SHOWS & EVENTS
"I thank Mr. Ayento for everything he's taught me.
Now I'm in a band getting paid to do what I love."
-Anonymous Saucedo Band Alumnus
Students are eligible to participate in the band program in either 4th or 5th grade. Interested students must inform Mr. Ayento directly at the beginning of the school year.
Any student who wishes to join band must demonstrate superior musical and social skills in the general music classroom setting and must undergo an audition process before a decision is made.
Some 3rd graders are given consideration to join band, provided they has shown extraordinary talent for music in the general music classroom setting. Middle school student wishing to join band must conduct an interview with Mr. Ayento prior an audition.
"I listen to these children and i am amazed. I have to close my eyes sometimes and think to myself: these are not high school students, these are students that will be going to somebody's high school eventually and its just marvelous to hear this kind of storytelling from a group this young."
-William Braddan McClellan, retired CPS Music Curriculum Supervisor
upon hearing the concert band at the 2019 IGSMA State Band Contest
An elementary band program in the heart of Little Village.
The Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy band program began in 1985, under the direction of Mr. Larry Polk. In the fall of 1992, Mr. Gerard Matthews took over the program, entering the band into city competitions, returning with superior ratings. In the fall of 2002, Mr. Carlos Ayento took over the baton and continues to build the program.
Today, the program serves approximately 100 student members split among various groups. The students usually rehearse after school for two, two-hour rehearsals per week. 99% of the students borrow instruments directly from Saucedo Academy and only 1% of the student population take private lessons.
The Saucedo concert band participates in events such as the Chicago Public Schools Elementary Band and Orchestra Festival, Solo and Ensemble Contest and the Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) Organizational Contests. The concert band was selected in 2009 as a rehearsal band at Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic
The Saucedo Latin Big Band has been selected to performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park in 2012, 2014 and 2019.
"Words are Inadequate. I've been listening to bands for 45 years and that was the most committed elementary band performance
I have ever heard."
-Roger Rocco, tubist
upon hearing the concert band at the 2014 CPS Elementary Band Contest
"I Cannot believe you're playing a piece this difficult. You guys can't possibly be a junior high band. Most High school bands cannot play at the difficulty Level you're playing at."
-Judith Grimes, professor at Elmhurst College
upon hearing the concert band at the 2016 IGSMA District VII Band Contest
"This is the best band I've heard since I started judging at CPS, by far. Its not comparable. There is no one who has played anything like the literature you've just played for me right
now or played as well as I've just heard."
-James Stevens, retired band director; Bradley-Bourbonnais Community H.S.
upon hearing the concert band at the 2018 CPS Elementary Band Contest
"Man, I don't even know what to say. These are like, high school/college level charts and to hear you guys play with that kind of technical execution is spectacular. I'm Flabbergasted."
-Jarrard Harris, jazz alto saxophonist
upon hearing the Latin big band at the 2014 CPS Jazz Band Contest