Tag Archives: Denise Blaszynski

6. Harter Student Maggie Madziarczyk Solo Performance

A Knight to remember for performing arts

KANELAND—Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters held its second annual Knight of Performances on Sunday at Harter Middle School (HMS). And it was during the event that Ally Mitchinson, a sixth-grader at HMS, did something she had never done before: stepping on stage and playing “Carnival” on the clarinet in front of a big audience.

“I was a little nervous,” Mitchinson said. “But then I started and I kind of just felt focused. And I felt a little better.”

Kaneland High School sisters Jordan, a sophomore, and Kayla Hedgren, a senior, sang a duet, “Kiss It Better,” during the event, with Kayla also accompanying on piano. The siblings are not novices when it comes to performing together—they’ll appear in the high school’s upcoming spring musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Jordan said she had “happy butterflies” in her stomach during the Knight of Performances number.

“For me, it was a little bit nerve-wracking just because it’s the first time I played the piano, like accompanied us before,” Kayla said. “I was super excited to get to perform it. Especially with Jordan.”

According to Denise Blaszynski, president of Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters, there were a total of 42 acts during the Knight of Performances, ranging from vocal and instrumental solos to ensembles. Kaneland Youth Orchestra represented with four violin players. Other acts included HMS Jazz Band and Mid-Knight Special and actors from “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Blaszynski called the event a success.

“I think just the fact that we walked into a packed cafeteria and there were the student performers,” she said. “And people were really, really happy. They were able to have a really enjoyable afternoon.”

Blaszynski said more than 300 people attended the event, and almost $3,600 was raised. Money will go toward band, choir and theatre programs at KHS and HMS.

Many attendees dined on barbecue chicken and pork chops, minus the barbecue sauce, with baked beans, cole slaw, apple sauce and a dinner roll. Dessert included fruit kabobs, pie, brownies and cookies.

Attendees could purchase raffle tickets and the opportunity to win one of the 82 raffle baskets. Prize goodies included a reserved student parking spot at KHS, Chicago Cubs tickets and local business and restaurant gift certificates.

Jim Tockstein lives in unincorporated Elburn and is a Kaneland parent. He had the chance to see his son James, a junior, play the jazzy tune “Take Five” with sophomore Katelyn Blaszynski, daughter of Denise. James played guitar while Katelyn played the saxophone.

Tockstein and his wife, Ann, have seen many a Kaneland performance when it comes to their children.

“It’s always exciting to see them up there,” Jim said. “You appreciate them having the opportunity to be able to perform.”

Meanwhile, Mitchinson had some reflective thoughts when it came to her performance at the event.

“It was a good place to start, because I knew a lot of people, “ she said. “I knew I had supportive people behind me.”

Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters finds local support

by Dave Woehrle
KANELAND—A sold-out crowd is expected for the A Knight of Performances barbecue dinner on March 9, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Kaneland Harter Middle School, as nearly 380 tickets were sold prior to the cut off date of Feb. 26.

That’s almost a 200 percent increase in sales, according to Denise Blaszynski, president of Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters. Blaszynski wrote a piece for the Elburn Herald’s Community Corner on Feb 21 after only 83 tickets had sold, and said the response from the community has been “overwhelming,” and that over $1,000 has been raised from dinner tickets sales alone.

Admission to the event is free; however, a $12 dinner ticket will get you a full meal of either chicken, a pork chop or pulled pork, with a side of coleslaw, apple sauce, and a dessert.

A Knight of Performances will include choir, band and drama acts from both the high and middle school. In total, 50 students in total will perform, and HMS Choral and Drama Director Brian Kowlaski decided to include more middle school performers than in previous years.

The showcase will feature instrumental performers on flute, sax, guitar and cello. Brass bands and jazz bands from both schools will also perform.

The raffle items will include Chicago White Sox and Chicago Wolves tickets, a three-month

gym membership to Delnor Health and Wellness Center, local art lessons, and tickets to “Fiddler on the Roof” at Paramount Theatre.

Local merchants also donated baskets, such as Walgreens, Hill’s Purple Store in Kaneville, and A Salon in Elburn. In total, over $3,000 in merchandise was donated. The raised money will go to both schools’ choir, band, and theatre needs.

Blaszynski stressed the importance of music in school.

“Several studies have shown music students tend to score higher on standardized testing,” she said. “Also, a great sense of camaraderie is made among the students. It makes the transition from middle school to high school easier when band and choir students know upperclassmen. It’s a very close-knit group.”

Blaszynski also gave credit to Elburn and Kaneville, as well as the entire Kaneland community, for their generosity.

“I can’t believe it. We are fortunate to have a community that supports arts,” she said. “We hope this event continues to grow in the coming years.”

Guest: Thrilled, disappointed with Girl Scout story

I was thrilled when I saw the Elburn Herald article, which featured the sale of Girl Scout cookies. As a Girl Scout leader in the Elburn/Maple Park area, I understand the importance of the organization to girls and young women, and how the sale of cookies help with setting goals, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

I was disappointed that your paper did not feature a local Girl Scout from your readership area of Elburn, Maple Park, Sugar Grove or Kaneville. Currently, there are 30 Girl Scout troops in your readership area. It would have been nice if you had selected a girl from a local troop to feature rather than a girl from Geneva. When I open my local paper, I want to read about my community and the citizens who live here.

Denise Blaszynski
Girl Scout leader

Letter: Parents show appreciation for Kaneland teachers

Each year, the Parent Teacher Network Hospitality Committee coordinates two events for the teachers at Kaneland John Stewart: a dinner during parent/teacher conferences in the fall and a luncheon during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Parents at Kaneland John Stewart have always been generous of not only their time donated to the school, but the support given to the various PTN committees. This year was no exception. The Hospitality Committee would like to thank the 86 families who either donated salads, side dishes and desserts, supplies or cash donation for the teacher luncheon held on Thursday, May 7th.

The cash donations were used to purchase chicken breasts, hot dogs, hamburgers and brats from Ream’s Elburn Market. We would also like to thank Joe Blaszynski, who spent the day outside grilling for the teachers, and to Shanne Kuipers, Becky Stewart, Kathy Burgin, Sarah Burke, Cindy Krause, Chris Sikon, Karin Marshall and Heather Sade, for helping with the set up and/or clean up of the event.

Our Kaneland community is extremely fortunate to have parents such as these who continue to show their support and appreciation to the teachers at Kaneland John Stewart. We, as parents, are lucky to have such dedicated teachers for our children.

Denise Blaszynski
Lori Crimmins
Kaneland John Stewart
PTN Hospitality Committee