Cessna’s Orchestra Places First in State

Katrina Cessna, Herscher School District orchestra teacher, directs the Kankakee Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra on Saturday evening. She has devoted decades to sharing the love and value of music to the youth of the district.

Submitted photo

At the IHSA state series Solo/Ensemble contest in March, the Herscher music department as a whole earned a 6th place finish in Class B. 

However, Miss Cessna and the high school orchestra students placed first in the entire state of Illinois in Class B, scoring 25% more points than the next placing school.

There aren't many high schools in Class B that also have orchestras.  Often, smaller orchestra programs at smaller schools are the first to go when numbers and budgets shrink. 

According to Amanda Gee, former CUSD2 band teacher, “Miss Cessna's dedication and commitment to the district's students in her 23 years within the Herscher School District has proven that she goes above and beyond to ensure student success.” 

 Gee continues, “She makes special accommodations for students who can't fit orchestra into their normal schedule; she gives extra help outside the school day; and this year has taken on the responsibility of teaching the 5th - 8th grade orchestra program at Limestone Middle School in addition to her duties at Herscher High School.”

In addition to her full teaching schedule, Cessna also directs the Kankakee Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra.