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Choir competes at section contest

posted Mar 21, 2020, 6:34 AM by Andrew Tichy

Concert Choir's Let Me Fly group performing at the choir competition hosted in Detroit Lakes.
Photo: Mara Lysne | The Spud

By: Mara Lysne

On Wednesday, February 19th the Treble, Concert and Chorale choirs all took a bus down to Detroit Lakes for the day to compete in the annual choir small group and solo contest. The day was filled with singing, listening, critiquing and enjoying the company of others. The contest this year was hosted by Detroit Lakes but has been hosted by Moorhead, Fergus Falls, and Bemidji in the past. 

The Treble choir only came for the first half of the day and left after lunch when all of their groups had performed. Their small groups had rankings of superior and excellence. This competition is already stressful for most people but for Abigail VonBank, a Moorhead High School Junior, it was extra stressful. Her small group got split up and ended up having to learn and memorize new pieces of music two weeks before the competition. “Although our group was split up two weeks from competition, I didn't think we did too bad” said VonBank.

Concert choir stayed the whole day and had multiple groups perform along with some soloists. Every small ensemble from the Concert choir got the highest ranking, a superior. Songs from this choir included Let Me Fly, Drunken Sailors, Llorona, Kyrie and more.
For the Chorale choir, most groups got superior rankings and others got excelents. Some people in Chorale chose to have either a solo or a duet. Caitlin Carlson who is also a Junior at Moorhead High School competed in two different pieces, a duet and a group. “I like having the competitive element within music because we don't get that very often” said Carlson when asked what her favorite thing about the competition is.

The annual choir competition is a great experience for students to get used to performing in smaller groups. Moorhead did great in the competition this year and are hoping to continue their streak into next year too!

Building music confidence at MHS

posted Mar 21, 2020, 6:30 AM by Andrew Tichy

By: Stacia LaVallie

In Moorhead High School, many people may not know too much about the music wing, along with not knowing the teachers well. One of them is the band teacher, Ms. Redlinger. Did you know she won Miss Prairie Village in her hometown? 

She teaches all band classes, along with teaching Music Theory. In her classes, she enjoys seeing the growth of her students. They come in Freshman year, not knowing who they are and “just their middle school knowledge,” according to Redlinger. 

“I enjoy seeing them mature, and grow musically and as people,” Redlinger said, “Then watching them as seniors having to make serious life choices for themselves.” 

Redlinger started playing the flute, then decided that she wanted to be somewhere in the music department. She never considered anything outside of music. She knew for sure after high school, and got a degree in music. 

She got her degree at South Dakota State University, staying in her home state for college. After college, she was job hunting and got offered a job in Moorhead. She has been here since that first job offer. 

Here in Moorhead, she loves the students. “It’s great!” Redlinger said about working in Moorhead High School. She also thinks that the community is great.

“I started in fifth grade playing the flute,” She said, “So I’m the most comfortable with that.” Then explained that she can offer the most help with wind instruments.

“I can’t offer much advisement with our bass guitar,” She said, “They’re expected to know their chords, and take their own private lessons. I just point out that I want it to sound like this or that, and that the note is wrong. Other than that, I can’t advise too much.” 

“I like a good variety of pieces, I wouldn’t want a full day of slow or fast, I like the mix of both and that’s what I like as a conductor.” Redlinger said.

In the music programs, they tend to combine the band, choir and orchestra sometimes for one piece. In the past there was a Beatles medley and over the holidays, a holiday medley which was a mix of a few songs. 

The band usually plays a huge role in the songs, because they are able to produce more sound, the orchestra behind them. Then, there is the choir who is trying to sing over both ensembles. It’s fun, and the audience typically loves it. 

Concert days are pretty busy for all conductors, trying to get everything finalized can be stressful. She has to get the bands ready to play the pieces that they have been practicing for months. To students, getting the music in good shape can be just as stressful. 

Redlinger mainly works with the band’s confidence, and makes sure they are sure of their playing. She also needs to ensure that the physical work is finished. That includes printing programs; listing names of players, and usually the pieces that they are playing. Also, that the stage is set up and lighting is ready to go. The stage set up includes chairs, stands, and room for percussion. 

Much of the music wing isn’t recognized as much as the usual teachers, which is a shame because there is so much to know about music, and more importantly, knowing the amazing people that teach the classes. Redlinger offers support, teaches many classes, and does more than just waving at the instruments.

Choir students enjoy time in California

posted Mar 21, 2020, 6:15 AM by Andrew Tichy

The choir students enjoying the ocean and sunshine
Photo: Mara Lysne | The Spud

By: Mara Lysne

Students in Concert and Chorale choirs had the opportunity to travel to California this year on January 16th through the 21st. While in California the students performed at multiple different venues, went to the beach, toured hollywood and did so much more. The students prepared their tour music for months before traveling to California.

Carolina Cabanela, a Junior at Moorhead High School, went on the trip. When asked about what her favorite part of the trip was, she responded with “On the last day we went on a dinner cruise on a really nice ship and standing in the cool air and watching the lights reflect on the water was the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had”.

While on the trip, the students visited multiple beaches, toured sony studios, visited Hollywood, sang at the zoo, and did so much more. Although this was such an amazing trip, Cabanela said that her least favorite part about the trip was having to wake up at five in the morning on the first day of the trip because the fire alarms went off. Although that may have been a downer right away on the trip, that didn't stop anyone from having fun on the rest of the trip.

For many this trip was a once in a lifetime experience and every person enjoyed it so much. “This was the best trip I have ever gone on in my life. I would go on it again if I could. Traveling with all my friends, doing what I love, and meeting new people was absolutely amazing. I’m sad it’s over” said Cabenela. 

Making music as Moorhead High

posted Mar 21, 2020, 6:03 AM by Andrew Tichy

By: Stacia LaVallie

Did you know that Mr. Eddleston was involved in twelve musicals? Many people may not know Mr. Eddleston unless they’re in orchestra or in other music classes. 

As someone gets to know Mr. Eddleston, the more someone will figure out how interesting he really is. He’s been at Moorhead High since 2013, and this is his seventh year teaching. Many people only know him as the Orchestra teacher. He is very musically involved but he has hobbies that aren’t so musical. 

Something people might not know is that he actually enjoys running. He hasn’t had time to run in a while, because of his new baby Ruth. 

“I did a half marathon last year, that was a lot of fun, which is thirteen miles.” but he used to do full marathons. He’s enjoyed that for a while, on top of music as well. 

He’s actually wanted to be a music teacher since his sophomore year of high school, and didn’t consider anything outside of music. 

“I was inspired by my high school orchestra teacher.” He briefly considered being a worship leader in college, “but that was a long time ago.” 

Today, he works with one other teacher, Mr. Larson, and a student teacher. “Larson is really great to work with, our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other,” said Eddleston “We learn from each other with teaching techniques.” 

They strategize by doing pull-out lessons with different sections of the orchestra, and smooth out any rough spots of pieces. The benefit of having two teachers is that one can teach while the other can help sections out. Eddleston and Larson have a close relationship, which is beneficial for teaching and the students. 

Out of school, Mr. Larson and Eddleston are just as close as in class. “Mr. Larson is my best friend, besides my wife,” Eddleston said. “We have movie parties, road trips, and we are in Bemidji symphony together but I have a hard time staying focused because he distracts me.” 

Eddleston’s primary instrument is the violin, although he also plays viola, as well as bass and piano.

His wealth of musical knowledge is instrumental when it comes time for student auditions. 

“Auditions are really good for students, it shows where they are and gives them the opportunity to show that.” Seating auditions take place in January, which decide which orchestra they will be in. “I think it prepares them to be on the spot, like a job interview and in the real world,” Eddleston said. 

He likes to see the student start to make sense of harder spots, “I like to see things click in the students head,” Eddleston said. “I like to help them through those spots and introduce the rougher areas.” 

Eddleston loves the trips they take every two years, because he gets to bond with the orchestra. 

“The orchestra gets experience with other musicians, because I always do contests,” he said. 

But the orchestra also gets to have fun. “The last time we went to New York and they got to experience a Broadway classroom with a Broadway star.” 

Overall, as Eddleston continues through his seventh year of teaching in Moorhead, he is happy to keep making music at MHS.

“I love the students and my colleagues,” he said. 

'Hamlet' doubles student ticket sales

posted Nov 3, 2019, 9:38 AM by Andrew Tichy

The cast of "Hamlet" from Theatre B.
Photo: Carrie Wintersteen | Special to The Spud

By: Iris Ming
A&E Reporter 

From September 27 to October 20, Theatre B performed their production of Hamlet. It was the first play of four in the 17th season of the theatre. The buildup to Hamlet was everywhere, with posters found in stores, college campuses, and the programs of local music events. 

This show was out of the ordinary for Theatre B, which usually puts on lesser-known plays. General admission was above the theatre’s high average, but most notably, Hamlet sold over double the usual number of student tickets. 

Tucker Lucas, who went on to play the title role, was the first to suggest putting on a Shakespeare play to the ensemble. 

“There were a lot of people who all wanted to do Shakespeare, and then the question became, ‘so if we’re gonna do Shakespeare, [which] one?’” Director David Wintersteen said. 

Hamlet rehearsed for five weeks, five days a week. The first challenge for Wintersteen during the rehearsal period was the size of the play. The uncut play ran around four hours and required 20 actors. Theatre B’s production of the play was cut from 4200 lines to 2500, and featured eleven actors, four of whom played more than one character. 

“It would be unwieldy to try to do a full Hamlet, and it would be unwieldy for the audience, time wise,” Wintersteen explained. 

The play was shown on a black stage with three curtains hanging from above. Set pieces were brought on stage for some scenes, but for the most part, the play featured stunning imagery for so little scenery. David Huebner’s lighting design was stunning. 

One of the more surprising effects was a grave complete with dirt and a skull hidden under the floorboards. 

“Hamlet is the crown prince, he’s the 1%. And the grave digger is someone who doesn’t have any money, but they are equal in terms of intellect and wit. There’s a lot of interesting and fun banter that happens there,” Wintersteen said of his favorite scene. 

The cast and crew had fun together even while telling a story as dark and tragic as Hamlet. The ensemble has been around for 17 years, putting on about 90 shows together. If you attend a few showing from Theatre B, you’ll begin to see some familiar actors. The next play of the season is The Last Schwartz, a family drama. Get your tickets for performances from November 29 to December 21 at 

District kids enjoy school carnival

posted Nov 3, 2019, 9:30 AM by Andrew Tichy

Zoey Zimara (Center) enjoys the face painting table at the annual Key Club Halloween Carnival.
Photo: Shahean Barwary | The Spud

By: Shahean Barwary
News Reporter

Key Club, a school organization that does work in the community, hosted their annual Halloween carnival for local kids. Club member Molly Hauf says that the atmosphere is always positive, especially because “the excitement that the kids attending have because they get to dress up.” The board consists of Kylie Dumas, Lydia Flaspohler, Molly Hauf, Azylen Lunkak, and Angie Ronning. They weren't all involved, but they still try to help in any way and find it a fun time of the year.

The carnival runs every single year and the environment has never changed. The people that show up are so nice and loving, and their kids are calm. The kids ages range anywhere from three to 12 years old. Most of the kids are always busy playing fun games and activities they have set up. The parents relax and enjoy their time at the carnival because it’s not so big. “I was there, and the parents certainly seemed relaxed,” Hauf stated. Key Club members run the games and make sure the kids are safe and having fun. “Families can come together and celebrate the holiday, as well as stay connected with the rest of the community,” said Hauf.

Key club members “pick up the games at Ellen Hopkins and set them up in the cafeteria,” said Lydia Flaspohler. Many of their games involve tossing items into holes and just winning out of pure luck. Some of the games they set up were pin drop, tossing train, pinball, spot-on, toilet throw, lollipop drop, cat tossing and many more. There are also activities set up during the carnival, like face painting and coloring. “I think the face painting was popular, it's not something that the kids get to do often, so it's exciting for them,” said Hauf.

Key Club does many more activities for the community and the carnival being one of the best. Parents always seem to enjoy bringing their kids to the carnival and is a fun way of spending time with the family.

Art Club continues creation at MHS

posted Oct 13, 2019, 2:20 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Arianna Long
A&E Editor

At Moorhead High School there are many clubs to get involved with, including, Anime Club, Comic Book Club, Key Club, as well as many more to choose from. Art Clu, is just one of the many great clubs. Marissa Jensen is the teacher and creator of this club, as well as recently having help and extra hands this year from Joel Korynta. This club became up and running in 2017, but about ten years ago there was another art club ran by Grady Carlson and Mick Dunn.

Jensen and Korynta model and structure the art club by using the feedback from the students, and after taking in this information, the teachers start assessing what they bring to the table. “We take in feedback from the members as we go but we do all kinds of media and types of projects that you might see in an art gallery or art show. We do anything ranging from painting, drawing, sculpture, to weaving, mixed media, and beading.” Jensen said. Therefore, there are all kinds of ways for the students to create their own ideas with all the information they are being given.

“Art club is where MHS students can come to learn about and create new projects that are not done in the school art classes,” Jensen explains. “Students can work on developing skills while having a fun time with others who also love making art,” 

This club helps improve not only artistic skills, but as well as social skills. These kids come together and talk about their projects, their days, their ideas, and not only with their classmates, but with the teachers as well. 

“Art club is beneficial for students because the only way to get better at art is to practice the skills,” Jensen says. “In art club you can learn from the instructors as well as peers who have been working on skill development more than you might find in a standard art class. It is also a great way to make friends and build community” 

There are a lot of students that regularly go to and are involved with art club, and it has been a very successful organization, not only is it helping kids with their art skills but it helps them if they have an art assignment due and if they aren't sure how to finish or start their projects,  “Many students come and fill the art room. It seems like a lot of kids at first but everybody who wants to work on developing art skills so the group is kind and manageable and students get down to work making their projects the best they can,” Jensen said. 

Kids at Moorhead High School have a huge variety of clubs to choose from, but this club should be their top choice. Art Club gets together every last Wednesday of the month, to find out more about art club you can contact Marissa Jensen or Joel Korynta. They hope to see you there.

MEA Break no time to rest for cast of "Matilda"

posted Oct 13, 2019, 2:14 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Mara Lysne
A&E Reporter

Stella Yvonne Melhoff is a junior in Moorhead who finds herself submerged in the arts at her school. She has been involved in the theater department for all three years, participating in “Aida” (2017), “Newsies” (2018), and is currently in this year’s musical, “Matilda” (2019).

 “My favorite part of theater is the community because it is so much more fun to make art when supported by other cast and directors,” Melhoff says. The theater department here at MHS has been around for decades, and because of it, several traditions have formed. Over MEA break the cast comes together to have theme nights, pool parties, soup night, Nerf gun wars, and make blanket forts. Although they are all fun traditions, Melhoff’s favorite tradition is Alumni night. Alumni night is a time where the current cast performs for MHS theater program alumni. 

“I look forward to seeing the people I got to know in the program. We always perform extra well knowing that they are in the audience.”

 The theater department may sound like all fun and games, but lots of sweat, tears, and hard work goes into the show. Melhoff says that the biggest problem the cast of “Matilda” will have to overcome this year are the vocals. However, no matter the circumstances, the theater department always rises to the challenge, and performs wonderfully. 

“The shows are always really good. I come in not knowing what to expect, and I'm always blown away with how well it's put together!” says Abigail Vonbank, also a junior at MHS.

Melhoff says this year’s selection is a show no one has seen before. She talked about having little kids on stage, people riding scooters and swings, salsa dancing, and british accents. The whole cast, along with the tech department and directors, are putting in so much work singing, dancing, acting, building the set, teaching, and adjusting the lighting. “Everyone should come! It's going to be a great show,” said Melhoff. 

If you go: MHS Theater presents “Matilda” at the MHS Auditorium. Tickets will be available son at the online box office at Show dates are Nov. 15-16, 22-23, and 29-20 at 7 pm and Nov. 17 and 24 at 2pm.

Behind the scenes of "Matilda"

posted Oct 13, 2019, 2:12 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Molly Blanchard
A&E Reporter

Every year, Moorhead High Theatre puts on a musical, featuring beautiful songs, thrilling dances, and a compelling story. Behind the actors on stage, the technicians, costumers, and sound and lighting designers play an important role in creating the magic of musicals.

“[The Set] is going to be big… with lots of details,” says Lighting Design Student Leader Scout Holding-Eagle Bushaw. Featuring magic tricks, hand-painted books, and adorable school uniforms, the set will be amazing. 

Excitement is radiating from the team of technicians to bring us into "Matilda"’s Library using lights, set, and costumes. 

“It’s a huge time commitment,” says technician Kelli Forester. “But we love spending time together.” 

The technicians are working on the musical in tandem with the actors and, in some cases, putting in long hours. In general, technicians are at the school from the end of the school day to 8 PM, adding up to more than twenty-two hours in each five-day school week. 

The set of “Matilda” is taking the story behind the show back to the beginning: Roald Dahl. With a bright color scheme to make even the oldest feel like little kids, the set will set a perfect stage for the students performing on the stage.

“We basically live [at Moorhead High],” says Holding-Eagle. From October 16 through 19, the technicians each rack up 40 hours, or 10 hours of work per day.

The dedication from the technicians, sound and lighting designers, and costumers helps create the beautiful musicals each year.

Brekke a leading voice in music department

posted Oct 13, 2019, 2:10 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Ashna Oray
Features Reporter

The music department at Moorhead High is filled with many creative and outgoing teachers. Katherine Brekke has been teaching music for the past 30 years, but her interest in music started back when she was only three years old. Brekke teaches treble choir, concert choir, chorale, and vocal jazz. Not only does she teach, but she also performs. Brekke sings, plays the piano (which she enjoys most), knows how to play all of the band instruments, and can play a little bit of guitar. Brekke participated in many music programs as a kid, some of which include theater, a jazz and pop ensemble, a country band in high school, and she also tried opera but it didn’t work out for her. The reason Brekke is where she is today is because she distanced herself from toxic people and was surrounded by people that believed in her. Another factor is that everyone in her family participates in music somehow. In fact, they own a theater that four generations perform in. The youngest of which being a five year old comedian and the oldest being an 83 old woman that can still sing. 

The reason Brekke chose to teach choir is because it gave her an opportunity to be a leader and have students do something together. She can be herself while doing what she loves. “Choir chose me,” said Brekke. Choir chose her because one, she loves music, and two, there was a job open here at the high school and she decided to go for it.  To Brekke, music is much more than just notes on a sheet of paper and sound. Music helps her find joy and consoles her when she is sad. When she feels anxious, she plays the piano and puts her feelings into the music. Brekke wants students to feel the same way when they sing. She hopes that their anxiety goes down and their confidence level goes up. Brekke wants students to grow and better themselves, not only as singers but as people. 

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