Youth participate in 44th annual Junior Music Festival On Friday evening, March 14, and Saturday, March 15, more than 90 young piano and string players participated in the 44th annual Junior Music Festival, sponsored by the Vermillion Music Club in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs. The Friday evening session was held at the Fine Arts Building on the USD campus, and the Saturday session took place at the Vermillion High School. The festival organizers are very grateful to the USD Music Department and the high school administration and staff for their help and cooperation in arranging for this event. Most of the performers, ages 3-18, were from the Vermillion/Yankton area, although there were also participants from Tea, Sioux Falls and Milbank. The following teachers had students performing this year: Judy Aiello, Sheila Dailie, Susan Keith Gray, Kimberly Jacobson, 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; the judge gives each performer a rating along with a written critique. The judge for the string performers this year was Ms. Marie-Elaine Gagnon, a cellist and new faculty member in the Music Department at USD. Ms. Gagnon is a member of the USD Rawlins Piano Trio. The piano students were judged by Ms. Cara Geerlings, a piano teacher and experienced adjudicator from Sioux City, IA. She was favorably impressed with the ability of the students and the quality of the performances. The following students received a superior rating in the piano solo event: Johanna Bryan, Maggie Busek, Meghan Cameron, Dayjia Castillo, Cory Cordie, Sophia Dudley, Lydia Ford, Nathan Ford, Shantel French, Anjie Ge, Andrew Heine, Blake Hill, Emily Hill, Christian Kellogg, Sophia Leikvold, Catherine Leonard, Scott Leonard, Dana LeVan, Aloknanda Manna Ray, James May, Audrey Miiller, Elly Miiller, Seth Phillips, Erin Rasmussen, Ryan Reiffenberger, Emily Renner, Kyle Schluttner, Stacy Schluttner, Ashley Schulz, Heather Sun, Britney Sweeney, Anneliese Taggart, Sophia Taggart, Olivia Van Den Hul, Anna Van Holland, Abby Van Peursem, Joel Van Peursem, and Shinayne Whipple. Excellent ratings for piano solo were given to: Adam Allgrunn, Ellen Brown, Jack Brown, Shelby Covill, Alex Dell, Bailey Dell, Becca Ford, Jade Fostvedt, Anna Hammond, Ellen Hanson, Marley Hanson, Grace Kjelden, Cara Koch, Kayla Munger, Ruth Murphy, Kayla Peterson, Maggie Peterson, McKayla Poppens, Sowmya Ragothaman, Micah Rarick, Julie Renner, Caitlin Schwebach, Twila Sweeney, Hannah Tawzer, Sam Tigert, Sydney Tigert, Emily Van Den Hul, Michael Walker, and Dylan Workman. Sophia Dudley and Dylan Workman received a superior rating for their piano duet. The following students received a superior rating for violin solos: Julie Auch, Kate Ehresmann, Claire Hussey, Sophie Kouri, Carmen Lipp, and Sophia Van Den Hul. Excellent ratings for violin solos were earned by Mikael Leet, Claire Min, Allen Schmitz, Emily Schmitz, Alexa Thomson, Sean Thomson and Leah Waid. Satisfactory ratings were given to Rebecka Bogue and Janani Ragothaman. In the violin concerto event, Sophia Van Den Hul received a superior rating, Julie Auch and Alexa Thomson received excellent ratings, and Janani Ragothaman and Sean Thomson received satisfactory ratings. In the viola solo event, Addy Bryan earned an excellent rating; Jessica Bogue and Katie Brady each received a satisfactory rating. 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 24 gold cups were awarded. Small gold cups for piano solos were earned by: Shelby Covill, Shantel French, Andrew Heine, Emily Hill, Sophia Leikvold, Elly Miiller, Ryan Reiffenberger, Heather Sun, Abby Van Peursem and Joel Van Peursem. Kayla Munger, Seth Phillips, Emily Renner and Julie Renner were awarded medium gold cups. Erin Rasmussen received a large gold cup (45 points), and Olivia Van Den Hul was awarded the extra-large gold cup (60 points â�?�? 12 years of Superior ratings). Small gold cups for violin solo were awarded to Mikael Leet, Carmen Lipp, Emily Schmitz and Leah Waid; Sophia Van Den Hul received a medium gold cup. Addy Bryan was awarded a small gold cup for viola solo. Sean Thomson was presented a small gold cup in the violin concerto event, and Alexa Thomson received a large gold cup for violin concerto. Thanks to the members of the Vermillion Music Club who worked to put on this festival (especially Karen Lipp, Beth Mitchell, Mary Sorensen and Solveig Korte 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.