Musicians from Great Bend High School earned 21 gold medals at the State Music Festival held at Emporia High School on Saturday, April 27.
The Brass Octet (Alex Smith, Lorena Favela, Dylan Lamb, Matthew Phillips, Dalton Dicks, Lane Milholland, Daniel Abbott, Malachi Williams) and the Saxophone Quartet (Robby Brining, Carlos Jacobo, Sage Cauley, Dustin Emig, accompanied by Allen To on piano) both received I’s. Soloists earning I’s were: Lane Milholland, tuba, Allen To and Sidney Cooper, marimba; Matthew Phillips, trombone; Katherine Snapp, Audrey Muth and Hayden Honomichl, vocal. McKenna Esfeld received a II but had many favorable comments on her performance.
Marlene Regehr was accompanist for the instrumental soloists. Mark DeWald and Don Regehr are instrumental directors. The vocal soloists are students of Glenna Gaunt who also accompanied them on piano.
The band’s Spring Concert will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in the GBHS gym. The public is invited to attend.
This is DeWald’s final Great Bend concert as he is retiring at the end of this school year. He has taught in Great Bend for 11 years; this is his 42nd year of teaching.
“This has been an exceptional year,” DeWald said, recounting the band’s I ratings at the Kansas State Fair and the Western Athletic Conference Marching Band competition, as well as the recent gold medals. At the In House Band Contest, the varsity band earned a I+ and the Junior Varsity Band earned a I-.
DeWald said he is retiring from Great Bend but not from teaching. This fall he will become the band director at Central Plains High School in Claflin, where he will be a part-time instructor.