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December, 17, 2015
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM






Jason Heath



Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

There are three curricular orchestras at Vernon Hills High School with a total of 175 string students. The orchestras meet separately as daily elective classes. All freshmen begin in Concert Orchestra, and students advance to Philharmonic Orchestra as sophomores. Symphony Orchestra is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors by audition and includes woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The Jazz Strings is an extra-curricular ensemble open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The Vernon Hills High School Orchestra program has an established tradition of excellence with performances at the IMEA All-State Conference in Peoria in 2004 and 2013, the MENC National Conference in 2008 and 2012, the Midwest Clinic in 2009, and at Chicago's Symphony Center in 2011 (pictured to the right). The orchestra has toured internationally to China in 2001, Spain in 2006, Italy in 2008, Austria in 2012, and a return to Spain in 2014. The orchestra is embarking on a tour of Cuba in 2016. The VHHS Symphony Orchestra has also been featured on WFMT's "Introductions" program.

Vernon Hills High School Symphony Orchestra

Conductor's Bio

JASON HEATH BIO: Jason Heath directs the Symphony, Philharmonic, and Concert Orchestras at Vernon Hills High School. A graduate of Northwestern University (BM 1998, MM 2000), Mr. Heath previously taught orchestra at Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, and Libertyville High Schools. Mr. Heath is President of the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association and previously served as representative for the Illinois Music Educators Association District 7 Orchestra Division. He is a frequent guest clinician and conductor in the region and regularly works with ensembles from Midwest Young Artists, Chicago Youth Symphony, and Schaumburg Youth Symphony. An active double bass performer and teacher, Mr. Heath has been a faculty member at DePaul University in Chicago for many years teaching double bass performance and music education. He previously served in similar capacities at Trinity International University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists. Mr. Heath has performed professionally with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other ensembles, and he has been a member of the Elgin Symphony bass section for the past 15 seasons. For the past 10 seasons, Mr. Heath has also been the bassist for the Midsummer's Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. Mr. Heath has written extensively on the subject of music and life as a performing musician. His blog has been profiled in the New Yorker, International Musician, and TimeOut Chicago, and it has consistently been ranked in the top 20 classical music blogs. ------------------------------------------------ERIC LINNES-BAGLEY BIO---------------------------------------------------- Eric Linnes-Bagley received his B.S. in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2011, and began teaching the following year in the Oregon School District in Oregon, Wisconsin. In his two years at Oregon, he taught 4th-6th grade orchestra and 7th-8th grade band. In 2012, he co-founded and directed an extra-curricular jazz band at the district high school. Before coming to Vernon Hills, he also taught for one year at Sunset Ridge School in Northfield, IL, working with 4th-8th grade orchestra students. During his teaching career, Mr. L-B has continued to perform with various musical groups and many pit orchestras, playing both trumpet and cello for such productions as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Annie Get Your Gun." ------------------------------------------------RANDY SUNDELL BIO---------------------------------------------------------- Randy Sundell has received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. He has been the Director of Bands at Vernon Hills High School since its opening in 1999. Prior to that, Sundell held positions as the Associate Director of Bands at Libertyville High School, Libertyville, IL and Director of Bands at Oak Grove School District #68 in Green Oaks, IL. Mr. Sundell directs the Freshman Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Pep Band, and is the assistant director of the Symphonic Band. He also teaches AP Music Theory. Under his direction at Vernon Hills High School, the Wind Ensemble has been recognized for numerous awards and honors. The ensemble has been selected to perform at the Illinois Superstate Festival hosted by the University of Illinois every year since 2003. They were named the Honor Band for the 2007, 2010, 2012, and 2014 festivals. The Wind Ensemble was featured on WFMT’s Innovations in 2009. The group was chosen as a National Winner for the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors competition 2011-2013. The Wind Ensemble has also performed at the Illinois Music Education Association All-State Festival in 2004 and 2013. Mr. Sundell received the Chicagoland Music Educators Award from Quinlan and Fabish Music in 2004. He is active as a judge and clinician in the Chicago area. As a performer, Mr. Sundell plays bassoon in a woodwind quintet, Winds Off The Lake and the North Suburban Wind Symphony. His professional affiliations include NAfME, the International Double Reed Society, the National Band Association, and Phi Beta Mu.

Additional Directors

Eric Linnes-Bagley

Randy Sundell

Jennifer Greenwell

Samantha May