Herald and Journal, Sept. 18, 2000

Local students take top honors at music contest

Students from Humphrey Elementary and Howard Lake Elementary took top honors in the 2000 Minnesota Elementary Music Educator's (MEME) Composition Contest, receiving the most awards of any single school district.

Courtney Heuer, sixth grade student at Humphrey Elementary, was also awarded Overall Winner in the section II division for her violin solo.

This is a state-wide contest that is not divided by school district sizes, so students from Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) were competing with students from larger school districts.

Winners in section I (grades K-2) Unaccompanied Vocal Solo division included second place "Oh, How the Wind Does Blow" by Cassie Houston, and third place "Different Cats" by Maggie Horstmann.

Angela Nelson, Christine Bobrowske, and Nicole Horstmann received a second place award for their song "Clean Up Your Room!" in the Vocal Solo By 2-6 Persons division.

"Scary Stuff" by Kathy Lutter's second grade was awarded first place and Jodi Sanken's second grade received third place for their song "Aliens" in the class song division.

Winners in section II (grades 3-5) Unaccompanied Vocal Solo division included first place country song "We All Move On" by Amanda Marketon and third place "Friends" by Rachel Briant.

Alyssa Marketon received an honorable mention for her song "Jaguar Jungle" in the same category. Crystal Jones was awarded second place for her accompanied vocal solo "What Cats and Dogs Do."

A tranquil violin solo, "Soft, Sweet Garden," by Courtney Heuer, received first place and was also awarded overall winner in section II.

Clark Ostvig's ragtime style piano solo "The Happy Rag" earned a first place award. "Slippers" by Terry Napper's fourth grade was awarded second place, and "I Forgot" by Pam Halverson's fourth grade and "Minnesota's Beauty" by Joan Johnson's fourth grade tied for third place in the class song division.

Kathy Pettit's third grade song "Jokes" and Sue Napper's third grade song "Nature" received honorable mentions in the same category.

Section III (grades 6-8) winning entries included Bria Day's first place accompanied vocal solo "Stones in the Water."

Day also wrote a jazzy swing style instrumental solo for her french horn called "Gettin' Along," which was a first place winner in this competition.

The judge for this year's competition was Bonnie Swanson, who recently retired after teaching music for 36 years. She was an elementary music specialist in the Bemidji public school system from 1971-1999.

Swanson has taught many children how to compose music over her career. She is past-president for MEME K-8, and a past-president for Minnesota Music Educators Association.

Swanson was selected to be the 1998 MMEA Music Educator of the Year. She is currently living in Cass Lake and remains active with music education projects and the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra.

Swanson was impressed with HLWW's students use of creative melodies, rhythms, delightful lyrics and understanding of musical form in their compositions. The students mentioned above have been invited to perform their award-winning compositions at the MN Musk Educators Mid-Winter Clinic in February.

The MEME Composition Contest is offered each year for students in grades K-8 whose teachers are MEME members.

Minnesota Elementary Music Educators is a state wide organization made up of music educators from all over the state. It's purpose is to support music educators through its membership and advance musical education for the students of Minnesota schools.

Dawn Kalvig, music educator at Humphrey Elementary and Howard Lake Elementary, is a member of the MEME organization.

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