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Paynesville Press - April 14, 2004

PAHS band, choirs earn top ratings at contest

by Bonnie Jo Hanson

Directing instrumentsThe PAHS Band, the PAHS Mixed Choir, and the PAHS Treble Choir earned the highest ratings possible at a large group band and choir contest last week.

The PAHS Band earned section superior ratings, the highest possible, at last week's contest, including a perfect score from one judge.

All three groups did very well, according to choir director Cheryl Bungum, earning section superior ratings (the highest possible) from each of their three judges. The band, under the direction of Ken Vork, earned a perfect score from one of their three judges.

Vork noted that superior ratings for all of a school's entries in a large group contest is really rare.

The contest, held at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School on Tuesday, April 6, was attended by bands and choirs from: Annandale; Atwater-Grove City-Cosmos; Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; Eden Valley-Watkins, Foley; Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Maple Lake; New London-Spicer; and Paynesville.

During the contest, bands were rated on factors that ranged from technique and rhythm to poise and posture. The band performed two selections for the judges, "Irish Tune" and "Shepherd's Hey." The PAHS Band earned one perfect score of 40.

Choir concert singers Vork was extremely pleased with the band's perfect score because it came from a traditionally tough judge and it was a achieved by a very young band, as a majority of his students are ninth and tenth graders. This year, the PAHS band is comprised of students in grades 9-12.

The PAHS Mixed Choir - with singers Amanda Kern, Ashley Spanier, Stephanie Horman, Rachel Keller, and Katie Nelson - and the PAHS Treble Choir both earned section superior ratings last week.

"Lovely!" praised the judge who gave the band its perfect score.

The PAHS Treble Choir, comprised of 41 ninth and tenth grade girls, performed "Laudate Dominum," "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," and "When I Hear Music." The PAHS Mixed Choir, made up of 25 junior and senior girls and grade 9-12 boys, performed "Gloria Deo Canon," "Ave Verum," and "Witness."

One judge commented that the treble choir had an "absolutely beautiful presence. You look like angels," she wrote. Of the mixed choir, another judge complimented, "Best blend and balance. Thank you for your energy."

The PAHS Treble Choir and the PAHS Mixed Choir will perform next at a concert on Monday, May 10.

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