Annie Reilly, a junior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, wants to be a teacher who will give her students a love of music.
“Everyone won’t have the same love of music that I have, but I hope they will at some point remember something I taught them, or a piece they learned, or what it was like to play in a band,” she said. “That way, music will always be a part of their lives.”
The Illinois Music Education Association hopes to welcome Annie to its ranks one day. The association has selected her one of 30 students in Illinois who will participate in the All-State Future Music Educators Seminar, part of IMEA’s annual conference. This year’s program will be Jan. 29-31, 2015, in Peoria.
Annie, the daughter of Mariann and Bob Reilly of Homewood, plays tenor saxophone in the Marching Band and Symphonic Band at H-F. She has been playing her sax, a family heirloom, since she worked with teacher Glenn Pawlak and joined the band at St. Joseph School in Homewood in fourth grade.
The application process included an assessment of Annie’s achievements and participation in band programs, as well as an essay about why she is choosing a career as a music teacher. That wasn’t difficult, Annie says, because H-F Band Director Sarah Whitlock, who encouraged her to apply, is her role model. She calls her teacher “awesome.”
Whitlock will be accompanying Annie and three other H-F students selected to All-State Performing Ensemble to the conference.
The Future Music Educators Seminar will give Annie opportunities to work with an experienced music educator. The mentor will guide her throughout the three-day conference, suggesting discussion sessions for her to attend. Annie is also hoping to meet with representatives of university and college music programs so she can narrow her choices for a college program.
Although her preferred range is tenor sax, she has also developed a talent for the alto and baritone sax. She will be learning other instruments once she’s in a college program.
One of the most tremendous experiences she’s had through music was going to China in spring 2014 with the H-F Band. The students performed American marches, classical pieces and a few Chinese pieces in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian. Annie has also enjoyed performing for the H-F football games.