Region’s top honor musicians; vocalists perform at Northeast Community College


Special to the Viewpoint

NORFOLK, NE – The Norfolk campus of Northeast Community College was filled with the sound of music earlier this week as a number of the region’s top high school musicians and vocalists had the opportunity to participate in an honors program through the institution’s music department.

The 110 students from 23 schools participated in the second annual HAWKFEST, which featured daylong rehearsals that were capped off by a public performance in the College’s Lifelong Learning Center. The
50-member honor band was under the direction of Kevin McLouth, director of instrumental studies at Northeast, while the approximately 60-member honor choir was led by Stewart Cramer, director of vocal activities.

Margaret Schultz, music instructor/accompanist at Northeast, served as HAWKFEST manager.

McLouth said the students earned entrance to HAWKFEST through an audition process. He was pleased with how they performed.

“These young ladies and gentlemen have worked hard,” he told the audience. “Our goal … is to make music when we get here, not just play (or sing) notes on a page, but make music! And I think we have truly done that today and I’m really proud of them.”

McLouth gave credit to the high school music directors for preparing the students so they could be selected to participate in the honor band or choir.

“We get to pick and choose these students to work with on a day like this. But the people who do the real work are your hometown band director and your hometown choir director who stand there in front of your kids every day and teach them so they can perform in something like this. They deserve a round of applause.”

Participating high schools include Allen Consolidated, Battle Creek, Clearwater, Creighton, Crofton, Elkhorn Valley Schools, Hartington-Newcastle, Homer, Lakeview (Columbus), Lutheran High Northeast, Neligh-Oakdale, Oakland-Craig, O’Neill, Osmond, Pierce, Ponca, Pope John XXIII (Elgin), Randolph, St. Edward, Wakefield, Wausa, West Point-Beemer, and Winside.

Honor Band members who performed were:

Battle Creek – Kaleb Kummer, Britney Kreikemeier, Jeston Hassler, Zoe Hassler, Haley Hrabanek, Meghan McCracken, Hannah Maslonka, and Ethan Miller.
Creighton – Brian Johnson, Mallory Nielsen and Makayla Shonebarger.
Crofton – Kelsey Schieffer.
Hartington-Newcastle – Kaitlyn Willis.
Homer – Malaki Holmes, Emylee Jewett and Saraj Jewett, Skylar Moe, and Brooklynn Schmidt.
Lutheran High Northeast – William Bryant and Ally Moreno.
Neligh-Oakdale – Emma Bixler, Hailey Bixler, Jorden Fulsaas, Trey Svatos, and Parker Tinsley.
Oakland-Craig – Connor Mockenhaupt and Trinity Seery.
O’Neill – Kolby Dean, Kyler Dean and Christopher Jennings.
Osmond – Diandra Polt, Kaden Polt and Connor van Rentzell.
Pierce – Sarah Fenton, Nik Harvey and Klarissa Norris.
Ponca – Sarah Beach, Thomas Chase, Matthew Hayes, Lucas Hoesing, Austin Janssen, Matthew Lentz, Brandon Mellick, Grace Rooney, and Nate Ruhrer.
Randolph – Alex Heiman and Tyson Junck.
Winside – Toby Heinemann and Edward Olander.

Honor Choir members who performed were:

Allen Consolidated – Lukas Oswald.
Battle Creek – Karlie Alder, Dylan Hamilton and Emma Wilkinson.
Clearwater – Lauren Behnk, Taylor Anne Bolling and Taylor Rose Bolling.
Elkhorn Valley Schools – Madison Schaffer, Angel Qualset and Ruth Vigil.
Hartington-Newcastle – Zach Burcham, Logan Castillo, Hope Hulit, Alison Karnes, Kalyn Martinson, Matthew Meisenheimer, and Leah Reichle.
Lakeview (Columbus) – Karla Diaz, Tyghanna Ellis, Lucien Engel, Hannah Kitt, Ella Meyer, Tosha Ortmeier, Maddingly Splittgerber, and Ethan Goldfish Vinson.
Lutheran High Northeast – Macee Goehmann, Zachary Sweigard, Kalina Vavra, Isaac Weander, and Brendan Westlake.
Neligh-Oakdale – Sadie Heckert, Trinity Kurpgeweit and Colby Sehi.
Osmond – Allison Aschoff, Holly Jensen and James Umberger.
Pierce – Colt Arnold, Miles Garcia and Morgan Schnoor.
Ponca – Ethan Goodier and Cole Monteith.
St. Edward – Lacie Cruise, Brandon Merrell, Sophie Reeves, and Drake White.
Wakefield – Sahrai Luna, Kaleigh Mattes, Logan Slama, Divon Tinsley, and Zephan Tinsley.
Wausa – Hailey Seagren and Ann Woockman.
West Point-Beemer – Shana Lininger, Anna Mayes, Jaylyn Nemec, Gerardo Osorio, and Brittany Pena.
Winside – Jayden Fuchs and Jasmine Nelson.

Two high school seniors from each group were selected to receive a $1,000 tuition waivers should they attend Northeast next year. Those receiving the waivers were band member Zoe Hassler, of Battle Creek, and choir member Divon Tinsley, of Wakefield.

The Northeast Mass Media – Broadcasting program recorded the concert. It can be viewed and downloaded at