Parker junior high takes part in band festival

Participating in the band festival on Monday, Feb. 17 was, from left to right: Myles Meyer, Katie Bialas, Ashton Young, Viktoriya Marushkevych, Gracelyn Thompson, Grace Gullikson and Jack Wilkes. Not pictured is Tanya Netesov. 

Eight Parker junior high band students attended the Second Annual Dell Rapids Middle School Band Festival on Monday, Feb. 17.  

Every student taking part in the event had to audition for this honor, sending in a recording of a chromatic scale and a specific etude that had been sent to Parker’s band director Mindee Birnstiehl. 

Earning the spots for Parker was every student who auditioned. Students that attended were Viktoriya Marushkevych, daughter of Mykola and Valentyno Marushkevych; Tanya Netesov, daughter of Vitaliy and Inna Netesov; Gracelyn Thompson, daughter of Emily Laubach; Grace Gullikson, daughter of Fred and Emily Gullikson; Ashton Young, son of Daniel and Brittany Moore; Jack Wilkes, son of Roger and Tami Wilkes; Myles Meyer, son of Eric and Kerri Meyer; and Katherine Bialas, daughter of Tyronne and Emily Bialas.

Five schools participated and brought students to this festival including Dell Rapids, Dell Rapids St. Mary, Montrose, Parker and Tri-Valley.  

The guest conductor for this event was Mary Goheen.  For 29 years Goheen taught for the Luverne, Minn. school district as a music educator.  The first 12 years were spent teaching general music to grades K-6.  The last 17 years she taught sixth grade band, middle school band, middle school jazz band, as well as working with the high school marching band and being an advisor to the high school color guard.  Since retiring in 2011, she has been busy judging music contests, guest conducting, and working as a clinician for area bands.  In 2016, Goheen had the opportunity to direct the South Dakota All-State Middle School band in Huron and the Minnesota Band Director’s MS Honor band in Mankato, MN in 2017.  Goheen lives in Brandon with her husband, Robert, who was the high school band director at Brandon Valley High School.

The culmination of the day concluded with a concert at 4:30 p.m.  The honor band performed four pieces:  “Tribal Drums” by David Shaffer, “Ancient Echoes” by Ed Huckeby, “Green Bushes” arranged by Johnnie Vinson, and “And to the Republic” by Ed Huckeby.

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