Morning News â€” Leslie Mielke
Six Blackfoot High School musicians qualified for All-Northwest. From left are Dylan Neff, bassoon, Ashley Anderson, soprano, Evan Peterson, bass, Miranda Day, soprano, and Gabe Wistisen, French horn. Lillie Wright, alto, is not pictured.
Six Blackfoot High School (BHS) qualified for All-Northwest. This designation honors outstanding music students from Alaska, idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. The 2013 NAtME All-Northwest takes place Feb. 14-17 in Portland, Ore.
The Blackfoot students who qualified are singers Ashley Anderson, Miranda Day, Lillie Wright and Evan Peterson. Participating with the band are Gabe Wistisen, French horn and Dylan Neff, bassoon.
Anderson and Day are sopranos and will sing in the Treble Choir. Wright is an alto; Peterson is a bass. They will perform in the Mixed Choir.
"This is my fourth year attending All-Northwest or All-State," said Anderson. "I love meeting new people and learning new music."
"I like the fact everyone is so focused," said Day. "Beautiful sounds come from such intensity."
"I tried out for All-Northwest because I really like to sing," said Peterson. "Everyone has a common goalâ€”to sing well. When we accomplish that goal, it feels good.
"I want to do this the rest of my life," he said.
Lillie Wright was unavailable.
French horn player Wistisen likes the experience of playing with more elite bands.
"We accomplish more and meet more people," he said.
"Honor bands are a good experience," said bassoonist Neff. "It helps my playing a lot. Last year's All-state was an awesome experience."
All-State and All-Northwest are scheduled on alternate years.
BHS choir director Andrew Hames will accompany the Blackfoot students to the conference.
"Probably 5,000 students auditioned [for All-Northwest]; 150 were selected from Idaho," said Hames.
"They bring in top notch directors," he said. [Blackfoot students] will be with 300 other people [in various groups].
"In these focused ensembles, they will accomplish magic in three days," said Hames.
"I grew up in Alaska and qualified for All-Northwest," he said. "That year, Dr. [Scott] Anderson from ISU was the conductor.
"Because I met Dr. Anderson, I came to Pocatello to attend college," he said. "I met my wife and we moved to Blackfoot with our family.
"My All-Northwest experience was life-changing," said Hames.