Eagle River violinist earns tasty victory

Friends cash in on Hail’s performance


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Eagle River senior Evy Hail plays the violin during a student talent competition held Friday, Jan. 21 at Gruening Middle School in Eagle River. Hail, who began playing the violin at age 5, won the $100 first prize in the contest.

STAR PHOTO BY MATT TUNSETH

A hundred bucks will buy a lot of ice cream.

Eagle River High senior Evy Hail, 17, learned that lesson the sweet way when she took home first place at a school talent show held Jan. 20 at Gruening Middle School.

“I guess so. Darn, so many people came!” Hail said as a crowd of her friends prepared to head to a local ice cream shop to spend some of the senior’s hard-earned winnings. “Just kidding.”

Accompanied by Freya Wardlow-Bailey on piano, Hail’s winning violin solo was the final performance of the night. The show also included dance routines, songs and skits, along with some witty banter by emcees Mark Sanders and Jachi Madubuko — the junior class president and vice president, respectively. The juniors put on the show as a fundraiser for prom.

The $75 prize for second place went to seniors Curtis Guyer, Josh Vandermartin, Jon Cannamore, Brody Montoya and Darion Heald for their skit. Third place, and $50, went to piano soloist Noah Sullivan.

A total of nine student acts performed, as did a band made up of faculty members — a band that included outgoing orchestra director Chris Poole (pictured on Page 2 directing the ERHS marching band) on the drums.

Poole’s last day at Eagle River was Friday, and he was honored with a special presentation during a break in the show.

“He’s really built up that program,” said student government advisor Tom Klaameyer. “He’s going to be a big loss.”

Klaameyer said the annual talent show is always a highlight of the school year. However, he said students and faculty alike still dream of the day when such events can be held on the school’s Yosemite Drive campus — rather than a nearby middle school.

“We make do with the resources we have,” said Klaameyer.

Eagle River High has no auditorium, meaning large events must be held at other schools or facilities.

“It just would be nice to be at home,” Klaameyer said.

The off-campus venue didn’t seem to bother any of the large crowd that nearly filled Gruening’s auditorium to capacity.

After getting mobbed by her friends after her championship violin performance, Evy Hail was all smiles.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Hail, who has been playing the violin since she was five.

Although she said she felt like she performed well, Hail said she was actually surprised to hear her named called.

“The skit was so good, I thought they would win,” she said.

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