...creating lifelong purveyors of music

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: https://fnd.us/b2IPx6?ref=sh_0AhZIc


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! https://tinyurl.com/mrx2csr4

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. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Welcome Back Orchestra Family!

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year!  This is our first official post to the blog this year, so if you just signed up for the blog and received this as an email in your inbox, you are good to go!

Fundraising Updates:

Europe - current fundraisers for individual Europe accounts are underway.  Gobena Coffee order forms have been distributed at school and are due on Sept. 13th.  There are also still a few spots open on the 1st semester HyVee Bagging for Tips Signup Genius

General Orchestra Fundraisers - mark your calendars for the Gill Street Dine to Donate on Tuesday, Sept. 12th.  Please click on this link and RSVP.  We need at least 40 people to RSVP in order to be allowed to host this fundraising event.  This is NOT a binding commitment, we just need to fill the list...   Also mark your calendars for September 15th as orchestra, choir, and drama will be working concession stand at the home football game.  Sign ups will be available soon!

Fundraising Volunteers - Melissa Miles, our orchestra fundraising committee chair is in need of some volunteers to assist with our fundraising efforts.  Please consider volunteering some time to help ensure that our orchestra program gets the money we need to provide a high quality education to your student and that our kids have the opportunities needed to allow them to participate in things like our Europe trip.  Click here for the SignUp Genius to volunteer or you can email nchsorchestraparents@gmail.com for more information. 


The NCHS Orchestra Parents Association (NOPA) is dedicated to helping provide all of the "extras" to our orchestra students that only an active parents organization can!  Please consider joining us for our first meeting on Sept. 14th at 7:00 pm in the orchestra room.  This meeting is an opportunity for ALL orchestra parents to get involved in their student's education (in a way less embarrassing way than chaperoning a dance ;-).  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! 

Uniform Update

Uniforms will be sent home on Monday, Aug. 28 - please make your student tries things on at home for you double check proper fit.  Uniform pieces that need to be ordered will be taken care of at the end of the week and it is critical that the order is accurate at that time.  Students who still have a uniform at home MUST try it on this weekend and bring it to Mrs. Siebenthal before school on Monday morning if it doesn't fit.  Also double check uniforms for overlooked tears, bad zippers, missing buttons etc.  Any missing buttons will be sent home with the student, and we would like a final count on those by the end of the week as well. 

State Farm Employees

Did you know that the hours you volunteer to the orchestra not only help provide a better education for the students, but also earn the orchestra cash?  Drop in to our first NOPA meeting or email nchsorchestraparents@gmail.com for more info!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Concert Recordings & Fall HyVee Bagging for Tips

Dates for 1st semester HyVee Bagging for Tips are now available on SignUpGenius for those participating in the Europe trip.  The orchestra is also in need of some additional people to help with fundraising efforts and work on the orchestra/choir fundraising committee.  Please consider donating some of your time to this very necessary endeavor and add your name to the committee's SignUpGenius.

Recordings from last week's concert can be found here. 
So proud of all of the kids' hard work this year!!!  Thanks again to everyone who donated refreshments for our post-concert reception and to Melissa Miles for organizing everything.  Hope everyone has a safe and relaxing summer break!

Concert Recordings - https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OC3NY2sq4WIesbVFmIzvX_XwqhZo1Rq7?usp=sharing

HyVee - https://www.signupgenius.com/index.cfm?go=s.signup&urlid=10c094ea5a62da3fbc34-hyvee&useFullSite=true#/

Fundraising Committee - https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094ea5a62da3fbc34-fundraising#/

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Spring Concert, Refreshment Donations, & Fundraising Info

We're rapidly approaching the finish line!  Please see the earlier blog post for details regarding Thursday's concert.  One additional note and reminder regarding uniform collection following the concert - this is required of all students IMMEDIATELY following the concert.  Students will wear the black tuxedo shirt, but must also bring the white shirt they were issued at the beginning of the year.  Students need to bring clothes to change into after the concert.  It would be very helpful to have the white shirt returned on a wire hanger. 

We are still really short on refreshment donations for our reception after the concert.  Please consider helping us out and adding your name to the SignupGenius list.  Thank you in advance for helping us "sweeten" the evening for our seniors! [https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b4bafaf23a20-spring#/]

Europe participants who have fundraised should have received an email from Mr. Luginbuhl regarding the application of fundraising profits to our travel agent.  Please read the email carefully and make sure that you follow all deadlines to ensure that your funds are appropriated the way you desire. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Spring Concert Updates

We've almost made it across the finish line!  Please see the following notes regarding the Spring Concert:

Date:  Thurs. May 18

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

Personnel:  ALL orchestras

Dress:  Concert uniforms (seniors only are allowed formal wear other than uniforms if desired)

Uniform Collection: Uniforms will be collected immediately following the concert as part of the student's grade.  Students MUST bring clothes to change into and should then get in line in the orchestra room to have their uniform checked in by our equipment crew.  Seniors should hand off their uniform to someone to check in for them.

Post Concert Reception:  We will have a small reception of cookies and punch following the concert to honor our seniors.  Please consider helping us out and donating refreshments for the festivities!

Dress Rehearsals:  Next week, the Monday dress rehearsal scheduled for the 15th is still up for grabs for any orchestra (we have many irons in the fire and varying degrees of preparation).  Personnel required for the Monday dress rehearsal will be announced and posted on Google Classroom by Friday afternoon.  There will be NO dress rehearsal for ANY orchestra on Wednesday, May 17th.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Local Summer Music Opportunities & Last Call for Doughnuts

Two great summer music opportunities have recently come across my desk - one at ISU and one at IWU.  These would be really great ways to keep the kids playing over the summer and are well-run events.  Click here for the Illinois State flier and here for the Illinois Wesleyan flier.    

Krispy Kreme fundraiser is almost over - please consider one last push for the orchestra coffers!  We have only only met 13% of our goal and the sale ends tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Uniform Reminders

PLEASE don't forget to make sure that your student has their FULL uniform with them at school on Thursday including SOCKS, SHOES, and BOW TIE.  Students will not be allowed to perform if they do not have the complete uniform on and will receive a failing grade for this performanceStudents should wear the black tuxedo shirtAll uniforms not worn to school must be labeled!!!  Chamber Orchestra should use their garment bags but don't forget to put shoes in a separate bag.  Cello players need to bring their instruments.  Intermezzo and Chamber students need to bring a lunch.  Sinfonia students should wear their uniforms to school and NOT forget to bring clothes to change into after the performance. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

April 10th Update

Updates and reminders for the IHSA Organization Contest this Thursday (Apr. 13).  

Instruments: Cello players should bring their instruments from home (let me know ASAP if you ride the bus and have no other transportation - I will get you a school instrument to use).  

Uniforms: Sinfonia Orchestra should plan on wearing their uniforms to school on Thursday.  All other students must bring their uniform CLEARLY LABELED with their name to school and hang up on the rack in the green room

Lunch:  Intermezzo and Chamber students who have 4th or 5th hour lunch should plan to bring a sack lunch that day.  

We are still in desperate need of volunteers to help serve the Nelson's fundraising dinners this Thursday afternoon/evening.  PLEASE consider helping us out - both students and parents can sign up (and you can sign up for more than one shift).  Musical rehearsal is that night, so many of our choir friends are unable to assist.  We're really hoping the orchestra can step up on this one.  You can click here for the Signup Genius.

Our next fundraiser for the Europe trip accounts will be Nothing Bundt Cakes - we will be selling individual "Bundtlets" for $6 each in a variety of flavors.  Order forms will be available at school on Tuesday and must be turned in by Apr. 24th.  

There are only 8 days left in our Krispie Kreme fundraiser.  Please continue pushing out the link via social media and email to people.  This fundraiser goes into the orchestra's general account.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Fundraising Updates - GO EUROPE - Organization Contest

Less than two weeks to go in our Krispy Kreme fundraiser and we have only met 10% of our goal.  Please continue pushing the link out on your social media and emailing to friends and family even across the country.  A very simple fundraiser - order and pay for doughnuts online, take voucher to any local Krispy Kreme at your convenience and pick them up!  This fundraiser is going into the orchestra's general account.

We are still in need for volunteers to help with the Nelson's dinner fundraiser next week (April 13th).  We really need to get the slots filled to ensure that everyone who purchased a ticket gets fed that night.

Europe is a go!!!  We have just over 100 people registered and are calling for any last minute registrations if you had been holding off waiting to see about the referendum.  Registration instructions are on the second page of this document - make sure that a guardian registers as a new user and then adds all participants as "travelers".

I still have not been given final confirmation for the IHSA Organization Contest next week, but feel it's prudent to start planning based on our assumptions...  Contest is April 13th and will be held during the day at Normal Community High School for orchestra (choir is on Friday).  This is a change in the calendar to ensure our FBLA students can still attend their state convention.  We will do our best to make sure the performances are recorded that day and make them available to parents.  At least a portion of our performance will also be performed at the spring concert.  Students will need to bring their uniforms that day and will not be allowed to perform without them.  PLEASE help them remember!  Our cellists will also need to bring their instruments from home.  Any cellist who rides the bus and has no other transportation option that day should see me about using a school instrument. Updates will continue as they become available.  All orchestras are performing on this day.