Music students excel in competition
Students in the Basehor-Linwood music program hit the right notes during competition last month.
The district's five choirs, the high school orchestra and high school band competed in the State Music Festival for large groups April 18. The festival was at Gardner-Edgerton High School.
Wendi Bogard, director of the choirs said four choirs, the Girls Green Chorus, the Mixed Chorus, the eighth-grade chorus and the seventh-grade chorus received superior I ratings for their performances. The Girls Gold Chorus received an excellent II rating.
All choirs have seen a steady increase in scores the past several years, Bogard said. Before Bogard came to the Basehor-Linwood district eight years ago, the high school girls choirs did not exist and the Mixed Choir was receiving IV ratings at state.
"We've come a long way and grown," she said. "The numbers are up a lot as well."
While the contest performances included classic songs, upcoming concerts May 7 for middle school and May 8 for high school will include pop numbers such as, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and a "Beach Boys Medley."
Along with performances from all five choirs, the concerts will feature a small doo-wap men's group called "The Lunch Bunch" that will be singing "Under the Boardwalk."
Bogard hopes to add onto the group of choirs in the near future by creating a larger boys choir.
"There's interest to do a boys choir," she said. "I just need to get the time and the day. I hope to accomplish that in the next few years."
The State Music Festival for solos and small ensembles was April 28, in Andover. All soloists and ensembles must receive a I rating at the regional competition to qualify for state. The following soloists and ensembles received a I rating at regionals and a II rating at state:
- Lucas Turner
- Charissa Beeves
- Kristin Taylor
- Jonas Box
- Girls Green Ensemble.
The Mixed Girls Ensemble received a I rating at state and included the following students: Michelle Chrisman, Natalie Freeman, Elizabeth Theno, Charissa Beeves, Brooke Conard, Kristen Beeves, Maggie Schroeder,
Malarie Pierson, Amanda Vitt, Maggie Herbster, Ashley Clayton, Megan Kirby, Melissa Winters, Kara Douglas, Emily Lackner and Danielle Elliott.
"I was very proud about how all the choirs performed," Bogard said. "The kids work hard and their hard work paid off."
Paul Wilburns' high school orchestra students earned an excellent II rating at state with their performances.
The orchestra has also come a long way in the past eight years.
"Before I got here, there wasn't an orchestra," Wilburns said. "I started with fourth grade and worked my way up. Next year, we will add the senior class, which signifies to me a completion of the orchestra program."
Sophomore Karah Beeves also received a I rating at state for her cello solo.
"I'm very proud of them," Wilburns said about his students. "The orchestra department is merging into a very quality group."
The orchestra will be performing its year-end concert Wednesday, May 9.
Band students, directed by Curtis Westbrook, received a I rating as a group at state.
"This is only the fifth time in the history of our program that we brought home a I rating," Westbrook said.
Thomas Pedroza took home a II rating for his tenor saxophone solo, while Charissa Beeves, oboe, Kristen Beeves, French horn and Alex McMillian, tuba earned I ratings for their solos.
A woodwind trio made up of Lauren, Karah and Charissa Beeves took home a I rating as well.
The band will be competing Saturday at the Worlds of Fun Music Festival, which will showcase several Kansas City area high school and middle school bands.
The end of the year concert for both middle school and high school students will be May 10 and will feature some film music and a march, Westbrook said. The high school and middle school will also perform a combined piece.
"It's been a good month," Westbrook said. "A stressful month and a long month, but it's always nice to get good ratings. If you get a one (rating) at State Large Group, you know you're right where you're supposed to be."