Medea Creek Middle School hosts third annual Music Festival

Courtesy of Samantha Heller
Oak Park high school students participate in the Oakchella music festival held at Medea Creek Middle School

Young musicians, choir students and art students displayed their skills at the third annual Oak Park Music Festival, a synchronized event between Medea Creek Middle School and Oak Park High School April 16.

Oak Park instrumental music director, Zachary Borquez, worked with the Oak Park Instrumental Music Association to begin this project in 2016 as a one of the program’s big ticket fundraisers for the year. The festival also serves as a platform to showcase the district’s music programs to the community.

“Planning starts from the beginning of the school year,” Borquez said.

Heidi Cissell, the director of the choir program, Elayne Roesner and Elana Levine of the middle school band and choir programs, and OPIMA collaborated with volunteering students and parents to organize food vendors, ticket admissions, vendor booths and a game area.

The Instrumental Music Council — student leadership for the band program — helped with advertising and logistics, such as checking-in performers and ensuring students make it to each performance.

Senior Jessica Conway, who plays both the clarinet in wind ensemble and tenor saxophone in jazz band, commented on the fulfilling experience of the event.

“We prepped Friday after school moving stuff. People were here Saturday setting up for this, but it’s really rewarding at the end to see all the middle schoolers and everyone playing together,” Conway said.

Whereas her generation only had three music festivals, Conway found it interesting that middle schoolers continuing band from sixth grade will be a part of ‘Oakchella’ every one of their school years.

Although Conway has only performed in three music festivals, she hopes the ‘Oakcella’ tradition continues for the middle school students who will continue to be in band in high school.

“It’s really great to have all these kids of all these different ages playing the same thing and getting our final product. But yeah, we’re really impressed with them every year,” Conway said.