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Paynesville Press - March 22, 2006

PAHS hosts choral contest again

By Michael Jacobson

Paynesville Area High School hosted the district choral solo and ensemble again this year, and PAHS students captured the "Best of Site" recognition from four of the five judges on Monday, March 13.

Five schools - ACGC, BBE, EV-W, NL-S, and Paynesville - competed in the solo and ensemble contest. Of the 97 entries, 41 were from Paynesville, with nearly half of PAHS's entries earning section superior ratings, the highest available. Nineteen entries from PAHS earned section superior ratings, 14 earned section excellent ratings (the second highest available), and eight earned subsection superior ratings.

choral contest Each of the five judges at the competion picks one solo or ensemble - from the 20 or so that they judged - as their "Best of Site" winner. PAHS had four of the five "Best of Site" winners at this year's competition, up from three last year.

PAHS choral students earning "Best of Site" honors at last week's solo and ensemble contest were: (front) junior Mary Keller, junior Steph Johnson, junior Sam Chevalier, senior Lindsey Pelton, senior Caitlin Lien, and sophomore Katrina Daby; (back) junior Peder Thompson, senior Shawn Reinke, ninth grader Ezra Thompson, and junior Bryce Fischbach. Not pictured is junior Dugan Flanders.

Earning "Best of Site" honors for PAHS were: sophomore Katrina Daby; senior Caitlin Lien; senior Lindsey Pelton; and the PAHS Mixed Choir, comprised by junior Sam Chevalier (soprano), junior Bryce Fischbach (tenor), junior Dugan Flanders (bass), junior Steph Johnson (alto), junior Mary Keller (alto), Lien (soprano), senior Shawn Reinke (bass), ninth grader Ezra Thompson (tenor), and junior Peder Thompson (tenor).

Pelton earned "Best of Site" honors for the second straight year for her soprano solo. She sang "Endless Pleasure, Endless Love" by G.F. Handel this year. The song is about Greek mythology and is from the opera "Semele."

With the title, said Pelton, she was glad to be able to sing it without any choir mates in the room so she was able to stay serious and avoid laughing. Last week's performance was one of her better ones, she said.

Her score was 39 out of 40. Her judge said: "Great voice! Good music! Well done!"

She also sang this piece at the Dorian Festival at Luther College in January and earned distinction honors.

Both Lien and the PAHS Mixed Pops Choir earned perfect scores with 40 out of 40 last week.

Lien, for her soprano solo, sang "O Del mio Dolce Ardor," a song in Italian from Christopher Willibald von Gluck's opera "Paris and Helen." The song title means "My true love and adoration."

Lien had used this solo three times this year: in competition for her private voice lessons, at the Dorian Festival, and now at solo and ensembles. She said she was pleased with how she sang last week and very surprised and happy to get "Best of Site" honors.

Her judge said she was a "lovely warm, colorful soprano" and "you presented yourself beautifully."

The PAHS Mixed Pops Choir sang the spiritual "Witness" by Jack Halloran this year. Several of the male members of the choir had sung this a couple years ago, and Lien had sung it at All State choir, but the junior girls had to learn it.

The choir members wanted to sing "Witness" because it's one of the songs that they are best at, said Lien.

Despite getting a perfect score, they have sung it better, said Johnson. The choir members felt that it was not one of their best performances, agreed Peder Thompson. Their judge said: "Wow! Nice sounds all over!" And then added: "Great music and well done! I wish my choir could have heard you today!"

The PAHS Treble Pops Choir earned "Best of Site" honors last year at the choral contest.

Daby also sang a piece by G.F. Handel for competition, "Bel Piacere," also a song in Italian. Like Lien's and Pelton's solos, this piece is quite difficult, and Daby said she was upset after finishing her solo.

She scored 37, though, to earn her first "Best of Site" honors, and she thought that was great, especially because the contest (Monday, March 13) was held on her 16th birthday, which made for a nice present.

Her judge said: "Overall, very nice voice quality. High and clear."

The PAHS Mixed Pops Choir - along with some soloists - will be singing at the Pop and Popcorn Conert on Friday, March 24, at 7 p.m. The high school choirs will be holding their spring concert on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m., with several soloists singing as well.

"Best of Site" Winners
Sophomore Katrina Daby (soprano solo), senior Caitlin Lien (soprano solo), senior Lindsey Pelton (soprano solo), and the PAHS Mixed Pops Choir (junior Sam Chevalier, junior Bryce Fischbach, junior Dugan Flanders, junior Steph Johnson, junior Mary Keller, Lien, senior Shawn Reinke, ninth grader Ezra Thompson, and junior Peder Thompson).

State Superior Solos
Ninth grader Callie Bennett, Chevalier, Daby, ninth grader Jared Eickhoff, Fischbach, Flanders, junior Kaila Hartmann, Johnson, Keller, Lien, senior Shonda Martinson, junior Jen Moburg, Pelton, ninth grader Heather Rondeau, Ezra Thompson, and Peder Thompson.

State Superior Ensembles
Chevalier and Pelton; PAHS Mixed Pops Choir (see names above); and the PAHS Treble Pops Choir (junior Chelsey Kalkbrenner, junior Emily Lindeman, Martinson, Moburg, senior Kayla Nelson, Pelton, senior Lauren Vaske, and senior Lindsey Wyffels).

State Excellent Solos
Junior Ashley Atkinson, junior Danielle Binsfeld, ninth grader Laura Binsfeld, ninth grader Kaitlin Burlingame, sophomore Crystal Cromwell, ninth grader Ariel Jones, junior Brittany Kelley, junior Kristin Lang, Lindeman, junior Alexa McCorquodale, Nelson, Reinke, junior Meredith Schau-mann, and sophomore Alyssa Tish.

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