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Memorial concert brings St. Charles East, North high schools together
By Marco Santana | Daily Herald Staff

Tyler Caruso

 

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Published: 5/27/2008 2:10 PM | Updated: 5/28/2008 12:04 AM

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At 17, Tyler Caruso had a vision.

He wanted to create something that brought traditional rivals St. Charles East and St. Charles North together.

His idea was a free summer concert that drew bands and performers from both schools.

Unfortunately, Caruso died in 2002 before he could see his vision come to fruition.

But his mother and student representatives in the Downtown St. Charles Partnership see to it that the concert lives on.

"It was Tyler's dream to get one concert where it's not a rivalry, it's a community," said Ellen Bartindale, St. Charles East's student representative with the partnership. "This is his dream. It's exciting to be able to help with that."

The sixth annual Tyler Caruso Memorial Concert starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lincoln Park in St. Charles.

Seven bands will play, and Bartindale said filling the lineup was easy because of interest in the event.

"It was just a great response," she said. "Everybody we asked just jumped right on board."

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

All proceeds go to the Tyler Caruso Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Each year, the fund awards three $1,000 scholarships to students at St. Charles East or St. Charles North. Since its inception, the fund has awarded $17,000 in scholarships.

Caruso was very active in school and in the community. He brought both together when he served in Bartindale's position before he died.

The concert is an unofficial kickoff to the Concert in the Park series. East and North, rivals in everything from academics to athletics, both support the concert and the series.

"It was his vision to bring the two schools together," she said. "He died before he could bring that to pass."

Caruso died of a heart attack July 14, 2002.

Bartindale graduated Sunday and she said she was thrilled to be a part of Caruso's legacy.

"He was such an amazing kid and an amazing person," Bartindale said. "I am grateful to keep his memory alive."