It’s the highest honor a high school vocal ensemble can receive in Michigan: to perform at Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF). And once again this year, Rockford choirs were represented at the MSVMA Solo & Ensemble Recital on May 13. The Rockford Chamber Women, directed by Mandy Mikita Scott, earned this honor by receiving top scores at both district and state solo and ensemble festival. At state festival, they were selected as one of the top six ensembles in the region, thus being considered for this recital. A listening panel reviewed 30 such performances before settling on the 12 which represent the highest achievement in vocal music across the state. The Chamber Women are part of the Chamber Singers, an auditioned mixed ensemble. They rehearsed only six times with Scott during the entire process: twice before district, twice before state, and twice before their performance at MYAF. Said Scott, “More than anything, it was the dedication of these ladies and their bondedness that made this achievement possible. It was truly a joy to work with them.” This is the second consecutive year that choirs from Rockford have been selected for performance at this recital.
Students from Rockford High School (RHS) choirs once again made a strong showing at the State Solo & Ensemble Festival on March 19 at Aquinas College. Every ensemble from RHS received a “I” rating, the best possible score, in both performance and sight reading. These ensembles included: Chamber Singers, Chorale and Advanced Women’s Ensemble directed by David Duiven; and Chamber Women and Women’s Chorus, directed by Mandy Mikita Scott. Additionally, the Chamber Women was one of six ensembles selected from more than 40 to be considered for performance at Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) in May. This is among the highest honors a choir can receive in Michigan, and the third consecutive year that a Rockford choir has been so honored. Rockford High School made history last year as the first school to ever have three choirs to perform at MYAF in the same year. Final results will be determined following the completion of Solo & Ensemble statewide in mid-April. Rockford had 16 soloists and three duets participate at Solo & Ensemble and all received “I” or “II” ratings. The performers were junior Emilee Bodien, sophomore Mariah Bouwkamp, sophomore Adriana Craft, freshman Erika DeWard, freshman Hannah Fawcett, freshman Linnea Hjelm, sophomore Ellie Knoll, senior Corlene Laing, junior Kendall McConnohie, senior Scott Nadeau, junior Jill Nelson, junior Sarah Ombry, freshman Elaina Rahrig, senior Gabe Reitemeier, freshman Anna Wilson, junior Christian Wojtowicz, junior duet of Alberta and Gleghorn, freshman duet of Olson and Kruse, and duet of senior Reitemeier and junior Sunday. The RHS choirs are fast approaching their tour appearance in New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall in May.
Since opening in August 2006, Reds on the River has partnered with Rockford Public Schools on numerous occasions, including co-op work opportunities, numerous fundraisers, benefits for the Rockford Education Foundation, and the Community Unity program with the sports boosters and Youth Initiative Community Service Club. One particular favorite for both Rockford High School students and Reds is hosting the Rockford Chamber singers, led by high school music director David Duiven. For the past three years, Rockford’s top choir students have performed holiday music at Reds in December, in exchange for Reds’ donation to the Choir Boosters to help offset some of their musical expenditures. “The partnership has been tremendous,” noted Reds Executive Chef Glenn Forgie. “The students perform in quartets and meander about the dining room, singing carols. They jazz up their concert attire with fun holiday scarves and hats and really have fun with it. Our guests love the festive spirit they create, and they love the fact that we are showcasing our students’ talent.” The music has become so popular that Reds has expanded the schedule and invited other area schools to perform. The lineup includes: • Thursday, Dec. 2: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 7: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 9: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 14: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 16: East Grand, Rapids Bella Voce • Tuesday, Dec. 21: Northview High School • Thursday, Dec. 23: Forest Hills Eastern Quartet Holiday carols are peformed from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening.
Each team sends six racers down the hill, with racers taking two runs each of slalom and giant slalom (GS). Their combined run times determine their overall individual score in each event. The team score is determined by the placement points of the top four finishers. When a team is able to place all of their top four finishers in the top 15, their chances at earning first place as a team are high. Rockford has several talented racers this year, with at least 10 racers capable of consistently finishing in the top 20. This was demonstrated at Tuesday’s race at Cannonsburg with Rockford boys taking first place with 62 points. East Grand Rapids took second with 79 points, followed by Forest Hills Central (127), Forest Hills Northern (135), and Grand Haven (147). Once again, the boys’ team leader was Michael Dix with a first-place finish in slalom (59.68) and a fifth-place finish in GS (51.89). Rounding out the scoring in a very challenging slalom event, Taylor Noakes finished fourth (1:02.73), and John Milewski sixth (1:04.03). Travis Fleming posted an excellent 12th-place finish on his first run, but fell on the second, resulting in being disqualified. Ben Avink was in 13th place on his first run, but hit a gate and had to hike, resulting in 28th place (1:17.53). The team score became dependent upon a strong finish of the last racer, Casey Hefferan. After finishing in 15th place on his first run, Hefferan came through and finished eighth on his second run for an overall placement of ninth (1:06.06). In the GS event, Avink placed 10th (52.61), Noakes 12th (52.76), and Fleming 15th (53.29). Tyler Manikowski also finished strong in 18th place (53.53) and Milewski finished 27th (55.36). Rockford girls finished in fourth place overall with 137 total points. Grand Haven finished first with 82 points, followed by Forest Hills Central (121.3) and Forest Hills Northern (124). Rockford girls were led this week by Julie Daukss and Carly Funk. Daukss had a first-place finish in slalom (1:10.34) and took fourth place in GS (54.20). Trading rankings with Daukss, Funk placed second in slalom (1:12.79) and third in GS (53.99). Rounding out the scoring for the girls was Kaiti Bartholomy with 25th place in […]
Rockford’s regular ski season concluded on Tuesday, Feb. 3 with the final conference race at Cannonsburg Ski Area, followed by the regional competition on Friday, Feb. 13. In the end, Rockford girls and boys teams each finished in third place in the Greater Grand Rapids High School Ski Conference (GGRHSSC), behind Grand Haven and Forest Hills Central on the girls side and East Grand Rapids and Grand Haven on the boys side. Rockford’s girls and the conference were led all season by Julie Daukss who earned an All Conference spot and consistently placed in the top ten finishers, usually in first or second place. Carly Funk also achieved the conference giant slalom (GS) list for the girls. Team leaders for the boys were Michael Dix, John Milewski and Taylor Noakes, who all achieved All Conference status due to consistently strong top finishes in both GS and slalom events. Eleven Division I teams gathered at Cannonsburg on Friday, Feb. 13 for regional competition, following a postponement due to rain and warm conditions. Race day arrived with meticulously groomed slopes and temperatures right at freezing. After perfect conditions all season long, the snow conditions were disappointing, but there was plenty of snow to complete the event. Each racer took two runs in slalom and in GS, with their combined times determining their finish places in each event. Marquette, Traverse City and Grand Haven were the top three teams, earning the right to compete as teams at the state competition. Rockford’s boys team placed fifth. Although Rockford’s teams did not finish in the top three positions, two individual racers earned the right to compete at the state level due to top finishes. Daukss placed third in slalom and 12th in GS, and will compete in both events. Dix placed 14th in slalom and will also compete at the state competition. Rockford’s other team members’ finish places were Kristyn Macqueen (27th slalom, 40th GS), Bethany Hicks (39th slalom, 57th GS), Aly Schneiter (44th GS), Merry Buelken (45th slalom), Funk (54th slalom, 50th GS), Ashley Richter (56th GS), Tyler Manikowski (27th GS), Milewski (26th slalom, 31st GS), Noakes (24th slalom, 37th GS), Travis Fleming (39th GS, 24th slalom), and Dan O’Connor (41st GS, 49th slalom). Rockford’s varsity team loses two […]