Sycamore Music Boosters formally inducted Steven Griglione, Deb Loitz, and Arthur D. Montzka into its Hall of Fame at a ceremony last Thursday at Sycamore High School.
There are four categories of SMB Hall of Fame inductees, each of which recognizes ways that alumni of Sycamore High School and community members have contributed to excellence in music programs. These categories are the Ovation Award, Legacy Award, Advocate Award, and Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Ovation Award is given to an alumnus of Sycamore High School who demonstrated superior performance and participation in music during their time as a student.
The Legacy Award is given to an alumnus who has continued to demonstrate a high level of dedication through continuing their education, professional, and volunteer involvement in music after superior performance and participation in music throughout high school.
The Advocate Award is given to those who possess outstanding qualities as an advocate for music programs across the Sycamore School District.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to a graduate of SHS who demonstrated superior participation in music as a student and has a record of distinguished and exceptional performance, service, and achievement in their vocation and/or avocation outside of music.
Griglione was a 1968 graduate of Sycamore High School who continued his education at Northern Illinois University, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. A business owner and mentor, he served the community for 43 years through his local business Mr. G’s Music Studio, playing the organ for various Sycamore High School sporting events, and participating in countless musical activities, groups, and events.
Griglione, a posthumous inductee, passed away in late 2020. Following his passing, Griglione’s estate donated money to the Sycamore Music Boosters and music equipment from his former store to the Sycamore music department. Last week, his family announced a new scholarship in his honor, the Steven “Mr. G” Scholarship Fund. Information about this scholarship can be found on the DeKalb County Community Foundation website.
Loitz served as publicist and program coordinator while with the Sycamore Music Boosters. While in that role, she launched the organization’s social media presence, revamped and oversaw its website, and handled press releases and graphic design for media relations.
Now the Marketing Director for Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists, Loitz has no shortage of service to music in her surrounding community. She previously served as secretary and board member in the DeKalb Area Arts Council. She currently serves as the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra music education outreach chair, with previous roles as general manager, publicist, program coordinator, music librarian, advertising, and personnel. Loitz is also the youth handbell choir director and adult handbell choir member at the Sycamore United Methodist Church.
Arthur D. Montzka
Montzka held degrees from George Washington University, Oberlin Conservatory, and Eastman School of Music. He also served as a member of the U.S. Army in the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra.
Dedicated to the musical arts, Montzka was a member of the Illinois Arts Council Advisory panel, a member of the board of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and a lifetime member of the American String Teachers Association. In the local community, he taught orchestra in DeKalb (as well as private violin and viola lessons), played as an organist for the Sycamore Federated Church, was a major supporter of the Sycamore/NIU Suzuki Progam, and helped re-establish the Sycamore orchestra program–something that helped build up the program to its status now as one of the top orchestra programs in Illinois. He also served as the first official conductor for the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, where he conducted for 23 seasons. During his time with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, he established their Concerto Competition in 1985.
Montzka was honored in 1994 as the Suzuki Chairholder by the American Suzuki Institute and received the Distinguished Service Award by the Illinois American String Teachers Association of the Americas. Two years later, he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Illinois American String Teachers Association.
A posthumous inductee, Montzka passed away in late 2002.
Nominations for the Hall of Fame can be submitted anytime, with the nomination deadline for each year in late February. The deadline for the 2023 induction year will be February of next year (2024). If you have someone you would like to nominate for the Sycamore Music Boosters Hall of Fame, contact Cynthia Hagemeyer, Hall of Fame Committee chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.