Chugiak, Eagle River musicians earn All-State honors

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 10:39

A total of 18 local students were selected for the 2017 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska All-State Music Festival, with several earning special recognition at the Nov. 18 event at West High.

Earning coveted “First Chair” honors in the All-State orchestra were Chugiak freshman Charlie Latimer (violin I), junior Julia Koehler (violin II) and junior Claire Mahoney (viola); along with Eagle River senior Sean Harris (oboe). Chugiak junior Eric Rueb was named Second Chair on trombone.

Harris was also named First Chair oboe on the All-State band, where Rueb was Second Chair trombone.

Musicians were selected to participate following an audition process that included 858 individuals from 51 Alaska schools, according to the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA). After being selected, the top high school musicians performed at the gala festival at West High.

Eagle River band and orchestra director George Pierce said earning a First Chair award is a great honor — one he said Harris pursued with a passion this fall.

“He’s worked pretty hard on it,” Pierce said.

Harris practiced oboe “every day at lunch” in the band room in the months leading up to the festival.

“All of the sudden the fire got lit under him,” Pierce said.

Chugiak orchestra director Patti Wilson praised her students for their achievements, and said it was a big deal for the Mustangs to earn three First Chair spots in the orchestra.

“Thank you to all musicians for representing Chugiak High School with high honors!” Wilson wrote in an email.

Chugiak’s band members performed under CHS band director Dale Bazan, while the combined Chugiak/Eagle River choir competed under the direction of Ron Lange.

All-State Mixed Choir members included Chugiak freshman Bryant Manwaring (tenor I) and senior Liam Dooley (bass I).

Also named to the All-State orchestra were Chugiak freshman Gabriel Gullett (violin I), junior Amber Pike (violin I), junior Thorsten Renner (violin I), freshman Kalen Richardson (violin I), sophomore Abby Carothers (violin II), and freshman Konrad Renner (violin II); as well as Eagle River junior Chole Silknitter (viola) and freshman Mark von Luhrte (bass).

Joining Harris and Rueb on the All-State band were Chugiak senior Danielle Neff (flute alternate) and freshman Esther Shore (trumpet).

Winter concerts upcoming

A flurry of wintertime performances are on the horizon as student musicians wrap up the first semester of the school year.

On Friday, Dec. 1, Eagle River High will hold its annual talent show at 7 p.m. at the Steve Primis Auditorium. Tickets are $10 each or $25 for a family.

The Chugiak High band will perform Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Steve Primis Auditorium on the CHS campus. Bazan said the school’s Jazz, concert and symphonic bands will each perform during the program, with works from Grainger, Sousa, Tchaikovsky, King and Reed. Bazan said guests and alumni are also invited to join the bands for a combined finale performance of “Sleigh Ride.”

On Dec. 7, the CHS orchestra will hold its fall performance — also at 7 p.m. and also at the Steve Primis Auditorium.

Also Dec. 7, Eagle River High will hold its Winter Band and Orchestra Concert at 7 p.m. in the school’s multipurpose room.

2017 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska All-State Music Festival

All-state mixed choir

Chugiak: Bryant Manwaring, 9, (tenor I); Liam Dooley, 12, (bass I)

All-state orchestra

Chugiak: Gabriel Gullett, 9, (violin I); *Charlie Latimer, 9, (violin I), Amber Pike, 11, (violin I), Thorsten Renner, 11, (violin I); Kalen Richardson, 9, (violin I), Abby Carothers, 10, (violin II), *Julia Koehler, 11, (violin II), Konrad Renner, 9, (violin II), *Claire Mahoney, 11, (viola); *Eric Rueb, 12, (trombone). Eagle River: Chloe Silknitter, 11, (viola); Max Lawler, 10, (cello); Mark von Luhrte, 9, (string bass); *Sean Harris, 12, (oboe)

All-state band

Chugiak: Danielle Neff, 12, (flute alternate); Esther Shore, 9, (trumpet); *Eric Rueb, 11, (trombone). Eagle River: *Sean Harris, 12, (oboe)

* Honors: Sean Harris, Eagle River (first chair orchestra oboe/first chair band oboe); Charlie Latimer, Chugiak (first chair orchestra violin I); Julia Koehler, Chugiak, (first chair orchestra violin II); Claire Mahoney, Chugiak (first chair orchestra viola); Eric Rueb, Chugiak (second chair orchestra trombone and second chair band trombone).

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