Albert Lea High School music department awards announced

Published 8:00 pm Friday, June 18, 2021

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The Albert Lea High School music department this week announced the award winners for the 2020-21 school year. This year due to the pandemic, music experiences were limited, but music students still participated in jazz band, chamber strings and bonus choir.  They performed at Tigers Roar and at end of the year concerts.  Several students also auditioned for All State Music honors.

Choir students earn letters for involvement in choir activities outside the school day. Letter winners in vocal music for the year were seniors Emma Barclay, Hailey Barnes, Elise Grzybowski, Macayla Marti, Stephanie Redman, Regina Riemann and Erin Utz. Juniors earning choir letters were Morgan Anfinson, Kaitlyn Hanna, Brian Solberg and Jenna Steffl. Tenth graders earning letters were Ava Cunningham, Makayla Hannegrefs-Dahlen, Cydney Pathammavong, Jaya Stout, William Toft, Ryan Utz, Lara Westrum and  Joseph Yoon. The National School Choral Award is given to seniors and voted on by their peers as choir members who demonstrate leadership, dedication, and achievement in vocal music. This years’ winners were Elise Grzybowski and Erin Utz. The special achievement award for choir went to Emma Barclay.

Orchestra students earn letter points throughout their high school career. First-time letter winners for orchestra included Abigail Chalmers, John Lukes, Priya Patel, Zoe Sadauskis and Lillian Steele.  The Orchestra Director’s Award was given to senior Zoe Sadauskis for her dedication and leadership throughout her high school career. The National School Orchestra Award is given to a senior who demonstrates leadership, dedication, achievement on their instruments and contributions to the success of the orchestra. This award is voted on by members of the Symphony Orchestra.  This year, The National School Orchestra Award was given to John Lukes.

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Band students earn letter points for various experiences outside of the regular school day. First-time letter winners for band included Jenna Kleven, Riley Knoss, and Hannah Whelan. Students earning gold bars for additional letter points included Andi Birch. Abigail Chalmers won a band medal this year for reaching 800 letter points. The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award was given to senior Aaron Farris for his involvement in jazz activities throughout his high school career. The John Philip Sousa Award for Band was given to senior John Lukes for his dedication and achievements in all aspects of the ALHS band program over the last five years.

The Minnesota Music Educators Association chose four students for the All State choirs for this summer.  They are Caleb Banks, bass, and Joseph Yoon, tenor, in the mixed choir. Chosen for the SA choir were altos Morgan Anfinson and Kaitlyn Hanna. William Toft and Ava Cunningham were also given the honor of alternate to the choirs. Chosen for the All State Concert Band was Abigail Chalmers, saxophone.  These students will attend a week-long summer camp and perform next February at Orchestra Hall for the MMEA Winter Conference. All State Music is one of the highest honors a high school musician can receive.