Downers Grove North Music Department Chair Brayer Teague was seeking inspiration for his school’s annual Community Outreach Concert when he stumbled upon District 58 Art Teacher Jon Belonio’s Twitter account. Mr. Belonio’s page proudly showcases his students’ artwork. One third grader’s piece, Great Wave with Dragon, stood out to Mr. Teague.
“Brayer Teague was so amazed by it that he reached out to me and asked if the student would like to do an art piece that would be showcased on the screen while his band performed the song, ‘Okeanos,” Mr. Belonio said.
The song pays tribute to Okeanos, a Greek mythological titan who personified the ocean.
Mr. Belonio contacted the student, Audrey Graves, and her parents with the opportunity. They were thrilled!
“I was happy and a bit nervous,” said Audrey. “My mom and dad helped me find pictures of Okeanos on the Internet. I thought a lot about the texture that the different types of paints and colors would create.”
“It was fun helping her work through her nerves and to see her excitement when she was interviewed at the concert by Mr. Teague,” said Johanna, Audrey’s mother.
Downers Grove North hosted its Community Outreach Concert on Friday, March 17. Nearly 1,000 elementary students from District 58 and District 68 packed the school’s auditorium! The program, themed “Commotion in the Ocean,” featured different artworks inspired by each song. Its opening number was “Okeanos” and featured Audrey’s painting.
Before the program started, Mr. Teague invited Audrey to the front of the auditorium, where he asked her questions about her art. The audience learned that Audrey likes to practice art often, and especially enjoys watercolors and acrylics. Finally, Mr. Teague surprised the audience with an announcement – March 17 was Audrey and Audrey’s sister’s birthdays! The entire auditorium sang an enthusiastic “Happy Birthday” to both girls.
“It was a lot of fun seeing my work up there,” Audrey said. “I like that I finally got over my stage fright.”
View District 99’s Community Outreach Concert, featuring Audrey’s artwork, at https://thecube.com/event/722667.