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Oh, say can you see — MHS students sing in Pierre

Pictured on Jan. 15 in Pierre are, front row from left: Marian Ragels, Connor Voeltz, Macy Swanson, and Kendal McMahon. Back row from left: Tim Parks, MHS Vocal Director Chris Miller, Taylor Callies and Isaiah Munsen. (Photo courtesy of MHS Vocal Director Chris Miller)

A group of Mitchell students was among 66 singers from 10 South Dakota schools who sang at a special celebration Jan. 15 in Pierre.

The year 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key writing the national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

“It was fun and exciting to see the legislators at work in that environment. It was also interesting and cool to learn about how our capitol building was constructed.

“We sat in on a Senate session and I really enjoyed seeing how that scenario plays out.” said MHS senior Taylor Callies.

The event was put together by Jessica Larson, vocal music director in Gettysburg. The idea came from a challenge presented at a summer choral conference.

Larson said each state was challenged to come up with ways to celebrate the anniversary.

With the help of Sen. Corey Brown, R-Gettysburg, an entire day’s worth of activities was planned for the students.

Not only did they gather to rehearse and perform, but they had opportunities to tour the capitol, sit in on the chief justice’s speech, sit in on legislative session and have a question-and-answer session with a few senators, including Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell.

In addition to Mitchell and Gettysburg, participating schools included Bowdle, Douglas, Edmunds Central, Harding County, Hoven, Miller, Mobridge and Pierre.

The performance was directed by Rodd Bauck, vocal director at Pierre Riggs High School.

— Source: Mitchell High School