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Reader News: 2022 MMTA ensemble festival puts on pair of recitals

The annual Willmar-area festival provides students with the opportunity to make music as a part of an ensemble.

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WILLMAR — The annual Minnesota Music Teachers Association ensemble festival for the Willmar area took place on Nov. 6 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar.

MMTA has 12 sites throughout the state where students can participate in the yearly event, which provides students with the opportunity to make music as a part of an ensemble. An ensemble consists of at least two keyboard players, voice, and or instrumental students.

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The Minnesota Music Teachers Association ensemble festival for the Willmar area took place on Nov. 6, 2022, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar.
Contributed / Megan Gilles

The Willmar area festival had 38 ensembles participating in the two recitals that were held.

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The annual Minnesota Music Teachers Association ensemble festival for the Willmar area took place on Nov. 6, 2022, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar.
Contributed / Megan Gilles

Teachers who prepared students were Loni Eid of Montevideo, Megan Gilles of Willmar and Maria Goering of Clear Lake.

Performers, by town, were:

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Belgrade: Whitney Anderson, Heidi Anderson.

Benson: Agnes Yost-Benson.

Clara City: Graysen Dirksen, Emily Dirksen, Jaden Dirksen, Jen Heiling, Korri Heiling, Zoey Heiling, Lilyanne Pauling, Ella Pauling and Jackson Pauling.

Dawson: Thomas Felton.

Kandiyohi: Tristan Boehme.

Kerkhoven: Grace Thompson.

Maple Lake: Benedict and Christina Ogram.

Montevideo: Hayden Blom, Loni Eid, Karl Krueger, Julia Mages, Nora Mages, Alexandra Osbon, Sophie Sonstegard, Adam VanBinsbergen and Madison VanBinsbergen.

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Murdock: Isaiah Hatfield, Cooper Hatfield and Liz Hatfield.

Raymond: Lindsey Setrum.

Spicer: Finley Hebrink, Keisha Frauendienst, Caiden Rheaume and Geri Johnson.

Willmar: Owen Geiger, Crosby Geiger, Allison Geiger, Arianna Gilles, Zoe Gilles, Megan Gilles, Rowan Glein-Erickson, Hannah Javaherian, Hailey Jurgenson, Natalie Jurgenson, Christina Jurgenson, Jovial Martinez, Owen Schrotberger, Sophia Spencer, Carson Stone, Paityn Wolf, Gracyn Wolf, Annaliese Wood and Rosalyn Wood.

All ensembles consisted of piano performances, and and ranged from duets to trios to quartets. The quartets were played on two pianos.

Some highlights of the recitals were Geri Johnson, a 93-year-old piano player playing a duet with her great-grandson Caiden Rheaume; a trio piece titled “Three’s a Crowd Rag” where one performer was pushed off the bench towards the end of the piece and then comes in for the final “word” by the playing the last few notes of the piece; and several trios where three family members performed together.

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA
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