Local bands bring legacies to ISU
By Tony Graf email@example.com October 29, 2012 9:30PM
A view of the Joliet West High School Marching Tigers Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at 401 N. Larkin Ave. in Joliet. They will compete in the state championships at Illinois State University Saturday. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 1, 2012 4:25PM
Three Will County bands brought some deep history into last weekend’s state finals at Illinois State University.
Lockport Township High School celebrated its centennial in 2010 and has an important musical anniversary to remember this year. On Saturday, the band took fourth place in the State of Illinois Invitational High School Marching Band Championship.
Lincoln-Way East High School took fifth place on Saturday. The Marching Griffins performed an impressive part of their competitive field show — “1904” — at Friday’s football playoff game in Frankfort.
The Joliet West High School Marching Tigers brought a century of band history to Bloomington-Normal on Saturday. They were coming off a strong performance at the University of Illinois in the centennial year of the school band. West placed 25th on Saturday.
ISU is a major band competition. Out of 700 high schools in Illinois, the university hosts 45 of the most high-powered programs. Marian Catholic, from Chicago Heights, won the championship Saturday.
Porters: For Lockport history buffs, 2012 is the 50th anniversary of the band’s national championship in the Music Man Marching Band Competition Festival. The band, directed by Ernest Caneva, took first in the Iowa festival and got opportunities to perform at New York City Hall, in Philadelphia and on Dick Clark’s television show.
Through the years, the band has appeared in many parades, including the State Street Thanksgiving Day Parade, Disney parades in both Florida and California, and the Von Stuben Day Parade featured in the hit film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” according to the high school website, www.lths.org.
Griffins: On Friday night, Lincoln-Way East beat Plainfield Central 47-22 in Round 1 of the Class 8A football playoffs. At halftime, the Lincoln-Way East Marching Griffins performed “1904,” a visual and music production based on the work of Jonsi and Alex.
As part of the performance, the band formed a giant letter “C,” signifying the first letter for a college sport given in football — at the University of Chicago in 1904. Also, the Griffins wore 1904 football costumes.
Tigers: Joliet Township High School was established in 1901, and the band was formed in 1912. During the century since then, the limestone palace on East Jefferson Street has had four long-serving band directors — A.R. McAllister (1913 to 1944), Bruce Houseknecht (1945 to 1969), Ted Lega (1969 to 2002) and Mike Fiske (2002 to present).
At the West Campus, Band Director Kevin Carroll has established his legacy of award-winning performances in the last 19 years. This year is no different. At the University of Illinois in October, he led the Tigers to a second-place finish in Class 6A and fourth overall out of 50 bands.