Strings attached and ready to entice the audience, Morgan Buenzow has been selected as the lone Mitchell student of the district to perform at the 2019 Middle School All State Orchestra at the Mitchell School District Performing Arts Center (PAC) this weekend.
"I'm a little nervous," Buenzow said. "But that is part of the program."
The South Dakota Music Education Association is bringing the Middle School All State Orchestra to Mitchell for the first time, Beth Neitzert, director of orchestras for the Huron public schools said in an email.
The Middle School All State Orchestra event is in conjunction with the Huron High School Honors Orchestra and the SDMEA String Symposium. It takes place Saturday, featuring Dakota Wesleyan University's Bethany Amundson as conductor.
The public is invited to attend the Grand Finale concert in the Mitchell School District Performing Arts Center at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 per adult, students are free, and tickets may be purchased at the door.
PAC Director Bret Werpy is excited to host the multi-day event at the complex.
"It's going to be a good opportunity to have groups utilize the facility that are not from the area," Werpy said. "It's great to show off what we have in the community with PAC, that is well-utilized by our high school."
Students in grades 6-8 enrolled in a South Dakota public or private school orchestra were eligible to audition for the festival by recording and submitting a video of their skills. The students were scored according to the SDMEA All State performance rubric in the categories of melodic accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, tone quality and production, intonation, interpretation and diction, as well as solo quality and sight reading accuracy. Students from 15 schools around the state, 65 in total, competed for a performance seat at the event. Buenzow and her brother Mason were among those students, but only Morgan was selected, said MMS band teacher Chase Jamison.
"This will be Morgan's third year in Middle School All State Orchestra," Jamison said. "As a MMS student, Morgan has become an excellent percussionist and musician. She plays in the high school drumline as an 8th grader, and is an amazing sight reader on keyboards. We are very proud of what she has accomplished, and know she'll go on next year to make us proud in the high school music activities."
Because Mitchell doesn't offer string programs through the public schools, Buenzow has achieved success on the violin through private lessons. Her instructor is Jay Reeve, a string teacher from Sioux Falls, who has been instructing Buenzow since she was 4 years old.