Benet Academy students attend all-state music conference

<p>Lily Sadauskas &nbsp;| &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy.</p>
<p>Alana Cabel &nbsp;| &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy.</p>
<p>Isabelle Hanson&nbsp; | &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy.</p>
<p>Daina Polikaitis &nbsp;| &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy</p>
<p>Mitchell Kinn &nbsp;| &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy.</p>
<p>Ryan Will &nbsp;| &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy.</p>
<p>Maureen Sanderson&nbsp; | &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy.</p>
<p>Stephen Spittler &nbsp;| &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Benet Academy.</p>

Eight Benet students are currently attending the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) All-State Conference in Peoria, Illinois on Jan. 22 to 25.  These students, selected by several rounds of auditions, will perform with other top performers from across the state on Saturday, January 25. 


Lily Sadauskas of Wheaton is a Benet sophomore and member of the Benet orchestra. She has been playing viola since age 4 at Wheaton College Community School of the Art.  In 6th grade Lily auditioned for and was accepted to a quartet performing at the Suzuki Association of America (SAA) conference in Minneapolis. In 8th grade she performed with the Wheaton College CSA viola choir at the SAA conference.  Lily has played for weddings, funerals, church services, and social gatherings. Most recently Lily played with a group for a CD recording for One Way Ministries and with Wheaton College CSA strings on WGN radio. 

All State Choir

Alana Cabel of Naperville, a senior at Benet Academy, is a member of the Benet Madrigals and Concert Chorale. From grade school until now, she has been involved in school choirs and musicals. She also cantored at St. Elizabeth Seton Church and was a member of the Young Naperville Singers.  This year, she is proud to be in the cast of 42nd Street, and last year was in the Sound of Music.  Alana competed in the American Guild of Music competition in piano for five years and voice for three years. In 2008, she took home the title of “All-Around Vocal Champion”.  Currently, Alana spends her Sundays as a cantor at the Sacred Heart Monastery in Lisle. Next year, she plans to study Biology at Loyola University Chicago and hopes to become a pediatrician. She also plans to minor in Vocal Performance because she always wants music to be a part of her life.

Senior Isabelle (Izzy) Hanson of Glen Ellyn started her formal violin lessons at four years old. She has been a violinist with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) for nine years, Co-Principal of the Benet Academy Orchestra, and a recipient of the Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2013 Instrumentalist Scholarship. Izzy teaches violin and has played professionally. Founding the "Isabelle Hanson Music Scholarship", she raised funds to award three CYSO musicians tuition for 2013-14. The last three years, Izzy was selected for the IMEA District Orchestra and this year successfully made it to the IMEA All-State Choir. Isabelle sings with the Benet Concert Chorale and Madrigals Singers and performs in the Benet musicals. She cantors for St. Petronille Parish and is a director of the Benet Mass Choir. In college she plans to major in broadcast Journalism, but music will always remain a strong part of her future. 

Daina Polikaitis of Downers Grove is a junior at Benet Academy and has loved singing for as long as she can remember. She sang in the “Vyturys”, Lithuanian children’s choir, for 8 years. As a member of this choir, she participated in three Lithuanian Folk Song Festivals in Chicago, Toronto, and Vilnius, Lithuania. At Benet Academy, Daina participated in the freshman and sophomore choruses, and is now singing with the Benet Concert Chorale and Madrigal Singers. Last year, she participated in her first Benet musical, The Sound of Music, and is excited to be cast in Benet’s upcoming musical, 42nd Street. Daina also enjoys playing the flute and piano, and dancing.

Mitchell Kinn of Lisle is a senior at Benet. As a freshman, he heard how good the seniors were singing Mozart’s Vespers, and strived to be as good someday.  He began taking voice lessons after freshman year and is a member of the Benet Madrigal Singers.  His vocal experiences at Benet have inspired him to pursue voice and music education. Already accepted into the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, he has also been invited to audition at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Boston Conservatory of Music this February.

Senior Ryan Will of Aurora is a member of the Madrigal Singers and the Concert Chorale at Benet. He is also the first chair trombone in the Wind Ensemble and was a three year member of the Jazz Ensemble. This year Ryan conducted the marching band as a drum major and the basketball pep band as an assistant director. Next year, he intends to study chemical engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

Honor Choir

Maureen Sanderson of Downers Grove is a senior at Benet and went to St. Mary of Gostyn School where she developed her love for theater in their Fine Arts program.  At Benet, she has participated in choir, drama productions and the spring musicals all four years. She has been a member of the Madrigal Singers for two years and will play "Maggie" in Benet's upcoming production of 42nd Street.  Maureen will major in Speech Pathology and minor in Music in college.  She plans to stay involved in musical theater and performing at whichever university she attends.  

Stephen Spittler of Wheaton is a Benet Senior.  While at Benet, Stephen has been an active member of the Benet Choir and Drama Troupe for the last four years.  He has also been a member of the Benet Madrigals, the premier vocal group at Benet, for the last two years.  Along with his Benet commitments, Stephen is a regular cantor at St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle and serves as a Prefect for the Schola Choir.  Stephen is planning to attend college next year and hopes to double major in Chemical engineering and music.

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