March Finished Draft

Page 3 The Dog Pound by Autum Wessling Students embrace band for a multitude of reasons by Giselle Sanchez Over 100 students are involved in the Big Red Band program at LCHS. Many of the students have been involved in the music program since it was first available to them in 5th grade. The band performs at concerts, football games, marching competitions, basketball games, and parades. The band also does contests such as solo and ensemble and large group contest. Most students say they have benefited from being in band. Senior Cameron Albus explains, “I’ve made new friends, gone to Florida, and created good memories.” Junior Kaley Twinn agrees, “Through band I have met new people and made new friends.” “Without band I would be very upset because then we would have to be involved in more sports and I am not a fan,” says sophomore Hailey Plueger. Freshman Logan Gerdes adds, “Without band I wouldn’t want to go to school.” Band has two seasons, marching and concert band seasons. Marching band season starts the week before school begins and last usually until mid November, while concert band runs mid November until the end of the year. Many of the students in band enjoy every minute of it. “It is a great time and there will always be tears and laughter,” explains Shay-Lyn Klingbeil, junior. All students interviewed encourage non-band members to join the fun. Junior Kristen Heimgartner says, “I get a [great] workout in marching band.” Band offers other benefits as well. Junior Katelyn Hartman says, “Music helps with other subjects too.” The LCHS individual events (IE) speech team just finished its regular season. Nearly 50 students participated this year, competing in district and state contests. Ultimately, four students were selected for all- state. The IE team was led by coaches Erin Ohrlund, Sherri Permeswaran, and Shawn Starr. These coaches helped students choose or write speeches and rehearsed with them to improve their performances. Four-year participant Jack Loutsch reported, “Practices are short but rigorous.” Coach Erin Ohrlund has been with the speech program since 2009. She said, “I truly enjoy all of the categories--the variety in IE is so much fun!” “I especially enjoy learning from Expository Address, Original Oratory, Spontaneous Speaking, Reviewing, and Public Address,” she explained. Other IE speech categories include acting, after dinner speaking, improv, literature interpretation, musical theatre, radio news, and storytelling. Ohrlund also mentioned the many disruptions to their schedule this season, but said that all the kids were terrific and willing to work: “Every single student has improved! Practicing and polishing a piece, learning new skills, and performing in public help all of us to become more confident speakers and thinkers.” Two-year team member Ari Grant reported, “I am interested in IE Speech because it is individually bettering yourself!” She practices before or after school with a coach, and almost every night at home. Sherri Permeswaran has been coaching IE Speech for 26 years. She say, “My favorite things about coaching are laughing with team members during practices, watching them work hard to make incredible growth from freshman to senior years, seeing the amazing creativity they are capable of, and celebrating their performances at contests.” She adds, “Many of the best relationships I have made with students have come from coaching speech!” Senior Cameron Albus is also a two-year participant. He explains, “I joined speech because my friends were in it.” Now Cameron loves it: “My favorite part about speech is performing for others and making people smile!” Senior Madelyn Johnson (three-year member) has found that speech “is a good way to learn how to speak in front of others on your own.” Madelyn’s favorite thing about IE Speech is the people and how rewarding it can be: “I love the people and atmosphere. Also, IE speech is super rewarding because you are the only one speaking, so how well you do depends on how much effort you put in.” State IE Speech contest was held on Saturday, March 10. At this contest 20 students received I ratings and 13 students received II’s. Four students were named “Outstanding Performers” and were honored at the all-state festival at UNI on March 26. Those four were Angela Conover in storytelling, Joey DeBoer in spontaneous speaking (2nd year), Max Hardyk in prose (3rd year), and Caden Washburn in improvisation (4th year). Coach Shawn Starr said, “I am very proud of the students who chose to participate in IE this year, who practiced diligently, and showed growth as performers. Public speaking is one of the highest-ranked fears in the world, and LCHS students overcame those fears and had a successful IE speech season. ” IE Speech team allows students a creative outlet Orchestra is one of the three main music groups at LCHS. The orchestra rehearses first period every day and is directed by Ted Hallberg. The main instruments in orchestra are violin, which has the highest range of notes, viola, cello, and bass, which plays the lowest notes. Participating in orchestra this year are 29 students. Eleven play violin, six play viola, nine play cello, and three play bass. Normal rehearsals start with tuning instruments. String instruments can be more difficult to tune because students need to check every string by listening for the correct pitches. Most students started orchestra in fourth grade. Junior Willow Olsen started orchestra simply because she wanted to learn how to play an instrument in elementary school. Junior Katie Hartman joined because “it seemed cool.” Senior Grace Lamoreux “thought it would be “fun.” Senior Diana Loutsch started playing in orchestra because of sibling rivalry: “My older brother was in it, and I did not want him to be able to do something I could not do!” However, Diana stayed in orchestra because she loves it, especially in the spring when full orchestra begins: “Symphony music is AMAZING!” she reports. Even though playing an instrument requires a lot of dedication, most students stay involved because of the family atmosphere Director Hallberg has created. Hallberg’s favorite part is working with all the students because every grade taught has different strengths and weaknesses. Hartman and senior Madi Brown especially enjoy Cordas da Camara, a smaller, more elite group and is played with electric instruments. Brown adds, “Mr. Hallberg taught me the one skill that got me through high school... sarcasm mixed with an impossible-to-read poker face.” Orchestra gives students a place to express themselves and have fun by Alyssa Hoebelheinrich