SGH/Lee Epps
This Spring Grove saxophone quartet received one of the coveted ‘Best in Site’ awards at the Section 1A Solo/Ensemble Contest. From left are Devon Nerstad, Kelsey Hermanson, Stine Myrah and Noah Myrah.
SGH/Lee Epps This Spring Grove saxophone quartet received one of the coveted ‘Best in Site’ awards at the Section 1A Solo/Ensemble Contest. From left are Devon Nerstad, Kelsey Hermanson, Stine Myrah and Noah Myrah.
Stine Myrah earned a perfect score on her vocal solo (Solveig's Song) and was also part of an instrumental quartet that received one of the top honors at the 2017 Section 1A Solo/Ensemble Contest at Rushford-Peterson High School on April 20.

There is no state competition, so this is the most prestigious event for high school small-group musical performers.

Thirty-four Spring Grove band students participated in 30 solo and ensemble performances and earned 23 "superior" (the highest) and seven "excellent" (next highest) ratings.

That superior total was more than twice as many as any of the other seven schools — Lanesboro, Chatfield, Caledonia, Houston, Fillmore Central, Mabel-Canton and Rushford-Peterson.

There were 38 Lions participating in 24 vocal performances and receiving nine "superior," eight "excellent" and seven "good" ratings.

From 35 to 40 points earns a superior, 28 to 34 excellent, 22 to 29 good with 21 and below fair. There were several 39 scores for Spring Grove students, but Myrah had the only 40.

Many students were part of both instrumental and vocal entries; several performed as many as five or six times during the five-hour event.

But nobody was busier than the three accompanists who were continuously moving quickly upstairs and downstairs throughout the building, trying to keep up with the Spring Grove performers.

Jean Ellingson of Spring Grove accompanied 17 Spring Grove performances. Sibyl Floyd of Caledonia accompanied 13 presentations. SGHS choral director Bethany Engen was at the piano for 16 vocal performances. Only eight of the 54 performances required no accompaniment.

Best in Site

In addition to scores and ratings, each performance also received oral comments and suggestions from the judge in the room.

Ten judges (five vocal and five instrumental) and 10 pianos stay in the 10 rooms while the student artists and accompanists rotate. At the end of the evening, each judge selects the best performance of the day in his or her room.

One of these coveted "Best in Site" awards went to a Spring Grove saxophone quartet featuring Stine Myrah, Noah Myrah, Kelsey Hermanson and Devon Nerstad.

Counting the Chamber Choir and the Jazz Band, Nerstad and Stine Myrah were both part of six superiors, including saxophone quartet, saxophone solo, vocal solo and vocal duet.

The Jazz Band and Chamber Choir were the two largest of the "small group" entries. Other entries were either solos or ensembles, such as duets, trios, etc. The Section 1A Large Group choir and band event was held on March 13 at Harmony.

Willy Leafblad, in his third year as band director at Spring Grove, was pleased to have 30 solo or ensemble instrumental entries this year after only 10 last spring.

Audiences are allowed to attend all the performances, but it is not possible to listen to them all as there are always several going on at the same time.

If it had been possible to hear all of the Spring Grove vocal performers, a listener would have enjoyed several selections sung in German, French and Italian as well as English.

It was an amazing evening for many outstanding students, so ably representing the Music Department at Spring Grove Public Schools.

Vocal superior performances

These nine individuals and vocal groups earned superior ratings: SGHS Chamber Choir; Abby Towne, solo; Payton Leahy, solo; Harlee Gavin, solo; Devon Nerstad, solo; Stine Myrah, solo; Vivian Kampschroer, solo; Stine Myrah and Vivian Kampschroer, duet; and Devon Nerstad and Noah Myrah, duet.

Instrumental superior awards

These 23 individuals and instrumental groups earned superior ratings: the SGHS Jazz Band; Hannah Borreson, trumpet solo; Takoda Boyd, trumpet solo; Zach Rains, trumpet solo; Carter Bratland, trumpet solo; Elena Myrah, flute solo; Rhiannon Skauge, flute solo; Addison Deschler, flute solo; Amelia Solum, flute solo; Vendela Parker, flute solo; Claire Bratland, flute solo; Stine Myrah, saxophone solo; Maria Myrah, saxophone solo; Devon Nerstad, saxophone solo; Ashton Towne, clarinet solo; Emily Guberud, clarinet solo; Austin Patterson, tuba solo; Vivian Kampschroer, bass guitar solo; Elena Myrah, Amelia Solum and Addison Deschler, flute trio; Claire Bratland, Vendela Parker and Rhiannon Skauge, flute trio; Emily Guberud, Olivia Mendez, Dannika Albert and Ashton Towne, clarinet quartet; Kelsey Hermanson, Stine Myrah, Noah Myrah and Devon Nerstad, saxophone quartet; and Zach Rains, Takoda Boyd, Hannah Borreson, Gabe Prahl, Kyle Hagen and Carter Bratland, trumpets.

Vocal excellent performances

These eight individuals and vocal groups earned excellent ratings: Alan Michels, solo; Brianna Cody, solo; Zach Folstad, solo; Hannah Borreson, solo; Toby Leahy and Payton Leahy, duet; Ashton Towne, Harlee Gavin, Kailee Olerud and Kendra Waldenberger, quartet; and Brock Schuttemeier, Noah Myrah, Zach Rains and Ethan Matzke, quartet.

Instrumental excellent awards

These seven individuals and instrumental groups earned excellent ratings: Jacine Johanningmeier, drum solo; Wyatt Murphy, mallet percussion solo; Alex Deters, saxophone solo; CJ Sylling, oboe solo; Katie Lamm, French horn solo; Chris Lamm, bassoon solo; and Rhiannon Skauge (flute) and Emily Guberud (clarinet) duet.

Vocal good performances

These seven individuals and vocal groups earned good ratings: Chandler Bergrud, solo; Zach Rains, solo; Wyatt Murphy, solo; Jacine Johanningmeier and Amelia Solum, duet; Hannah Borreson and Jordan Jaster, duet; Jadyn Olerud and Miah Tate, duet; Carter Bratland, Kyle Hagen, Chandler Bergrud and Wyatt Murphy, quartet.