Band directors Stephanie San Roman and Kevin Schoenbach are shown in the band room with awards won at the Naperville Marching Classic. Credit: Ruby Williamson, 42Fifty
Band directors Stephanie San Roman and Kevin Schoenbach are shown in the band room with awards won at the Naperville Marching Classic. Credit: Ruby Williamson, 42Fifty

In the past few weeks, the OH band department has received school record-setting recognition for an impressive program.  

Three significant recognitions occurred in the past few months: the Panther Marching Band set a record for a full sweep at the Naperville Marching Classic in October along with placing 7th in the Illinois State Championship, and both band directors, Stephanie San Roman and Kevin Schoenbach, have earned recognition for their outstanding contributions to high school music.

“ has never happened to our band…  so it was really awesome to hear that our show was good enough to win every award,” sophomore Wesley Miller said. 

Marching band sets record for achievement

Setting a school record, the OH Panther Marching Band recently earned a full sweep at the Naperville Marching Classic hosted at Naperville Central High School on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. 

Panther Marching Band earned top in class 3A and Grand Champions of the Competition.

“The morning leading up to the actual competition … we’ve never had a rehearsal like we had leading up to it,” OH Band Director Kevin Schoenbach said. “You could just tell that the kids had a different vibe about them on that day.” 

The band also earned the following awards at that competition: Best Percussion, Best Overall Effects, Best Music, Best Marching, and Best Colorguard. 

“I think it gave everyone in the band confidence in our show and in ourselves which could have also been a factor in us making finals too. That confidence level that helped us out,” explained Miller.

San Roman earns CMA Award

Every year, the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation has an opportunity to nominate a music educator for their Music Teachers of Excellence award. This award is presented to music educators who go above and beyond in not only their school but also their community. This year our OH Band Director Stephanie San Roman was nominated for and received this award. 

“It was awesome. It was really, really cool,” San Roman said about receiving the award.  San Roman was also featured on ABC News 7 Chicago for this accomplishment. 

San Roman described the discovery of the award as she learned about the application from a friend in the Nashville area and was encouraged to apply for the award. From there, she applied for the award and was selected among other educators to go down to Nashville and accept.   

The award included recognition on a national level as a top music educator and a $5,000 award to use toward the OH band program. According to San Roman, the funds will go toward OH marching band’s new uniforms and expanding the music library for a more diverse selection of music. 

Director Schoenbach nominated for GRAMMY

Not only has the OH band been excited about the CMA from San Roman, but OH Band Director Kevin Schoenbach has just been announced as a semifinalist for the GRAMMYs Music Educator Award. 

Schoenbach humbly said, “It’s just a way … for the Grammys to kind of reward music education and people doing good things out in the world.”

The Recording Academy presents the GRAMMY award to one music educator selected from 10 finalists who will receive a $10,000 grant towards their music program along with the remaining nine finalists receiving $1,000 each and the remaining 15 semifinalists receiving $500. 

He plans on setting aside the money won, whatever amount that may be in the end, to go towards the OH Jazz Band and toward guest speakers and performers near the end of the year to spice up the May band concert. 

Fine Arts department chair Michael Jon Skura states,  “They have quickly turned the program from a very strong marching band to a highly competitive marching band… I know they had this goal in mind I want to say five, six, maybe seven years ago and to turn it from when it was a very good marching band to perform for those mid-halftime shows and participate in parades… to be at the competitive level to be 7th is unbelievable.” 

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Hi I'm Ruby, I am a Senior here at OHS and it is my second year on staff. My activities here at the school include Choir, Rho Kappa, BIONIC, and Youth and Government


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