This is open to students who play a band instrument and can read music. The Band Program emphasizes pride in each individual performance. Every student works hard in order to achieve the common goal of a great performance. The ultimate goal of the band program is that every student graduates with a heightened knowledge of music, learns to work with others, and develops a sense of camaraderie that is unique. The concert band performs two concerts during the school year. Students will perform a variety of musical literature to improve their skills and understanding. The McNamara Pep Band performs at home Varsity Football games and at a selection of home Varsity Basketball (boys and girls) games performing traditional pep band music as well as small compositions of student created modern music. Band members may elect to participate in the Liturgical Music Group which performs at all masses at Bishop McNamara. A unique feature of the band program is our grade school ambassadors. These students assist with the catholic grade school band program that our band director also coordinates. Lastly, the band Students have the opportunity to participate in the All-Catholic Honor Band, IMEA, and Solo and Ensemble Contest.
This group is composed of seniors selected to act as mentors to the incoming freshmen. Their main focus is to help the freshmen make a smooth transition into high school, allowing them to gain confidence as they begin the new school year. The Big Brothers/Big Sisters meet with the freshmen over the summer months for “the Party on the Lawn”. They also assist with Freshmen orientation and with Freshmen Parent Night.
The Campus Ministry plans school liturgies and prayer services. Bishop McNamara has annual class retreats that allow students to further develop their personal relationship with jesus. In addition, Juniors and Seniors may participate in the KAIROS “God’s time” 3-day retreat. Additional Campus Ministry opportunities include lectoring and altar serving at school masses as well as Eucharistic Minister training for seniors. The Campus Ministry created a program to help teach students the value and meaning of service. Students have gone to Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) to help package rice and protein for starving children across the world. Service opportunities in our local community are also available for our students throughout the entire school year.
The Fall Play is a comedy production. This dramatic production allows students to express their creativity and perform in front of a live audience. Students are involved in all aspects including acting, preparing sets and props, costuming, as well as the overall production of the play. Some of our past productions include: Dress Rehearsal for Murder, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Murder in a Nunnery, Night of January 16th and our current fall 2012 production, Family Reunion to Die For.
The French Club is open to anyone interested in French beyond the classroom experience. The club gathers for breakfast several times during the school year. The French Club attends cultural performances, visits the Art Institute in Chicago, views French films, experiences the flavors of French foods, celebrates Mardi Gras, and ends the school year with a club-wide family banquet in April.
The purpose of the Green Key Society is to promote Bishop McNamara to prospective students. The group is composed of sophomore, junior and senior boys and girls who serve as good role models and representatives for Bishop McNamara. Member responsibilities include the overall interaction with prospective students, organizing and executing our Grade School Nights, Mornings at Mac, giving school tours, providing written articles for our MACazine, hospitality on our placement test days, attending masses, as well as eating lunch with students at the local Catholic grade schools.
The Letterman’s Club is a service/leadership club. Most of the service is done within the school, however; the Lettermen are also active in the outside community serving at community events. They are also involved in the Catholic League Leadership Conference at DeLaSalle High School. Varsity Letter winners are eligible to join this club.
The Scholastic Bowl is an IHSA competitive academic activity open to all interested students who excel in an academic area. The matches consist of toss-up and bonus questions in the areas of math, science, history, literature, and fine arts. Bishop McNamara belongs to the south Metropolitan Scholastic Bowl League, a group of 10 Catholic high schools in the Chicago area who compete in triangular meets. League competition is for both Junior Varsity and Varsity levels. Regular matches are typically on Tuesdays with several Varsity tournaments on some Saturdays. In addition, Bishop McNamara competes in the Kankakee Community College Tournament as well as the IHSA tournament. Our team has won IHSA Regional tournaments on many occasions, most recently in 2011. We have had several players advance to the All-State team as well.
The Math Team participates in the ICTM Matt Competition at Parkland College in Champaign. State Competition is held at the University of Illinois for students that perform well at the regional level. Students participate in a wide range of events including written, oral and team tests. It is open to all students.
Each spring a major musical production is performed for the public. Due to growth and popularity of the McNamara musicals, these productions are now performed off campus in a local theater. Just as with the Fall Plays, the students have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the Spring Musicals. Any student may try out for these musicals. Some of our past Spring Musicals include: Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Footloose, Grease, Sweeney Todd, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Pippin. Our spring 2013 production will be, “Bye, Bye, Birdie”. Click here for all the details!
The Blarney Stone students publish the school newspaper four times per year. Members in this group have the opportunity to develop writing, interviewing, photography, and web publishing skills. All areas of school life and interests are covered in the Blarney Stone.
The Spanish Club is for anyone interested in the Spanish language or culture. You do not necessarily have to be taking a Spanish class to be involved in the Spanish Club. The Spanish Club has activities once per month. Some of our monthly events include games night, experiencing Spanish foods, Christmas caroling, Latin dancing, to name a few. The Spanish Club attends special cultural performances throughout the school year.
The Student Council is an important leadership organization whose goal is to build a better McNamara. The Council serves as a liaison for the student body to the administration. The student Council is responsible for organizing homecoming week activities and providing service opportunities to the student body. They have traditionally chaired the annual Red Cross Blood Drive and the school-wide Talent show. the student council participates in local community fundraising events as well.
The W.Y.S.E. group participates in academic competitions involving tests in a variety of subjects (emphasis is on Math and Science). W.Y.S.E. is comprised of mainly Juniors and Seniors.
Membership in Performance Choir is open to everyone who enjoys singing and will include instruction and practice in performance techniques as well as individual instruction based on level of entry. A variety of musical styles will be explored from Jazz to Pop! Students attend rehearsals during zero hour, occasional Saturdays, and a one week summer workshop. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the IHSA solo and ensemble music contest. These students will also act as liturgical leaders of song as cantors and vocalists at our school liturgies.
“The Shamrock” is the student-produced yearbook here at bishop McNamara High School. All work is primarily done after school hours. Students are directly involved in the yearbook production which includes photography, design, writing captions, and computer usage. Students of all grade levels are welcome to join this group.
The Z-Club is the high school chapter of the local Zonta Club of Kankakee. The club has a diverse membership and is open to any student wishing to serve in the community. Club members are community leaders dedicated to improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local levels through service and advocacy. This Club plans, coordinates, and participates with local agencies to provide service and advocacy for issues such as: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking. Being active in the Z-Club gives members the opportunity to be engaged in their own community, interact with local professionals, Learn the importance of serving others, and develop substantial leadership skills.