Competing against four other schools, Paynesville had twice as many acts as the other schools combined, had everyone earn one of the top two placings, and won top honors from four of the five judges.
The competition was hosted by Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, with Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Eden Valley-Watkins, and New London-Spicer also competing.
Those schools brought a total of 30 acts, and Paynesville - which makes the contest mandatory for its 82 high school band students to fulfill a graduation standard - had 60 acts. Paynesville students spend a couple weeks picking out pieces to play, arranging their accompaniment, and practicing their music.
Director Bryan Mara said the students improve greatly in getting ready for a solo or small group act, including a number of intangibles, like the confidence to perform without the comfort of a full band and the musicality to put a personal interpretation on the music.
Thirty-two acts from Paynesville earned a state superior rating, and the rest earned state excellent.
This was the first time the band had everyone earn one of the top two honors, said Mara. "I was very happy," he said. "I got lots of compliments from the judges and other directors about the students."
Each of the five judges give out awards for the top score for the event, and Paynesville took the honor from four of the judges. Becca Gardner, with a marimba solo, and Corey Schmitt, with a trumpet solo, tied with perfect scores of 40 in one room. Melissa Andrie and Rachel Hanson also had a perfect score for their flute duet.
"We had more perfect scores than we've ever had," said Mara.
Rachel Koehn won top honors for a marimba solo as well, and Nicole Schlangen for a flute solo.
Mara thanked all the accompanists who helped, especially Gardner, Schmitt, Andrie, and Jeanne Virant who did multiple accompaniments. Gardner led the way, performing a solo, in an ensemble, and providing accompaniment for 15 other acts, keeping her busy for virtually the entire contest.
Clarinet Ensemble: Trisha Chevalier, Cyndi Bollman, Amber Spanier, Jamie Teicher, Ginni Lahr, and Wendy Bennett;
Percussion Ensemble: Scott Thompson, Nathan Martinson, Rachel Koehn, Becca Gardner, Jesse Rien, David Jones, Cody Wiig, and Jonnie Schefers;
Saxophone Ensemble: Ryan Whitcomb, Amanda Mayer, Missy Bachman, Jana Zumwalde, and Laura Stoneburner;
Flute Duet: Sara Ringstad and Nicole Schlangen;
Clarinet Trio: Spanier, Bennett, and Joy Hemmesch;
Trombone Trio: Schefers, Eric Korman, and Mark Brossard;
Clarinet Ensemble: Sami Tierney, Mindy Meagher, Angie Wunsch, Kelly Schultz, Katie Bengtson, and Peggy Thompson;
Brass Ensemble: Tony Spates, Travis Mohr, and Adam Ingalsbe;
Trumpet Ensemble: Corey Buermann, Scott Wendroth, and Milan Virant;
Percussion Ensemble: Ann Stalboerger, Morgan Martinson, Tony Thielen, Heidi Olmscheid, Heather Fuchs, and Brittany Caldwell;
Saxophone Ensemble: Chad Stang, Jordan Haag, Amy Roberg, and Jason Parks;
Flute Duet: Rachel Hanson and Melissa Andrie;
Flute Duet: Callie Frieler and Katie Herding;
Soloists: Ryan Flanders, David Jones, Kelli Heinen, Darlene Peterson, Becca Gardner, Nathan Martinson, Jamie Teicher, Krista Kotschevar, Trisha Chevalier, Laura Stoneburner, Adam Rafferty, Nicole Schlangen, Rachel Koehn, Eric Miller, Peter Schreifels, Tony Spates, Milan Virant, Sam Thompson, and Rachel Hanson.
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