8th annual Junior Music Festival held

About 60 young musicians participated in the 48th annual Junior Music Festival, sponsored by the Vermillion Music Club in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs. The Festival was held on March 31, 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 for the use of their wonderful performance setting and the staff for their help and cooperation in accommodating this event.  Most of the participants, ages 5-17, are from the Vermillion/Yankton area, although this year we also had students from Milbank, Sioux Falls, and Centerville.

The following teachers had students playing in the festival: Susan Keith Gray, Jaclyn Mathison, Christy Kimball, Beth Mitchell, Karen Wearne, Janis Yarbrough, Melissa Wood, Sheila Dailie, and Amy Redhage. Each student performed two pieces of music from memory, one of which was a required selection and the other was a piece chosen by the student and teacher; a rating for the performance along with a written critique was given by a professional in the field of study.  The judges this year were University of South Dakota graduate students in performance, violinist, Andrew Paa, and pianist, Zachary Rohlwing.

The following students participated in the piano solo event (by category of expertise): 

PrePrimary: Kristy Muriuki andSean Poppens

 Primary I: Anna Armbrust, Rylan Craig, Paige Krell, Camiryn Regnerus, Ashton Ruesch, Amber Schulz, and Elaina Taggart

Primary II: Rileigh Arne, Teo Kim, Megan Muriuki, Natalie Poppens, and Connor Saunders

Primary III: Sydney Allen, Alexis Allgrunn, Toria Andre, Ashlyn Bickett, Regan Heine, Lexi Saunders, Jane Ni Struckman-Johnson, and Ella Wittmuss

Primary IV:  Wyatt Loftus, Tristen Ruesch, Kate Struckman-Johnson, Sophia Taggart, Luke VanPeursem, and Wyatt Waage

Elementary I:  Becca Ford, Grace Kjelden, Ashley Schulz, Anneleises Taggart, Sydney Tigert, and Shinayne Whipple

Elementary II:  Adam Allgrunn, Sagarika Ghosh, Maggie Peterson, and Anna VanHolland

Elementary III:  Sophia Dudley, Abby VanPeursem, and Joel VanPeursem

Elementary IV:  McKayla Poppens

Medium:  Adele Benoit and Kevin Helenurm

Moderately Difficult III:  Seth Phillips

Difficult II:  Sowmya Ragothaman

Connor and Lexi  Saunders participated in the piano duet category.

The following students participated in violin solos:

PrePrimary:  James Buckneberg, Jessica Lee, and Michael Redhage

Primary I:  Brock Buckneberg, Camille Johnson, and Kayli Schaap

Primary II:  Sarah Redhage

Primary III:  David Redhage and Chloe Voegeli

Primary IV:  Brianna Johnson

Medium II:  Leah Waid

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.  The students must study and perform for a minimum of three years and earn a superior rating in order to earn a small gold cup.

This year a total of 16 gold cups were awarded. Small gold cups (15 points) for the piano solo category were earned by: Alexis Allgrunn, Rileigh Arne, Adele Benoit, Natalie Poppens, Tristen Ruesch, Lexi Saunders, and Wyatt Waage.

Kevin Helenurm, McKayla Poppens, Sowmya Ragothaman, Ashley Schulz, Joel Van Peursem, and Shinayne Whipple, earned medium gold cups (30 points) for piano solo, and Seth Phillips earned a large gold cup (45 points) for piano solo.

Sarah Redhage and David Redhage earned small gold cups (15 points) in the violin solo event.

Thanks to all the students for performing, the judges, members of the Vermillion Music Club who facilitated this Festival, and to the teachers and parents who encourage these young musicians to excellence through participation.  For further information about the Junior Music Festival or the Vermillion Music Club, contact Mary Sorensen at 624-6604 or Sarah Chadima 624-6745.

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