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Matthew Riehl focused on working with adjudicator, Erik Engebretson, after performing his tenor sax solo during District Music Festival last Saturday. Riehl earned a Superior rating and will be performing at State Music Festival taking place on May 3 and 4.

Shelby High School hosted the 2019 District Seven Music Festival last Friday and Saturday. District Music Festival is an opportunity for the large bands and choirs as well as small groups and soloists to perform for adjudicators. These students work for months preparing their musical selections. Students earn a rating of 1 (Superior) through 5 (Poor). Small ensembles or soloists who earn a Superior rating continue on to perform at the State Music Festival held in Helena on May 3 and 4.

On Friday, the Shelby High School Concert Band, under the direction of Mr. Ron Gruber, earned a superior rating for their prepared performance selections and a superior rating in sight-reading. Later in the day, the Shelby High School Concert Choir, also under the direction of Mr. Ron Gruber, earned an excellent rating for their prepared performance selections and a superior rating in choral sight-reading.

The first day of the festival concluded with piano events. Earning superior ratings and qualifying for the state festival include solos by Joshua Buck, Lucas Fretheim and Maddison Underdal. Vivi McDermott and Maddison Underdal qualified for the state festival by earning a superior rating for their piano duet. Liv Moss and Vivi McDermott both earned excellent ratings on their solos

Saturday was a day filled with solo and small ensemble performances. Earning a superior rating qualifying for the state festival with solos were Rachel Hould (violin), Matthew Riehl (tenor sax), and Clara Waters (vocal). The vocal ensemble A Choired Taste (Joshua Buck, Rachel Hould, Baylen Moss, Hannah Nelson, Kimmy Riehl, and Clara Waters) and the Shelby Jazz Band (Jackson Appley, Joshua Buck, Chase Evans, Harold Miller, Hannah Nelson, Matthew Riehl, and Michael Sanchez) earned superior ratings and qualified for the state festival. Duets by Clara Waters and James Waters (vocal), Liv Moss and Michael Sanchez (clarinet), and Harold Miller and Matthew Riehl (tenor sax) each earned an excellent rating.

Mr. Gruber would like to thank Kaylee Benjamin and Jessica Buck for accompanying the performers and for their hours of rehearsal time with the students. He also would like to thank Diane Hould, Dan Waters and Darcy White for giving up their time to work with students as they prepared for the District Festival.

There are many people who helped make this years’ District Music Festival a success. Thank you to the Shelby Public Schools administration and staff for their help throughout the two days. Thank you to the Shelby Fine Arts Parent group for providing a welcoming hospitality room full of great food. Thanks to all the volunteers who monitored doors, collected the adjudication sheets, and tallied the scores. Thanks to the businesses in Shelby who supported the festival with ads in our program. And a big thank you to the students who not only performed beautifully, but helped move the equipment around the school so the performance rooms would be ready each day. We could not have hosted the District Music Festival without all the help everyone provided.

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