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On February 18 and 19, four Fertile Beltrami students participated in the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State choirs. Emma Erickson, Olivia Forgit, Rylee Hanson, and Aubree Swenby were selected in May 2021 for participation in one of the three All-State choirs. Emma, Rylee, and Aubree sang in the All-State Soprano-Alto Choir, while Olivia sang in the All-State Mixed Choir. The All-State choir experience is split into events. First, the four girls spent five days at the All-State summer camp located at St. John’s University in August, where they learned their music, met the other selected students from around the state, and presented a concert on the final day.
The second part of the experience was held in Minneapolis February 18 and 19, where the students reunited with their new friends and directors to rehearse and put on another performance. These dates line up with the annual MMEA Mid-Winter clinic, where music educators from around the state gather for clinics, performances, and camaraderie. Students first rehearsed on the 18th and were able to tour the Minneapolis Convention Center to visit exhibit booths, experience downtown Minneapolis, and to sing at one of the Midwest’s finest venues, Orchestra Hall. Their final performance on Saturday the 19th closed out the Mid-Winter clinic. There was no in-person All-State experience last year due to the pandemic, so to hear the choirs perform once again was a treat.
Congratulations to Emma, Olivia, Rylee, and Aubree for this tremendous accomplishment! Auditions for the 2022-2023 All-State choirs are due mid-march. We wish good luck to those FB students who will be auditioning!
The UND Honor festival was back after a year off due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This year, the festival consisted of 350-400 musicians from North Dakota and Minnesota. These students are either a part of the honor band, orchestra, mixed choir, or treble choir. Jay Simmons participated in the Treble Honor Choir under the direction of Mrs. Melanie Popejoy. The choir sang a total of six songs, one of which was performed with the other three ensembles that served as the finale for the entire concert.
On the choir side, around 400 students audition for a spot in either the mixed or treble choir. Numbers were down this year due to sickness whether at the time of the audition or the festival. Nevertheless, the festival went on. It was a great experience for Jay to sing with other students from around the area that share the same enthusiasm for singing. Congratulations Jay on your performance with the 2022 UND Treble choir!
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Hello! I am Mr. Schrom, and I teach 7-12 choir here at Fertile-Beltrami. I conduct five choirs here at FB. They are the Senior High Choir, Freshman Choir, Junior High Choir, Pop Choir, and Madrigal Singers. As well as teach these ensembles, I give voice lessons throughout the day and after school, and teach the 7th and 8th grade general music classes. I will assist with numerous activities at the school where music is involved!
My hometown is Little Canada, Minnesota, located in the Twin Cities just north of St. Paul. I am a Roseville Area High School graduate, class of 2011, where I sang in numerous choirs under the direction Dean Jilek and Jamie Lercher. My graduating class was 520 students, which is larger than the entire Fertile-Beltrami K-12 population!
One of my greatest influences throughout high school and still to this day is Dr. Dean Jilek, director of choirs at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Jilek was my high school choir teacher for three years at Roseville.
There, I learned the importance of working together as an ensemble and feeling the music as a whole. There are at times 60 or more voices that need to come together and understand what each piece of music means and what the composer wants the choir to get out of it. Each singers has to give 100% of their mind and soul to the music if they desire to leave an impact on those who listen. When you do this as a singer, you truly feel satisfaction knowing that the music has that special place inside of you.
I am graduate of North Dakota State University, Fall Class of 2015. I currently hold a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Go Bison! While a student, I studied under Dr. Jo Ann Miller, Dr. Michael Weber, and Dr. Charlette Moe. These three continued to shape me as the musician that I have grown to see myself become.
The greatest joy of my job is watching a singer develop and find their voice. There are numerous methods that I take to help each singer grow. Each voice is different and needs to be trained differently. When a student finds their potential with their voice, nothing else could make me happier. Combine all of these voices together into a choir, and you make something special, with anywhere from 16-60 students that come together and make music.
© F-B Advance Com Editor: Aubree Swenby