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MWHS Choirs Present Annual Awards

MWHS Choirs Present Annual Awards
The MWHS Concert Choir performed at the May 16 spring concert.

May 25, 2022 — The Mound Westonka High School choirs hosted their annual spring concert on May 16 at the Westonka Performing Arts Center. In addition to inspired performances by the school’s three choral groups, annual awards were presented to the school’s top vocal musicians and the 2022 graduating seniors were recognized.

Each year, the Kris Miller Outstanding Musician Award goes to an outstanding senior who has devoted himself or herself to the craft of singing. This year’s recipient is Beckett James. He has been a member of Concert Choir and Madd Jazz for four years, has been selected for Minnesota state honor choirs, has participated in many solo and ensembles throughout the years, and had a lead role in the MWHS fall musical this year. James was a member of the All-State Choir for two years and was a NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) award finalist this year.

Choir Dedication Awards went to seniors Isabel Newell and Hallie Dierbeck. Newell has been in nine honor choirs throughout her career and has ranked in the top 5 percent of all who auditioned in the state of Minnesota. She is an excellent reader of music, a section leader, and a master at interpreting music from the page to performance. Dierbeck listens carefully in class and consistently works hard to master the piece at hand. She is responsible, responsive, and strives for excellence within her section.

Seniors Seth Worden and Aria Weinberg received Outstanding Leadership Awards. Worden, who serves as student conductor, isn’t afraid to try new things and fills the choir’s percussion needs. Weinberg designs concert programs, enters information into the system for solo and ensemble contests, and leads the choir’s social media efforts. She is highly responsive, flexible and talented.

Awards were also presented to members of the Cantabile Choir. Junior Tyson Hollins received the Outstanding Choral Musician Award. The Choir Dedication Award went to junior Foster Mares, and senior Kaegan Baglien received the Outstanding Leadership Award.

The Bel Canto Choir’s Outstanding Choral Musician Award went to Rosy Gomez-Gonzalez. Eighth grader Bri Elliott received the Choral Dedication Award, while ninth grader Anna Borg received the Choral Leadership Award.

Director Kelly Newell invited all the senior choir members to the front of the stage to be recognized, exclaiming, “We have made music together for eight years!”

“These singers have dedicated many years of service, time, and talent to our program, and I will miss them more than they’ll ever know,” Newell said. “Thank you for every moment of every day. You made every effort worth it!”