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8th-grader student Nortbert Huelke and his oboe.
  • Awards and Recognition

Playing the oboe is quickly becoming a lifelong passion for 8th-grade Northbrook student Norbert Huelke. He just returned from performing as 1st Chair Oboist in the All-Illinois Junior Band and now he’s setting his sights on the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.

The All-Illinois Junior Band gathers musicians selected by an intense audition process from across the state and provides the opportunity to perform with similarly talented peers. They practice independently for several weeks before coming together at University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana for two days of rehearsal with a nationally recognized guest conductor. The experience culminates with an evening performance on the stage of the world-class Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois.  

“It was a very good experience. I could hear what other (musicians) sound like so I could learn new tricks. And it was nice to meet new people,” Norbert said. He is preparing to audition for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and attend Northridge Preparatory School in Niles. “Playing oboe helps me notice a lot of small things and train my ear and it has taught me a lot of coordination,” he said.

Norbert, who is home-schooled, performs with NBJH Wind Ensemble and has taken lessons with Band Director Keri Stone since his 4th-grade year. “ It is especially exciting to work with a student like Norbert who takes music very seriously and works exceptionally hard toward musical excellence.  His current musical trajectory is quickly leading him toward a future full of possibility,” she said.


  • NBJH