STM Fine Arts Soloists Moving on to State Competition

March 5, 2009

Eleven Saint Thomas More High School Fine Arts performances advanced to the State Solo and Ensemble Festival based on their performances at the District Music Festival on Sat., Feb. 21.


Four seniors will compete for a third consecutive year at State: Joseph Grilli, Chantel Newman, Kellsey Schmitz, and Katherine Wetherbee. Three students are going to their second straight State competition: Grace Liebenstein, Jacob Bach, and Jacob Heino.


The festivals consist of high school students performing solo and group pieces, which are graded by judges. Performers given a “1*” by a judge qualify for the State Competition. The State Festival will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s campus on Sat., April 25.


"The students in the music department have been working hard,” said Nancy Wiecki, STM’s Music Director. “In addition to preparing for solo and ensemble, most of the students who participated are also involved in very time-intensive rehearsals for ‘Once Upon A Mattress,’ (STM’s Musical) which has performances coming up soon.”


Wiecki said, “the purposes of solo and ensemble are to establish standards of excellence in music performance, motivate students to continue studying music, improve students' music performance, and improve students' understanding of music literature and music concepts.”


The soloists set to perform at State include: Bach for theatre, Grilli for parade drum, Heino for piano, Liebenstein for vocal and theatre, Schmitz for theatre, Wetherbee for vocal and theatre, and Sam Matthew for parade drum.


A group performance will also compete at the State Festival. Its members are Wetherbee, Liebenstein, Schmitz, Newman, Heather Bekkers, Melissa Bekkers, Jackie Clark, Becca Kemmeter, and Sarah Maxwell.


All of these award-winning performers make up a sizeable portion of STM’s music program.


“To have 26 percent of the students involved qualify for State in one or more events is a great accomplishment,” Wiecki said. “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication these students have shown.”


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