Brennah “Brennthelynng” Gerdes is a sophomore at Charleston High School. This is her first year in Maximum Forte where she will be singing in the alto section. In her free time, Brennah enjoys listening to and composing her own music. She loves spending time with her friends and is the vice-president of the sophomore class on CHS’s Student Council where she gets to use her leadership skills and work with a team. Brennah has loved singing since she was a little girl and has always had a very outgoing, bubbly personality, with a smile that will brighten up your day. Brennah looks forward to making the most of her sophomore year with Maximum Forte.
Breonna “Bree” Bower is a junior at CHS this year in her second year with Maximum Forte as a soprano. She is also a member of the CHS Advanced Chorus and participated in the District Five ILMEA Senior Mixed Chorus this year. She is excited to be able to continue this amazing experience in this group as it has helped her become more involved in what she loves every day. She looks forward to one day using these experiences to help her have a career in music and be able to help other people feel great and connect with music just like she does.
Ella "Ellagar1" Garrett is a sophomore at CHS. This is her first year in Maximum Forte where she sings in the soprano section. She has been part of the music department since 5th grade, and she enjoys anything that has to do with music. Ella loves to perform on stage and has participated in multiple musicals, JES Show Choir, CMS "Harmonix", and is a new member of the CHS Advanced Choir this year. Ella's other passion is soccer and has been playing since she was 3. Ella is excited to be a member of the group this year and learn more about music performance.
Jackson “Mailbox” Ulm is a junior in high school and this is his first year in Maximum Forte. He is the sound technician for the group and is a bass in the Advanced Chorus. Jackson spends his free time playing games with his friends, listening to music, and hiking in nature. Jackson is a member of BSA Troop 141. He is excited to learn how to make an amazing group sound even more amazing from the board.
Kiley “Babushka” Will is a junior at Charleston High School. This is her second year as an alto in Maximum Forte and the Advanced Mixed Chorus. In her free time, Kiley loves working, writing, and listening to music. Performing is her biggest passion, as she loves musical theatre and dance. Contemporary and jazz are her favorite dance styles and Newsies is her favorite musical. This year, she looks forward to spending time with her friends, performing as a member of the ILMEA All-State Chorus in January, and singing even more than before.
Lyla “Royal-Tea” Long is a senior and experiencing her first year in Maximum Forte as an Alto. She joined choir in the fifth grade and has participated in music events since. Lyla keeps busy serving as the Alto Section Leader in the Advanced Mixed Choir as well as Captain of the CHS Girls Tennis team and Treasurer of CHS’s National Honor Society. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, and drinking tea. Lyla is looking forward to getting more involved in music this year and has been selected as a member of the ILMEA All-State Honors Chorus this year.
Marissa “Mars” Green is a senior soprano and is a third-year member of Maximum Forte. Marissa has been involved in the choir department since the fifth grade. She’s involved in different clubs at the high school including Habitat for Humanity, Student Council, Science Club, Tri-M Music Honors Society, as well as the National Honors Society. Marissa is especially looking forward to attending All-State as a member of the ILMEA All-State Honors Chorus this year. She is also really looking forward to graduating this year from CHS in May and seeing what the future holds for her.
Megan “MegaMix” Heise is the vocal percussionist/alto singer for Maximum Forte. She’s a junior in high school and in her second year in the group. She is involved in both the Band and Choir programs at CHS, serving as both a drum major and French horn section leader for the band. She also enjoys running the lighting system for school musicals. When she’s not studying for AP classes, Megan likes to play video games, write, listen to music, and binge her favorite TV shows. She looks forward to a productive season with the group and making new memories with the sophomores.
Michael “Chopped Honey” Fleming is a junior and in his second year in Maximum Forte in the tenor section. He has been in choir since 5th grade. He has also been an active member of BSA Troop 141 since fifth grade, and loves participating in ILMEA Music Ensembles. This year, he was selected to participate in the ILMEA Honors Chorus. He has been in many musicals such as Addams Family and is looking forward to this year’s musical with the CHS Performing Arts Club again.
Mitch “Brawn” Cox is a senior at Charleston High School and is in his third year singing bass for both Advanced Choir and Maximum Forte. While Mitch spent his time working during his sophomore and junior years, he has taken this year off to focus his energies on school and singing. Mitch has been selected as a member of this year’s All-State ILMEA Honors Chorus and as well as the CHS Chorus President. He also enjoys playing lots of different types of tabletop games in his free time. Mitch is looking forward to performing this year more than anything else.
Nautica “Jelly Fish” Long is a CHS senior, currently singing alto for the third year in Maximum Forte. A passionate thrift shopper and a social butterfly, Nautica is always out and about in the community. She has been in the choir program since 5th grade, as well as participated in different musicals produced by the high school and community theater including “Mamma Mia”, “The Music Man”, and “Annie”. She was recently selected as a member of the All-State Honors Chorus and as a National Anthem Finalist Alternate for ILMEA District V. Nautica is looking forward to every moment of her senior year, including all of her upcoming performances.
Nick "Beauty" Hawk is a senior at Charleston High School and has been a tenor in Maximum Forte for 3 years. He loves to run Cross Country as well as playing percussion in the CHS Band. Nick has been in chorus and band since fifth grade and plans to continue singing after high school. He enjoys participating in ILMEA (he will be attending All-State as a member of the ILMEA All-State Honors Chorus again this year) and acting in musicals. He is highly looking forward to being able to sing with his friends, and finally being able to get back a little bit of the normal we’ve been missing through these tough times.
Olivia “Hiccups” Bennett is a junior and a member of the alto section in Maximum Forte. This is her second year in the group and she is thrilled to be performing a cappella music with her friends again this year. Olivia is part of CHS’s Advanced Choir and has participated in both classical and Jazz ILMEA, qualifying for Vocal Jazz All-State her sophomore year and junior year as well as qualifying for a National Anthem audition at this year’s festival. She is looking forward to attending this year’s All-State Vocal Jazz Festival in the Spring, being a part of the cast for the CHS musical, and competing in this year’s ICHSA Competition.
Sadie “Swoll” Stowell is a junior participating in her second year of Maximum Forte as a soprano. She is also a member of Charleston High School’s Advanced Chorus and was selected as a member of the ILMEA Honors All-State Chorus this year. Sadie has been involved in choir since she was in 5th grade. She is looking forward to traveling to New York City with the choir this spring. In her free time, Sadie enjoys playing games with her family and watching Hallmark movies.
Tom “Da’ Brain” Bates is in his third year in Maximum Forte and is a senior at Charleston High School. Tom is a tenor and loves to read in his free time. He has loved to sing for as long as he can remember and has been in numerous choirs, music ensembles, and musicals throughout his music career. He is looking forward to the ICHSA competition later this year as well as being a part of the All-State Honors Chorus in Peoria in January.
Tristan “Dancing Queen“ Williams is a junior and it is his second year in Forte as a bass. He started singing in chorus in sixth grade and was selected for the CMS Advanced Chorus in seventh grade. He likes being in Maximum Forte because of the opportunity to do things like choosing their own songs and going to competition, which is unique to Forte. Some of his hobbies are playing piano and riding his bike whenever he can. He is also a member of the Boy Scouts with some of his friends that have been doing it since fifth grade. The thing he looks forward to the most this year is preparing for competition because they were not able to compete last year and participating in the ILMEA All-State Chorus this Spring.