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Mitchell Middle School bands take top honors in jazz festival, all-state band

The future of the jazz band at the Mitchell High School is looking good. The Mitchell Middle School Jazz Band took home first place in the middle school division Monday night at the Jazz of the Upper Great Plains Festival at Augustana College. Ry...

Mitchell Middle School Jazz Band took home first place in the middle school division Monday night at the Jazz of the Upper Great Plains Festival at Augustana College. (Submitted photo)
Mitchell Middle School Jazz Band took home first place in the middle school division Monday night at the Jazz of the Upper Great Plains Festival at Augustana College. (Submitted photo)

The future of the jazz band at the Mitchell High School is looking good.

The Mitchell Middle School Jazz Band took home first place in the middle school division Monday night at the Jazz of the Upper Great Plains Festival at Augustana College.

Ryan Stahle, director of bands, said seven middle school programs competed from both Iowa and South Dakota.

"The future of jazz and music in Mitchell is looking bright," Stahle said. "These kids have worked really hard and their hard work paid off."

On top of the first place victory, eighth-grader Sicely Allhiser was awarded an outstanding soloist award, Stahle said. The jazz band will be next competing on April 6 at the SDSU Optimist Jazz Festival in Brookings.

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But it's not just the jazz band making headlines. Three Middle School students, Christian Kremer, Jesse Dodd and Kierstyn Bathke, participated in the 18th annual South Dakota Music Education Association Middle School All-State Band last weekend. Seventh-grader Kremer and eighth-grader Bathke was selected to perform in the festival band on clariness. Seventh-grader Dodd performed in honor band on percussion.

All students selected to perform in this prestigious group, Stahle said, are required to submit a taped audition to the committee. They were chosen from more than 500 applicants from middle school band programs across South Dakota. They were led by middle school band director Chase Jamison.

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Christian Kremer, Jesse Dodd and Kierstyn Bathke, all Mitchell Middle School students, participated in the 18th annual South Dakota Music Education Association Middle School All-State Band last weekend. Seventh-grader Kremer and eighth-grader Bathke was selected to perform in the festival band on clariness. Seventh-grader Dodd performed in honor band on percussion. (Submitted photo)

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