BHS musicians rake in awards
Bainbridge High School music students had an incredible showing at the recent Washington Music Educators Association State Solo and Ensemble Contest.
Island musicians competed in a total of 11 categories, claiming a number of top finishes, including three first-place awards, in many.
“It’s a huge accomplishment just to make it to state, [as] only the regional champion in each category makes it to state,” said team spokeswoman Julie Memke.
BHS scored first-place finishes in the small woodwind ensemble category (Thomas Wieland, Nicolas Lofgren, Priya Christensen performed in an alto and soprano saxophone duet with piano accompaniment); the tenor/baritone saxophone category (Thomas Wieland, baritone sax solo); and the bass clarinet category (Sean Halstead).
The team scored two third-place finishes: in the alto/soprano saxophone category (Thomas Wieland, alto sax) and the large woodwind ensemble category (Thomas Wieland, Nicolas Lofgren, Elana Memke, Kelsie Lacey and Kyle Wisner performed in a saxophone quintet).
The island squad also nabbed two honorable mentions: Nicolas Lofgren in solo clarinet with three superior scores and Keon Deng and David Curcie in small group percussion.
Other BHS contenders who performed included Lila Schroer, Kelsie Lacey, Keon Deng, Mark Arends, Melony Bourgeois, David Curcie, Keon Deng, Keaton Dernbach, Victoria Hutt, Travis McCoy, Joshua Miller, Ryan Olney, Quinn Courtway, Even Pope, Ben Meier, Thomas Wieland, and Nicolas Lofgren.
Memke said two musicians in particular deserved MVP shoutouts.
Thomas Wieland competed in five categories (winning two, placing in three). Nicolas Lofgren competed in four (winning one, placing in one, with three superior ratings in one) and they both pitched in at the last minute to compete in the percussion ensemble, which won district and advanced to state.
“BHS band director Chris Thomas deserves a huge thanks for motivating the kids all year and helping create healthy happy band community,” Memke said. “Local woodwind instructor and musician Dave Carson’s studio was well represented again at state, as he has been in the past. [He] continually motivates kids to turn out excellent performances.
“Another student of his, Emily Carthum, from North Kitsap, came in third place in tenor saxophone,” she added.
“Local percussion instructor Terry Marsh’s studio was also well represented,” Memke said. “His coaching and instruction was instrumental in the percussion ensemble’s winning the regional championship and advancing to state. Terry and his wife Traci also support our jazz students as the rhythm section at BHS jazz bands’ regular jam sessions at West Side Pizza.”