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Stars and ones

By Staff | May 9, 2014

Submitted photo Rugby High School students who competed at the State Music Competition in Bismarck May 3 were (back row from the left) Hunter Parcel, Nolan Hovland, Zach Miller, Tanner Bernhardt, Kade Leier (middle row from the left) ReeAnn Christianson, Reid Mundahl, Allison Foster, Thor Skjelver, Darby Deckert, Brett Berginski, Jaden Munyer, Anders Johnson (front row from the left) Emily Stier, Helen Johnson, Benji Miller and Kayla Voeller.

Rugby High School’s band and choir had a couple shining stars at the state music competition May 3 at Bismarck State College.

“I was very proud of all my students who competed at state,” said Kari Hill, Rugby High School band instructor.

Senior Benji Miller starred, or received a superior rating, in his vocal solo, and junior Nolan Hovland starred in his trumpet solo.

Miller also scored a one, or an excellent rating, in his timpani and snare drum solos, and was part of the percussion ensemble that also scored a one. Also in the ensemble with Miller were juniors Allison Foster, Helen Johnson and Tanner Bernhardt, sophomore Jaden Munyer and freshmen Kade Leier and Brett Berginski.

Also scoring ones for their instrumental solos were junior ReeAnn Christianson (flute), Darby Deckert (trombone) and Reid Mundahl (baritone horn). Scoring ones for their vocal solos were Hunter Parcel and Zach Miller. Zach also scored a one on his duet with classmate Emily Stier.

Other ensembles scoring ones were the trombone ensemble (Deckert, Thor Skjelver and Anders Johnson), the French horn duet (Foster and Johnson) and the mixed vocal ensemble.

Choir instructor Daryl Wissink and Hill described the different scores. Scores in a music competition range from a three to a star, three being described as “fair”, two being “good”, one being “excellent” and a star being “superior”. Both instructors said there is a very thin margin separating the two scores.

“If [the judges] hear a lot of good groups but one seems more refined than the rest, they’ll give stars to the group they think is more refined,” Hill said. She added that state judges can give out as many stars as they want to. Stars are limited at regional events.

Wissink said: “When you have an excellent group and another excellent group and you have to choose which one is a little better, you have to sometimes really be particular.” Wissink said there could be minor differences, which may include volume and feeling.

“You can sing a song and be accurate technically and musically, but to really be more outstanding one would need to put passion and emotion into it. That goes beyond what the music shows on paper,” Wissink said.

Both Wissink and Hill stressed the difference between state and other music competitions, particularly the level of competition.

“It’s the cream of the crop at state,” Hill said. “You have to star at regionals to get to state.”

Wissink added: “All competing at state received the highest rating one can get at regionals. Some of them even received outstanding performances. North Dakota has a lot of good musicians.”

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