37th annual Junior Music Festival held March 3 at Warren M. Lee Art Center

37th annual Junior Music Festival held March 3 at Warren M. Lee Art Center About 95 young musicians participated in the 37th annual Junior Music Festival, sponsored by the Vermillion Music Club in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs, held on March 3, at the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on the USD campus.

The participants are young people from the Vermillion area, including some from Yankton and Elk Point, ages 5 to 18. The following teachers had students participated in this year's festival: Judy Aiello, Lois Droegemeier, Karen Lipp, Beth Mitchell, Russell Osterberg, Richard Rognstad, Lisa Swanson, John Thomson, Karen Wearne and Janis Yarbrough.

Each student performed two pieces of music from memory, one of which was a required selection and the other a piece which the student and his/her teacher chose; a rating for the performance along with a written critique were given by the judge.

The judge for the string performers this year was Kathi Angeroth, principal second chair violin with the Sioux City Symphony and a teacher in the Siouxland Community Music School. She was previously the director and instructor of Suzuki Violinists in Ames, IA. The pianists were judged by Lucetta Johnson, a piano teacher and member of the National Music Teachers Association in Sioux Falls. She is a frequent adjudicator at piano contests in this area.

The following students received a superior rating in the piano solo event: Sarah Anderson, Reanna Bertram, Carrie Christiansen, Megan Deaver, Denell Dykstra, Chelsea Gauer, Caley Gerth, Hannah Gerth, Rebecca Girlinghouse, Crystal Gorden, Amanda Granaas, Luke Heine, Lauren Higgins, Ariel Hoffman, Stacey Joy, Jenny Larson, Raychel Lorenz, Matthew May, Margaret Mueller, Rylan Ollivier, Robert Osterberg, Sarah Rasmusssen, Michelle Rasmussen, Anne Roche, Michelle Rydell, Olivia Vandenhul, Jade VanKley, and Jenna Williams.

An excellent rating for piano solo was received by: Daniel Davies, Lindsay Davies, Elizabeth Day, Sarah Day, Michael Dendinger, Sam Ekstrom, Logan Gerth, Molly Green, Laura Hanson, Jack Higgins, Emily Holoch, Shelli Knutson, Tia Krier, Molly Larson, Nicole Leners, Amy Mart, Paul May, Sidney Mount, Kayla Munger, Deepti Naik, Rachel Odens, Heidi Osterberg, Molly O'Connor, Kate Pommersheim, Micah Rarick, Janani Rogothaman, Kristen Schwasinger, Emily Vandenhul, and Molly Woodard.

Hillary Callahan, Mason Eichelberg, Maggie Green, BreAnn Luders, Laura May, Rick Meins, Michael Nelson, Jonathan Preszler, Erin Rasmussen, Kara Rasmussen, and David Yarbrough received a very good rating for piano solo.

The following students played violin, viola, and/or cello solos: Nancy Abbott, Megan Archambault, Sara Archambault, Hannah Alsgaard, Vanessa Barnes, Shawndra Beukelman, Holly Ehresmann, Kate Ehresmann, Rhea Ehresmann, Jolie Farley-Wamberg, Ty Kelley, Emily Leet, Christian Lehmann, Hannah Lerseth, Molly Lundberg, Annie Peasley, Janani Ragothaman, Anne Roche, Allen Schmitz, Katie Shubeck, Silpa Somepalli, Sadie Stevens, Sophie Stevens, Alexa Thomson, and Jacki Wang. Alexa Thomson and Jacki Wang also played violin concertos.

Also playing in the strings division was the Lyric Strings Orchestra, conducted by Karen Lipp. This is the 30th year in which the Lyric Strings Orchestra has participated in the Junior Music Festival. The orchestra was first organized by Leona Marek and Karen Lipp in order to provide their students with the opportunity to gain experience and perform in a string orchestra setting. At first the group included some parents of students, but as more children began studying stringed instruments in Vermillion, the orchestra became limited to students.

Presently the orchestra consists of students from second to eighth grades, and from as far away as Beresford, Centerville, Elk Point, and Yankton. The orchestra rehearses one hour per week during the school year, using various churches in the community. The orchestra performs for churches, nursing and retirement homes, service organizations and schools here and in surrounding communities.

It is unique in that it is the only orchestra of its kind in this area. Students graduating from the orchestra have gone on to join youth symphonies in Sioux City and Sioux Falls, as well as the Sioux City Symphony and South Dakota Symphony.

In addition to receiving a rating and comments from the judge, participants can earn points every year based on the ratings they recieve, and gold cups are then awarded to those earning the required number of points (15 points for a small cup, 30 points for a medium cup, and 45 points for a large cup). This year 11 gold cups were awarded.

Small gold cups for piano solo were earned by: Chelsea Gauer, Crystal Gorden, Amanda Granaas, Maggie Green, Luke Heine, Ariel Hoffman, Jenny Larson, and Michelle Rydell. A medium gold cup for piano solo was awarded to Sarah Rasmussen, and a large cup was awarded to Michelle Rasmussen. Sadie Stevens received a small gold cup for violin solo.

Thanks to the members of the Vermillion Music Club who worked to put on this festival. For further information about the Junior Music Festival or the Vermillion Music Club, contact Carolyn Johnson at 624-4233, Judy Aiello at 624-3577, or Solveig Korte at 624-8426.

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