Fergus Falls Public Schools SUPERINTENDENT’S COLUMN

By Superintendent Jerry Ness

• March 10, 2010 • Celebrate music in our schools
March is Music in our Schools Month so, in celebration of all that music has to offer our students, here are some of the happenings within the music programs of District 544.
Elementary Schools Kindergarteners will sing about being “green" during programs directed by Geralyn Lyseng in May. A new before-school choir at Cleveland School sang at a varsity basketball game and will present a program in May, while about 70 Cleveland students sang at another varsity event. Joni Wasberg directed both. The 4th and 5th graders in Cleveland’s new African drumming program have aspirations of performing in May in Fergus Falls and at the International Friendship Festival in Pelican Rapids in June. In May, Everett Jacobson will lead Adams School 1st graders in concert and 2nd graders in two multicultural programs. Alternative Learning Center Students are improving their guitar and keyboard skills daily and are grateful for the keyboards acquired through a 544 Education Foundation grant. The teacher is Geralyn Lyseng. Orchestra In January, 165 students in grades 4-8 attended the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Young People’s Concert. Eleven students participated in Super String Day with Midori, attending classes with the world-famous violinist: Katelyn Petersen, Kyra Anderson, Krista Ronnevik, Taryn Stoen, Cassandra Eerdmans, Eddie Roberts, Alex Hoffbeck, Callie Ann Hoffbeck, Allen Nelson, Billy Eerdmans and Andy Eerdmans. String teachers are Laurie Strom and Mark Solie. Senior Emma Childs performed with All-State Orchestra for the second time. Emma is principal cello for the FM Youth Symphony, a cellist with the FM Symphony and winner of the Concerto Competition for the FM Youth Symphony and the FM Symphony. Band Fergus Falls planned to host the regional Honors Band Festival for grades 6-10 in January. Students nominated by directors Scott Kummrow, Denise Wiese and Jim Iverson were Danielle Schroeder, Seth Stein, Josiah Rostad, David Schneck, Hannah Nelson, Keianna Vogel, Sam Steen and Nathan Stowman. Unfortunately, a snowstorm cancelled the event. The 8th grade band was one of two performing at the Minnesota Music Educator’s Conference, where senior Erika Andersen played with the All-State Band for the second year. Tracy Stein, Zach Johnson, Robbie Darling, Keianna Vogel and Nathan Stowman were chosen for Bemidji State University’s Honor Band Festival in February. Seth Stein and Keianna Vogel were chosen by audition to will perform in April’s Mid-Level All-State Bands. May’s annual All-School Jazz Band concert will feature soloist Joe Burgstaller, formerly with the Canadian Brass. Choir Taylor Johnson, Billy Eerdmans, Andy Eerdmans, Sarah Bowman, Lexi Wedll and Samuel Wasberg performed with the 9-10 Minnesota Music Educators Honors Choir in February. Hazen Roller-Olson performed with the All-State Choir. In February, West Central Area Middle School Choir Festival participants included Hannah Dahlstrom, Emma Newton, Hannah Leapaldt, Danielle Crowe, Vanessa Johnson, Brianna Fitch, Brigit Mortenson, Taylor Leapaldt, Ingrid Nycklemoe, Carolina Wagnild, Tashia LaCoursiere, Kaila Zachmann, Monica Braun, Jenni Klawitter, Alyssa Formo, Nick Weaver, Pablo Damian, Tyler Harthun, Mike Pistulka, Dillon Rodriguez, Connor Danielson, David Schneck, and Connor Yliniemi. Janel Trosvig is their director.

Congratulations, wrestlers and swimmers
I would like to add my congratulations to our wrestlers, swimmers and the coaches who participated in state competitions last week. They clearly defined excellence through their athletic ability, technique and unbelievable work ethic. Five wrestlers competing at state, with Colton Thorson and Dan Revering each finishing in second place in his weight class, capping an outstanding season for the Otters. The Otter swim team’s sixth place was an excellent finish, as well. The team’s appearance at state was highlighted by Mike Hurley’s first-place finish in two events (with a state record in one), Eben Danielson’s third-place finish and two fourth-place finishes in relays.