The Cook County High School Band made another successful trip to the State Music Competition in Virginia, Minnesota on April 30, earning high scores from the judges and praise from band director Bill Tormondsen.
“They made music,” said Tormondsen. “They had that extra element of technical playing and musicality, which is what we’re striving to do. You can play the notes, and I could tell them, they can play it all technically correct and exact, but it’s got to have that element of emotion into it, and we did.”
The full band earned Superior ratings on the two pieces they performed, “Rumble on the High Plains” by Michael Sweeney, and “Into the Raging River” by Steven Reineke. Two of three judges at the state competition gave the Cook County band perfect scores, or 40 points, and the third judge gave them 39 points.
“It was a little nerve-wracking, but it went really well,” said first chair flute Katrina Axtell. “We received superior ratings, and that was really fun,” added Ailee Larson.
The large group of ensembles and soloists also did quite well, with everyone earning either an Excellent or Superior rating. Earning a Superior rating was the flute trio of Ailee Larson, Katrina Axtell, and Molly Rider, the French horn trio of Karlee Axtell, Ben Seaton, and Colin Everson, and the saxophone quartet of Karl Ingebrigsten, Bekah Laky, Adriana Berglund, and Jordyn Kirk. Earning an Excellent rating was the clarinet trio of Will Brandenburg, Alec Muich, and Luke Fenwick, and the clarinet quartet of Sarissa Falk, Lexie Palmer, Rachel Wieben, and Mara MacDonell.
All of the soloists from Cook County earned Superior ratings, including Will Brandenburg on clarinet, Haley Ruhanen on tuba, and Katrina Axtell and Ailee Larson on flute.
Stacey Hawkins accompanied the ensembles and soloists.
You can hear all the ensembles and soloists in concert at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 13 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais. The full band will perform in concert, along with the middle school and sixth grade bands, Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school gym.