decorations that would fit that theme (ie "villain-y" posters, life size cut outs, yard inflatables, etc.).  We also need to create an "office scene" for our emcee, so any unique things you could send in that would help us would also be appreciated.  Fun Halloween decorations we could borrow would be great as well.  Please label anything we could borrow with your name and send to school no later than this Friday.  

Papa John's Dine-to-Donate: we are scheduled for Oct. 31st.  More information on specifics will be available closer to the date, but we need to fill the RSVP list in order to be allowed to host the event.  Remember this is a non-binding agreement, we simply need to get names.  Please click on this link and add your name and the name of your family members.  This fundraiser will be going in the orchestra's general account.

Poinsettia Fundraiser: sales kicked off on Friday.  Orders are due on October 27th.  These are beautiful plants and almost sell themselves!  Orders are due NO LATER than October 27th so we can have the plants in for the holiday season.  This fundraiser will be going into individual Europe accounts, but students who sell that aren't going on the trip can have their profits directed back to the orchestra program. 

Chamber Orchestra Last Minute Calendar Additions:  VOLUNTEERS from Chamber will be performing at the choir concert on Tuesday, October 17th.  They should arrive at school no later than 7:00 pm for tuning and warm-ups and will be playing towards the end of the concert.  Concert uniform is the dress code.  ALL of Chamber Orchestra has been invited to perform at the faculty meeting on the early dismissal day on Oct. 18th.  More information will be available next week, but they will perform at 12:30 pm at the beginning of the faculty meeting.  Students will be done by 12:45 pm.  This year's orchestra t-shirt and jeans is the dress code.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Orchestra Updates October 4th

We need you!  Our Hauntcert volunteer list is open and in need of awesome orchestra parents to fill it - please click here and help us with this year's show.

Our next NCHS Orchestra Parents meeting will be next Thursday on October 12th at 7:00 pm in the orchestra room (rm 50).  Doors J around the building will be unlocked.  This organization is open to all parents and is dedicated to helping provide all of the "extras" for our students.  Please come join us and get involved!

Reminder that Dip'n Good Dips fundraiser is due this Friday, October 6th.

Hauntcert spirit wear is now available!!!  The link will be open until midnight on October 9th.  Short and long sleeve t-shirts as well as crewneck sweatshirts are available for purchase.  Choose the bulk shipping option and NCHS to have the spirit wear delivered to school. 

Monday, September 25, 2023

Coffee & Hauntcert Volunteer Updates

Gobena Coffee fundraiser products have arrived!  Please have your student pick theirs up in the choir room no later than Wednesday afternoon.  Most are pretty portable, but there are a few orders in boxes that won't travel well on the bus.  

Don't forget our next Dine-to-Donate will be Papa John's pizza on Oct. 31st and the Dip'n Good Dips fundraiser order forms are due on Oct 6th. 

Calling all volunteers!  The Hauntcert volunteer list is now available.  We need many volunteers to make our show work and would love to get the list filled in the next week or so.  Please consider donating a few hours of time to our program and making this a special night for both our students and all of the little ones in the audience....

Friday, September 8, 2023

Orchestra Update for the Week of Sept. 11th

A busy week for the orchestras this week!  Please note the following updates and reminders:

Uniform Update - Please make sure that you have checked dresses and pants for proper length and have made arrangements to take care of any needed alterations.  If you aren't able to do the alterations yourself, we are recommending Victor's Alterations on North Street as an alternative.  Please note that any dresses or pants that needed to be ordered will arrive "raw" and need to be hemmed.  Missing buttons for uniforms will be sent home as soon as we are able to locate good replacements for our new tuxedo shirts.  

Football Game Concession Stand
 - The sign up list for the concession stand at the Sept. 15th football game is now available.  This will go into the orchestra's general account to be used for classroom needs.  Please consider donating a few hours of time to help us out!  

Gill Street Dine to Donate is on Tuesday, Sept. 12th.  Please click on this link for instructions to ensure that we receive credit for your meal.  Take the night off from cooking!!!

Gobena Coffee - Don't forget orders are due this Wednesday, Sept. 13th.  Students must bring in all payments at the time of the order. Delivery is expected sometime the week of Sept. 25th

- Please consider joining us for our first NCHS Orchestra Parents Association meeting on Sept. 14th at 7:00 pm in the orchestra room.  This meeting is an opportunity for ANY orchestra parent to get involved in their student's education.  Meetings usually last about an hour and this first meeting will focus on getting things rolling with the Hauntcert, continuing some fundraising efforts, and establishing some new committees.  Please come and join us, meet some new people, and donate a little time to a worthy cause!  Doors J around the back of the building will be open.