41st annual Junior Music Festival held at VHS

41st annual Junior Music Festival held at VHS About 95 young musicians participated in the 41st annual Junior Music Festival, sponsored by the Vermillion Music Club in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs, held on March 19, at the Vermillion High School. The young pianists played the grand piano in the auditorium, while the string players performed in the band room.

The Festival organizers are very grateful to the high school administration and staff for their help and cooperation in arranging for this event.

Most of the participants, ages 5-17, are from the Vermillion/Yankton area, although this year we also had students from Milbank and Orange City, IA. The following teachers had students performing this year: Lois Droegemeier, Marie Gray, Susan Keith Gray, Christy Kimball, Karen Lipp, Beth Mitchell, John Thomson, Karen Wearne and Janis Yarbrough.

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

The judge for the string performers this year was Professor Nick Curry, cellist and string instructor at USD. The piano students were judged by Jayson Dobney, a pianist who is on the staff of the National Music Museum. The judges were both very complimentary about the Festival and the quality of the performances they heard.

The following students received a Superior rating in the piano solo event: Carter Andre, Peter Auch, Peter Banasiak, Ellen Brown, Maggie Busch, Meghan Cameron, Shelby Covill, Eric Droegemeier, Sarah Droegemeier, Mikaela French, Shantel French, Ander Geise, Anna Hammond, Ellen Hanson, Andrew Heine, Raychel Lorenz, James May, Jay Munger, Seth Phillips, Micah Rarick, Sarah Rasmussen, Sowmya Ragothaman, Paul Schwasinger, Forest Skilbred, Chrissy Sorensen, Nicholas Steward, Sean Thomson, Emily Vandenhul, and Olivia Vandenhul.

Excellent rating for piano solo were given to: Julia Auch, Byron Banasiak, David Day, Sam Hieb Ekstrom, Alison Heine, Ashley Henry, Derek Iverson, Austin Krier, Lacey Leichtnam, Lauren Leichtnam, Amy Mart, Paul May, Kayla Munger, Erin Rasmusen, Emily Renner, Julie Renner, Kate Renner, Valerie Robinson, Brooke Schwasinger, Alexa Thomson, Kathryn Van Balen, Jade Van Kley, Thomas Walker and David Yarbrough.

Matthew Auch, Johanna Bryan, Hillary Callahan, Stephanie Cowman, DeNell Dykstra, Jacki Hanson, Abby Ouellette and Elizabeth Richardson received Very Good ratings. Douglas Kronaizl received an Excellent rating for his accordion solo.

The following students received a Superior rating for violin solos: Harry Fleischacker, Jordan Hof, Agnes Kabambi, Keren Kabambi, Mikael Leet, Emily Lundgren, Annie Peasley, Allen Schmitz, Emily Schmitz, Sadie Stevens, Sophie Stevens, Alexa Thomson, Sean Thomson, Sophia Vandenhul, Leah Waid and Jacki Wang. Excellent ratings for violin solos were earned by Keshav Arogyaswamy, Julia Auch, Rebeka Bogue, Maggie Brown, Brooke Hiemstra, Erica Knode, Janani Ragothaman and Christian Roeder.

Sagarika Arogyaswamy received a Very Good rating. Jessica Bogue earned a Superior rating for her viola solo; Addy Bryan, Rose Dvorak and Josephine Kabambi, earned Excellent ratings. In the violin concerto event, Superior ratings were given to Annie Peasley, Sadie Stevens, Sophie Stevens, Alexa Thomson, Sean Thomson and Jacki Wang; Keshav Arogyaswamy received an excellent rating.

The Lyric Strings Orchestra, under the direction of Karen Lipp, received a Superior rating for its performance. The members of this year's orchestra were: Keshav Arogyaswamy, Sagarika Arogyaswamy, Agnes Kabambi, Keren Kabambi, Josephine Kabambi, Janani Ragoth-aman, Sadie Stevens, Grace Sulivan, and Alexa Thomson. According to Mrs. Lipp, this was the last year she will be directing the Lyric Strings Orchestra, which has been in existence for 27 years.

In addition to receiving a rating and comments from the judge, participants can earn points every year based on the ratings they receive, 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 22 gold cups were awarded.

Small gold cups for piano solos were earned by: Matthew Auch, Stephanie Cowman, Jacki Hanson, James May, Emily Renner, Julie Renner, Kate Renner, Valerie Robinson, Brooke Schwasinger, Kathryn Van Balen and Thomas Walker. Erin Rasmussen and Jade Van Kley were awarded medium gold cups, and Olivia Vandenhul received a large gold cup.

Small gold cups for violin solo went to Rebecca Bogue, Brooke Hiemstra, Sean Thomson and Sophia Vandenhul. Allen Schmitz earned a medium gold cup in this event. Sadie Stevens earned a small gold cup in the violin concerto event and Alexa Thomson and Sophie Stevens received medium cups in the violin concerto event.

Thanks to the members of the Vermillion Music Club who worked to put on this Festival (Esther Knutson, Solveig Korte and Mary Sorensen as well as Sarah Chadima and Carolyn Johnson) and to the teachers who encourage their students to participate.

For further information about the Junior Music Festival or the Vermillion Music Club, contact Carolyn Johnson at 624-4233, or Sarah Chadima 624-6745.

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