Eighteen students from Bayfield participated in the Inter Mountain League Honor Band in Cortez on Wednesday, Nov. 8.
These students worked on several concert pieces with a guest conductor, Rodney Ritthaler, who was the director of Cortez Schools for more than 25 years. Ritthaler is one of the premier band directors in the state, with several marching and concert band state championships to his credit. There were several hours of rehearsals, culminating in a concert of the challenging music.
The Bayfield students participating were flute 1, Kyra Gonzales; flute 2, Colleen Lewis; clarinet 1, Collin Jackson; clarinet 2, Emalee Blakeslee and Amber Stephenson; bass clarinet, Lillian Imhof; tenor sax, Reina Echeverri; baritone sax, Logan White; trumpet 1, Dylan Hunt and Walker Thayer; French horn, Austin Curtsinger, Summer Hollingsworth and Aidan Jackson; trombone 1, Kathryn Tobias; trombone 2, Jack Ferguson; euphonium, Reed Merchant; tuba, Jarod Lane; and percussion, Zenn Roberts
Six students from Bayfield High School also have been selected to participate in the Colorado Mesa University Select Choir, which was held Nov. 13 in Grand Junction.
The students performed several challenging choral pieces and performed with 150 other outstanding choir students from throughout Colorado and Utah. The students worked under Dr. Monte Atkinson, director of choral studies at CMU and a member of the Colorado Music Educators Hall of Fame. Atkinson has led the department at Mesa for nearly four decades, and he is retiring this year.
This was his farewell concert with the CMU Select Choir.
Students are selected for the choir based on director recommendation, and they work on the music before arriving in Grand Junction to be combined with the rest of the participants. In addition to the High School Honor Choir, the Grand Valley Children's Chorale and CMU Chamber Singers performed. At the end of the concert, all three ensembles combined on stage for more than 250 voices performing under Atkinson's baton.
This year's selectees from Bayfield are BriAnne Marr and Callie Jung, sopranos; Kathryn Tobias, alto; Dylan Hunt and Zenn Roberts, tenors; and Jarod Lane, bass.