By Stephen Neufeld
Competing against Washington State’s best high school musicians, Steilacoom High School students earned top honors in the large, mixed choral category at the annual Washington Music Educators Association competition. The Steilacoom “Sentinel” Chamber Choir captured first place in the state competition, which is held the last two days of April each year in Ellensburg, Washington at Central Washington University.
In addition to the choir’s first place ranking, junior Ryan Marchant earned 2nd place in the Baritone vocal solo category. Steilacoom also had choral competitors of a Mixed Quartet, Men’s Quartet, and Women’s Ensemble who all earned “Superior” ratings, the highest possible. Ensembles competed Friday, April 29th and soloists competed on Saturday, April 30th. The choir and vocalists are directed by Ms. Kasey Eck. Eck noted that she was very proud of all the hard work by the students, which culminated in the amazing achievement of first place in the entire state!
Washington State Solo and Ensemble is a culmination of 22 regional contests held in the state, from January to March. Over 15,000 students participate. The 22 regional winners of each category are then sent to the State competition; regardless of school division (2A competes against 4A, etc.). For more information on the Washington Music Educators Association state competition, please visit their website: www.wmea.org/subcontent.aspx?SecID=776
1st Place SHS Chamber Choir participants:
Ryan Marchant (also earned 2nd place in Baritone soloist category)
Abby Kelley (also earned a “Superior” rating as a Mezzo-Soprano soloist)
Taylor Stowers (also earned “Superior” rating as an Alto soloist)
In addition to the choral participants, a number of instrumentalists, under the direction of Mr. Bruce Folmer, participated in the state competition.
The Saxophone Quartet received an “Excellent” rating. Bruce Folmer noted, “They did an excellent job and received very nice compliments on their sound.”
Saxophone quartet members:
Dylan Aaron- Alto Saxophone
Kai Sorem- Tenor Saxophone
Hayden Carnell-Schmidt- Soprano Saxophone
Kristopher White- Baritone Saxophone
The Solo clarinetist, Hayden Carnell-Schmidt, received a “Superior” rating. Folmer added, “Hayden Carnell did an amazing job memorizing the Clarinet Concerto by Copland.”
Congratulations to all the talented Steilacoom musicians! And, the Steilacoom High School music faculty and staff thank you for all your community support of the choir and band programs and support of these awesome students!