Ally, Sophmore,Tenor

Ally "Lanita" Gonzalez is a sophomore at Charleston High School and a first-year member of Maximum Forte. She sings Alto 2 and drops down to Tenor occasionally. Ally has been a part of choir since she was in 5th grade and has since taken part in many performances including district choir and multiple musicals. Outside of Maximum Forte, Ally is a CHS Advanced Choir member, a Charleston cheerleader, and a member of Tri-M Music Honors Society. Ally's inspiration comes from multiple artists such as Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Lady Gaga. Ally loves the time she spends outside of music as well with friends and family. Ally is so grateful to be a part of Maximum Forte and accomplish all the great things she gets to. She's excited for the future of this group and hopes to progress in music throughout her entire life.

Brock, Sophomore, Bass

Brock "Brick" Hanner is a sophomore at CHS. This is his first year in Maximum Forte, where he sings bass. Brock has been involved in choir since 5th grade and has attended the ILMEA District V Festival and the Vocal Jazz Festival. He has also participated in various musicals such as Cinderella, Legally Blonde Jr, and Mary Poppins. Outside of singing, Brock is a member of the CHS swim team and is also Secretary of the Interact Club. Brock is extremely passionate about music and loves every artist from Taylor Swift to Drake. Getting on stage and putting on a show for the crowd has been his thing his whole life. Brock can't wait to get back on stage and pursue his passion, with 13 of his closest friends right by his side. 

Emma, Sophomore, Alto

Emma “Lil Tater” Karbassioon is a sophomore this year and sings in the Alto section in Maximum Forte. She has been involved in the music program since 5th grade and is currently an active member of the CHS Tri-M Music Honor Society, Advanced Chorus, and Performing Arts Club. Emma participated in the ILMEA District Mixed Chorus in both freshman and sophomore years. She also participated in the ILMEA District Jazz Festival, Solo and Ensemble, and was a 2023 All-State Chorus student. Emma loves performing and making a memorable impact on the audience. She is extremely excited about all upcoming music opportunities she may have and hopes to set an example for others to follow.  

Kaylin, Sophomore, Soprano

Kaylin "Lil Tot" Hawk is a sophomore this year and is a soprano for Maximum Forte. She has been in the band, choir, and musical programs since 5th grade. She has participated in the ILMEA District Choirs for many years as well. Kaylin was in the All-State choir last year and is returning for Vocal Jazz All-State this year. She is a member of CHS's Tri-M Honor Society/ Illinois Music Honor Society Chapter this year. She has been playing the piano since she was 4 and loves improving her skills on many different instruments. She is very excited about the many relationships she has been able to make from Maximum Forte and the opportunity she has to better herself every day!

Taryn, Sophomore, Soprano

Taryn “Little Debbie” Cole is a sophomore at CHS, and this is her first year in Maximum Forte, singing in the soprano section. She has been involved in choir since fifth grade and is currently a member of the CHS Advanced Chorus and Performing Arts Club. She is also a member of the Tri-M Music Honors Society. This year, Taryn participated in both the ILMEA Concert and Vocal Jazz district choirs, and was accepted into the ILMEA All-State Senior Chorus. In addition to singing, Taryn is also learning to play the piano and guitar, and plays varsity on the CHS girl’s tennis team. In her free time, she enjoys reading and making art, such as painting, pottery, and string art. Taryn says that her favorite part of being a Maximum Forte member is her close friendships with the other members, as well as the memories that they get to make together. 

Aiden, Junior, Baritone

Aiden "Fruity Pebbles" Caughran is a junior tenor and second year member of Maximum Forte. Aiden has taken part in many music-based performances such as ILMEA All-State Jazz 2024, ILMEA All- State Honors 2023, and over 15 musical theater shows spanning from” Big Fish” to “Sunday in the Park with George”. One day Aiden hopes to become a music educator himself so he can give the same opportunity to students as his director has given to him. Aiden also partakes in guitar playing and CHS’ Advanced Choir outside of Maximum Forte. Aiden takes inspiration from artists who have a unique style of performance such as Sam Smith, Alan Cumming, Amy Winehouse, and The Manhattan Transfer. Aiden’s favorite genre of music specifically being jazz. Aiden is extremely excited to be able to perform as apart of Maximum Forte because he finds it fun to express himself in a way that is flashy and unique.

Dylan, Junior, Tenor

Dylan “Bucket Boy” Hawk is a Junior this year and is a Tenor in Maximum Forte. He has been in every choir, band, and musical program he could since 5th grade, including multiple ILMEA All-Districts choirs and bands and two years of ILMEA Honor’s All-State Chorus. Dylan is also involved in CHS’s Tri-M Honor’s Society/Illinois Music Honor’s Society Chapter, and he loves to do music camps over the summer with all his buddies. Dylan loves to make music in all sorts of ways, and he practices to be the best musician he can be!

Elaina, Junior, Alto

Elaina "Jumpscare" Sutula is a junior and a second-year member of Maximum Forte as a Soprano/Alto. She is also involved in the Advanced Choir, Concert Band, Jazz Band, PAC (Performing Arts Club), Tri-M/ILMHS (Vice President), and is the Junior Drum Major for the CHS Marching Trojans. Elaina was recently selected as an All-State level ILMEA National Anthem Finalist from District 5 and was also chosen for FMES 2024 (Future Music Educators Symposium). During the summer, Elaina loves to attend Eastern Music Camp, Smith Walbridge Clinics, voice lessons, and participate in community musicals. She plans to become a vocal educator and is super excited to learn more about the field from her amazing mentors. She is super inspired when singing classical, musical theatre, and barbershop music. Her favorite thing about the group this year is how well they blend, and the special moments when the rich chords and complex parts come together. Elaina cannot wait for everyone to hear all the hard work the group has put in this year!

Jilli, Junior, Sound tech

Jilliann “Ninja” Symonds is a Junior at CHS. This is her first year in Maximum Forte, she loves her role as sound tech. She’s in CHS advanced choir as well and has been in choir threw school since fifth grade and has been in kids choirs threw her church since around second grade! As well as Maximum Forte she runs sound for her church and musicals. Outside of sound she plays guitar, piano, and is very excited to be learning bass guitar! She is also an active member at the Charleston Sportsmen club and enjoys going to competitions. In her free time, she enjoys baking, perfecting some of her recipes and challenging herself with baking for her family members with dietary restrictions. Her favorite part of Forte this year is challenging herself and learning everything she can from professionals knowing her fellow members support her. She loves being able to watch her fellow members perform and achieve their goals as well.

Meredith, Junior, Alto

Meredith “merenara” McGrath is a junior at Charleston High School and sings as an Alto in Maximum Forte. She’s a member of the CHS Concert Band, Colorguard, Advanced Choir (Soprano 2 Section Leader), Tri-M/ILMHS (Historian), and Performing Arts Club. Meredith was also selected for the 2023 ILMEA All-State Choir as a sophomore, and then for the 2024 ILMEA Honors All-State Choir her junior year. Along with being both a vocalist and instrumentalist, Meredith also spends a lot of her time taking dance lessons. With a focus on Tap dance, Meredith also has years of Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, and Modern dance experience at her local dance studio. With all of her musical endeavors, Meredith strives to perform and express herself through her love of music. She enjoys being able to grow and learn along with her peers, and can’t wait to make so many memories with Maximum Forte this season!

Mia, Junior, Soprano

Mia "Birdie" Carcasi is a Junior at Charleston High School. She is a Soprano I in Advanced Chorus and Forte. Mia has been a part of the choir, musical theatre and Band Programs since 5th grade and has been highly involved since then. She is the Choir Officer for her grade, tri-m secretary, and section leader for both Marching Band and Concert Band. She has been a part of solo and ensemble for the entire of High School and has scored very highly every year. When Mia graduates, she plans to go to college for a degree is Classical Music and Theatre Tech, so that she will always be surrounded by music. Mia loves making music with all her friends and can't wait to see where the year takes her.

Nevaeh, Junior, Soprano

Nevaeh “Ditzy” Ethridge is a junior this year at CHS. This is her second year in Maximum Forte, where she sings in the soprano section. Nevaeh has been in choir since the 5th grade and currently participates in CHS’ Advanced Choir, where she can be found singing in the alto section. She has also participated in ILMEA Vocal Jazz Festival, and Solo and Ensemble. In 2021, she was selected for a callback on the show “The Voice” and that launched her into the music industry, now working on releasing her own music. After graduating, Nevaeh plans to attend a university, hopefully staying involved with a cappella. She is in charge of Maximum Forte’s Instagram page and has been since last year. She has a love for social media managing, and loves being able to run the Instagram page. Nevaeh loves performing and she loves it even more when doing it with her best friends. She cannot wait for another wonderful year with Maximum Forte.

Lucas, Senior, Bass

Lucas “Mama Forte” Neal, is a senior at CHS, is a baritone, and is a second-year member of Maximum Forte. He has been in choir and band since 5th grade where his musical career began. He is currently involved in the Tri-M Music Honors Society/ILMHS, Marching Band, and Advanced Choir. Lucas performed at the ILMEA District 5 Festival as a member of the Mixed Chorus and is preparing to perform at the ILMEA All-State Festival as a part of the All-State Chorus. Lucas comes from a musically inclined family and is grateful for their continuous support in his musical endeavors. He draws inspiration from artists such as Mt. Joy, Rag’n’Bone Man, and Bohnes. Lucas makes blankets, hats, and collects beanies in his spare time. After his senior year, he plans on going to EIU’s Lumpkin College of Business to study business and he also plans on auditioning for EIU’s choir.

Seth, Senior, VP

Seth "Beat Maker" Anderson has been in Maximum Forte for 2 years, this being his second and last, he’s ready to go out with a bang! Seth produces, beatboxes, sings, makes art and much more, he made Honors All State Choir, and is going to dominate.