November 16, 2012 - Record All-Conference Band Selection
by Mr. Boll
Fourteen students from the Mondovi High School Band were named Dunn-St. Croix All-Conference musicians at the latest conference meeting on November 7 in Glenwood City. This is a record number of students chosen from Mondovi to represent their school at the DSC All-Conference Honors Music Project held each January, eclipsing the previous record of twelve students chosen during the 2010-2011 school year.
Students competing for this honor filled out applications listing their music education, performance experience, and musical accomplishments and were selected by a panel of music teachers from the DSC conference (8 schools) to participate.All-Conference band student will receive their music in late November and will begin practicing it independently. They will then travel to Elmwood HS on January 23 to rehearse with all of the students from other schools under the direction of five band directors (one for each musical selection) from DSC conference schools (Matt Lamb, Adam Boll, Amanda Schmidman, Jim Woodford, Donna Dawson). A concert open to the public will be presented on January 26 at Elmwood HS.
Mondovi Band students who were selected for this year's All-Conference Honors Band are: Lena Lambrigtsen (flute), Emily Johnson (oboe), Aaron Accola (bassoon), Sadie Paulsen (bass clarinet), Chelsey Christ and Jakob Jehn (alto saxophone), Britney Rud (tenor saxophone), Alex Anderson and Dylan Benish (trumpet), Grace Brunkow (French horn), Jason Fath (trombone), Nick Bursaw (euphonium), Ian Thormodson and Bailey Van Den Heuvel (tuba).
March 5, 2012 - Mondovi Music Students Receive Honors
by Clare Bruning
The weekend of February 17 and 18, four Mondovi juniors traveled to UW-Platteville for the annual Tri-State Honors Band Festival. Chelsey Christ (alto saxophone), Lena Lambrigtsen (flute), Alex Anderson (trumpet), and Ian Thormodson (tuba) rehearsed all day Friday and most of Saturday with renowned composer/conductor Jay Bocook and other high school musicians from Iowa, Illinois, and as far north as Green Bay. The band worked to master a number of pieces written by Bocook before performing them on Saturday, February 18. This was the latest of a number of honors programs Mondovi’s music department has been involved in this year.
“It gives students a chance to work with other musicians that are as dedicated and motivated as themselves when it comes to learning and performing music,” explained MHS band director Adam Boll, who encourages students to participate in music clinics to broaden their horizons and develop an appreciation for performing music at a high level with other student musicians.
“I hope that they will gain memorable musical experiences that we can’t always create here in Mondovi,” added Boll, who was himself a member of the Wisconsin State Honors Band and a number of regional honors bands in high school. Now he conducts theater pit orchestras in Eau Claire, plays in them on brass instruments, and writes plays, musicals, and marching and concert band music—not to mention all the hours he puts in working with Mondovi elementary, middle, and high school students here in our own music department.
Just weeks before the Tri-State Band Festival, several of Mondovi’s current choir members participated in the Dorian Choir Festival in Decorah, Iowa. Grace Brunkow, Katerina Loewenhagen, Kaitlyn Everson, Sienna Mathes, Kenadie Mahlum, Aaron Accola, and Bailey Van Den Heuvel traveled to Luther College the first weekend in January to experience Dorian with singers from all around the Midwest.
“The best part is meeting a lot of new people from different places,” said freshman soprano Grace Brunkow, who participated in Dorian, Middle-Level Honors Choir, and Dunn-St. Croix All-Conference Choir this year. “Dorian was over four states and Dunn-St. Croix was more local, but there are always a lot of unique people.”
The Dunn-St. Croix All-Conference Band and Choir were hosted at Boyceville High School this year. Students attended rehearsals all day Wednesday, January 25, and part of the following Saturday, January 28, before performing a concert for parents and the community on Saturday. The band and choir met again on Tuesday, January 31, for a tour to Pepin and Elmwood schools to perform for students.
The Dunn-St. Croix Honors Band hosted a guest clinician this year, Dr. Randal Dickerson of UWEC, and the choir directors from participating schools all worked with singers on their respective chosen pieces. Mondovi participants included choir members Grace Brunkow, Katerina Loewenhagen, Kaitlyn Everson, Taylor Olson, Brittney Mizer, Kenadie Mahlum, April Johnson, Sienna Mathes, Bailey Van Den Heuvel, and Ben Anderson, as well as Chelsey Christ on alto saxophone, Lena Lambrigtsen on flute, Clare Bruning on oboe, Aaron Accola on bassoon, Ian Thormodson on tuba, and Philip Emmerich on trombone for the band.
“I think conference is different because it’s with people you’d normally see in sports, so it’s an interesting twist to see them with an instrument in their hands,” said Emmerich, who has participated in the All-Conference Band for the past three years as well as Wisconsin’s State Honors Band, where he earned a seat as 1st chair trombone this year.
“With state you play with the best in the state that are going to be music majors and professional musicians one day,” he said. “It’s really an honor to make it and to work with such talented musicians and professors. It’s a good experience to play with others that are passionate about what they do and are really good at it. It makes you better.”
“I hope our students can feel a sense of pride coming from here and meeting kids from other schools,” said Mondovi choir director Tammie Delveaux, who took part in Singing in Wisconsin when she was young, a program several Mondovi middle schoolers participated in back in November, as well as summer music camps throughout high school and many choirs in college (UWEC concert choir, women’s concert chorale, The Opera Workshop, and an all-female a cappella group called Audatious). Delveaux now sings in a professional choral ensemble called The Master Singers.
Delveaux has encouraged her students to participate in honors choirs and music festivals from the middle school level to continuing musical interests in high school and beyond. “It gives them different perspectives on other music departments in other areas, and real life experiences for how they can apply music,” she continued. “These kids can then take what they’ve learned and bring it back to the community and music programs here in Mondovi.”
The Mondovi Music Department will showcase the talents and hard work of its musicians on Monday, March 19, for their spring concert. The MHS concert band, concert choir, and show choir will perform in the high school multipurpose room at 7 pm.
April 2, 2011 - Mondovi High School Band Performs at Disney World
by Nicole Hudachek, Mondovi Band Student Teacher
Starting out at 7am on Tuesday March 15, the Mondovi High School Band, along with their helpful chaperones, began their trek to Orlando, Florida to perform at Disney World. This journey would take them to many new and exciting places that many students have never experienced before, and many may never have the chance to experience again. However preparation for this tour started long before this early morning in March.
The band students spent the past several years raising funds for the trip. Students were given many opportunities to fundraise, including selling concessions at Girl’s Basketball Games and selling raffle tickets and candy bars. Many of the students were able to have a large amount of aid from these fundraisers, so thank you to all of you who supported them!
The students worked diligently to prepare their individual parts for the music, and progress was shown every day in full band rehearsal. The students played a variety of music, including movements of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, as well as newer selections like music from How to Train Your Dragon.
After the grueling 25 hour bus ride to Florida, the students anxiously fled the bus to enjoy the sunshine at Coco Beach. In addition to this, the students were able to experience Ron Jon’s Surf Shop. This day was especially memorable to those students whose only opportunity to see the ocean was this trip. How wonderful it was to see the excitement in their faces as they gazed upon the ocean for the first time! The latter portion of the day was spent at the Epcot Center at Disney World. The experience was topped off by a fabulous firework show over the lake.
The second day in Florida was the day we performed. The excitement in the students was impossible to ignore. We performed in Downtown Disney, right on the lake. What a beautiful venue it was! There was a large crowd, and they were very happy to hear the selections performed by the band. Congratulations, Mondovi High School Band, on a fantastic performance! Keep up the good work!
On Friday we spent the day at Universal Orlando Resort, where students chose to experience either Universal’s Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida theme parks. In addition to this, the students were all able to attend The Blue Man Group in concert. It was amazing, and especially meaningful to the percussionists in the band. For anyone who has not seen this group perform, I would highly recommend adding it to your bucket list.
We spent the entire final day of the tour at Hollywood Studios. Senior trumpet student, Adam Accola, and Mondovi Choir Director, Tammy Delveaux, chose to participate in the American Idol Experience. We were all proud to find out that after try-outs Miss Delveaux made it into the finals of the show! She performed in the 7pm show, against 6 other contestants. While she did not win the final prize, she did a fantastic job, and should be very proud to have made it that far! Great job Miss Delveaux!
At 9pm on March 19, all the students and chaperones loaded the bus for the long ride back. There was still happiness and excitement in the air because for many students this was a once in a lifetime experience, not only to be able to perform in Disney World, but also just to travel to such a place. I am positive everyone will cherish this tour in their memory for a long time.
This February, Eric Lewiston, Taryn Pongratz, Megan King and I had the opportunity to attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Tri-State Honors Band. This ensemble was composed of 90 of the area’s finest musicians from Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. We went through an audition process to get a seat within our sections to make sure each section had a strong leader.
For this honors band, we had the privilege of working with world-renowned composer Samuel Hazo. Mr. Hazo is not only a great composer, but a wonderful teacher and conductor. He was a delight to work with and gave us a few of “Hazo’s Rules” for playing beautiful music, such as Rule #10: “Make the music worth remembering.” With an ensemble of the best musicians from three states, there was no doubt the ensemble was going to sound amazing, but he made it sound fantastic. We played five of his original compositions (including two that have won national composition awards) and two of his favorites by other composers.
In addition to the day-and-a-half of rehearsals, we also had the opportunity to listen to a few of UW-Platteville’s wonderful instrumental ensembles including their Symphonic Winds and Jazz I ensembles. Overall, it was a great opportunity that we were given, and can be looked back upon as a wonderful learning experience.
February 18, 2011 - 22 MHS Students Named All-Conference Musicians
by Chelsey Christ
This past January, several of the band and choir members were selected to participate in the All-Conference Band and Choir, which are made up of the best student musicians from the Dunn-St. Croix conference schools. They traveled to Spring Valley on Wednesday, January 26th, to practice with the other band and choir members from surrounding schools. It was fun and interesting to meet the people in your section and get to know them. Everybody was really friendly, and we all worked very cooperatively together as a whole coming together for the first time. We worked rigorously for several hours in the morning, took a lunch break, and practiced another few hours. Then we returned to school for the remaining half hour of class.
On January 29th, the All-Conference Band and Choir traveled to Spring Valley to perform for parents, guests, etc. All of the parents were very proud of their children. The following Tuesday, the Band and Choir toured Glenwood City and Elk Mound schools. They played and sang for the high school student body and teachers. All conductors, band, and choir directors were very proud of their students. We hope to participate in this experience again next year.
This year’s band participants were Lena Lambrigsten on Flute, Clare Bruning on Oboe, Aaron Accola on Basoon, Taryn Pongratz on Clarinet, Danielle Litchfield on Clarinet, Eric Lewiston on Contra Bass Clarinet, Chelsey Christ on Alto Saxaphone, Megan King on Alto Saxaphone, Adam Accola on Trumpet, Philip Emmerich on Trombone, Ian Thormodson on Tuba, and Katie Fitchtenbauer on French Horn.
This year’s choir participants were Paige Jardine, 1st soprano, Liz Norlin, 1st soprano, Jena Teigen, 2nd soprano, Chelsea Serum, Alto, Fallon Oesau, Alto, Kenadie Mahlum, Alto, Brittney Mizer, Alto, Ben Anderson, 2nd Tenor, Steven Wright, 1st Bass, and Andrew Yuhas, 1st Bass.
In early November, two Mondovi High School Band students, Lena Lambrigtsen and Eric Lewiston, attended the Eau Claire Honors Band, held at UWEC. There they worked closely with faculty from the university in sectional and master classes.
The honors band was directed by the university’s Director of Bands, Dr. Peter Haberman. He worked with the band throughout the day, and directed their concert later that night. The concert was held that night with the university band opening, followed by the honors band.
The honors band was a way for students to experience what being in a college band would be like. It was a very good experience for the students to have.
November 10, 2010 - Gullicksrud is Distinguished Administrator of the Year
by Adam Boll
Any music teacher can tell you that building and maintaining a strong school music program cannot happen without the support of students, parents, community members, and especially school administrators. We are fortunate enough to have all of those in the School District of Mondovi.
Mondovi District Administrator Cheryl Gullicksrud was honored by the Wisconsin Music Educators’ Association as this year’s Distinguished Administrator at the annual WMEA convention in Madison. This award recognizes one administrator in the state of Wisconsin each year for exemplary contributions made to music education in his or her school and community. Gullicksrud was nominated by the Mondovi school music teachers as well as several students who all wrote letters of recommendation for her nomination.
Mrs. Gullicksrud has been vital to the success of the Mondovi school music program during the past five years, but her support of the arts began when she was a student at Eleva-Strum High School. She played flute in the band and by the end of her high school tenure she was not only the section leader but also the band’s drum major (and a very talented musician, according to her teacher, Mr. Mueller). She has attended all but one musical event our school has produced since she became District Administrator. She has approached the music teachers after every single performance with words of appreciation and encouragement for what they do, and on several occasions she has even helped with putting away the sound and lighting equipment. She likely puts in more time at this school supporting the students and staff and working to create a better district than any other staff member, and she does it all with a smile.
In a decade plagued by economic hardships where many schools are making cuts in music programs, Mrs. Gullicksrud has been able to help purchase technology items and replace several instruments over the past few years (the last major instrument purchases were made in 1983, and most were purchased many years before that time). These instruments have created a buzz of excitement from the students and have allowed them to progress at a much greater pace over the past two years. There has been an explosion in the amount of practicing students do now that they have quality instruments and equipment that help to make playing music easier and more fun. Students are preparing for more auditions, getting into honors bands, attending summer camps, and sharing music with their friends and family in public and private at a much higher rate. Mrs. Gullicksrud has made this possible, and we will never be able to fully thank her for what she has done.
October 30, 2010 - Wisconsin Honors Mondovi HS Musicians
By Adam Boll
After an intense audition, summer camp, and rehearsal process, 429 of the finest young musicians in Wisconsin united for what may have been the most rewarding musical experience of their lives – the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) High School State Honors Concerts.
These concerts, which had record attendance of students, parents, teachers and general public from around the state, were a high point of the 2010 Wisconsin Music Educators’ Convention, which is held annually in Madison, Wisconsin. Students were selected to perform in one of five ensembles which performed at Madison’s Overture Center on October 28: Orchestra, Band, Treble Choir, Mixed Choir, or Jazz Ensemble.
The WSMA State Honors Music Project brings Wisconsin’s top young musicians to work together with nationally known conductors in a highly disciplined, professional setting. Being selected for one of these ensembles is the highest honor a high school musician can receive in the state of Wisconsin. The 429 student musicians chosen were selected from more than 1,600 who auditioned. Among those were three students from Mondovi High School. Junior trombonist Philip Emmerich and senior contra-bass clarinetist Eric Lewiston performed in the State Honors Band, while senior Adam Accola sang in the bass section of the State Honors Mixed Choir.
“The High School State Honors Music Project is more than just bringing together talented students, teachers and conductors. As we work together at the June camp we are all getting to know each other musically and pushing students to a higher level of musical experience. After the camp much practice and planning takes place for the concerts. Because of this process, the October concerts are a synergistic and magical moment when hard work and commitment to excellence come together as a performance," said Tim Wurgler, WSMA program director.
Parents and siblings of all three students were in attendance to celebrate the accomplishments of these student musicians at the concerts, as were Mondovi High School music teachers Adam Boll (band), Tammie Delveaux (choir), Cheryl Gullicksrud (District Administrator), and retired Mondovi music teachers Ray Koch and Lynn McFadyen.
For more information about the WSMA State Honors Music Project and other programs, go to www.wsmamusic.org.