Montana, ND youth headed to Europe to share musical talentsTwenty-five area youth are on a bus today heading to Fargo. They are among 290 honor student musicians from North Dakota and Montana who will be in the 2011 Northern Ambassadors of Music tour of Europe. The group will be in London on Sunday.
By: By Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Twenty-five area youth are on a bus today heading to Fargo. They are among 290 honor student musicians from North Dakota and Montana who will be in the 2011 Northern Ambassadors of Music tour of Europe. The group will be in London on Sunday.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to perform before European audiences,” said Margie Ficek, whose son will participate. “We might not be able to understand other people’s languages, but music is one universal language.”
Students were nominated for musicianship, leadership and character, said Jana Schweigert, South Heart music teacher, and an Ambassadors of Music staff member for southwestern North Dakota.
It was her responsibility to contact the schools to submit nominations.
“It’s purely based on teacher nomination — who do you feel, as a music teacher, would be a good candidate for this honor,” she said.
Participating students include:
Scranton: Courtney Anderson, Shelby Burns, Dylan Teske.
Hettinger: Paige Gravning, Mackenzie Hicks.
Belfield: Danielle Iverson, Colton Pool, Hannah Rodney, Jacob Waldo.
Bowman: Adam Bucholz, Kady Hansey, Heather Harder, Erika Olson, Kayla Palczewski, Conner Swanson, Stephanie Woodley.
Dickinson High School: Amity Lantz, Stormie Sickler.
Trinity High School: Rachelle Bliss, Aric Ficek.
Beach: Jolee Bosserman.
Killdeer: Mariah Wilz.
Richardton: Lindsey Kuntz.
South Heart: Daniel Mehrer, Jordan Steffan.
Steffan will participate in Honor Choir and will play percussion with the Honor Band. Nominated in the spring of 2010, he spent the last year fundraising to cover expenses.
“I feel it’s definitely an honor — you have to show you’re going to work hard, that you’re serious about music even though it’s fun being able to go,” he said. “The whole trip will be amazing — there’s so much going on it’s hard to pick one thing.”
Sickler will also play percussion with the Honor Band.
“I’ve been fundraising a little and basically getting really excited,” she said.
She is looking forward to the experience.
“Band has been an important part of my life,” she added.
The students gather at North Dakota State University in Fargo today, for three days of rehearsal and a performance prior to departing to seven European countries on the 16-day tour.
The farewell concert is at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in NDSU Festival concert Hall.
Dr. Warren Olfert, director of bands at NDSU, will serve as music director on the tour. He will share Concert Band duties with Dr. Sigurd Johnson, NDSU associate director of bands. Larry Swingen, choir director at Malta High School in Malta, Mont., will conduct the Honor Choir.
The tour includes stops in England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy and Germany. The tour is an educational program designed for students to perform their musical talents while gaining cultural enrichment abroad, according to a press release.
This is the 10th anniversary of the group getting its start in North Dakota, Schweigert said.
Staff members can also play in the band or sing in the choir.
“The first time, I didn’t sing in the choir,” she said. “Now I’m looking forward to that part of the experience.”