Orion Fine Arts Festival

Mindy Carls
During the Fine Arts Festival on Tuesday, May 4, Orion High School’s concert band performs “Across the Great Plains,” which was composer William Owens’ musical depiction of a Pony Express ride.
Orion High School band director Lauren Heiberger, left, has Bobby Carlson, winner of the Most Improved Band member award, sign the Golden Shoe that commemorates the award.
Socially distanced and masked to reflect COVID-19 protocols, the Orion Treble Chamber Choir sings “I Will be Earth” by Gwyneth Walker during Orion High School’s Fine Arts Festival on Tuesday, May 4.

With musicians socially distanced and appropriately masked, Orion High School held its first concert with a live audience on Tuesday, May 4 in the gymnasium.

Director Parker Haley divided the Orion Chamber Choir into two parts to give the singers room to spread out. Girls sang in the Treble Chamber choir and boys in the Tenor/Bass Quartet.

Orion Concert Choir also performed.

Lauren Heiberger directed the Orion Concert Band.

The directors and art instructor Connie Jensen presented awards.

Jensen announced Daunte McDowell as the Artist of the Year.

The Three Rivers Conference held its annual art show virtually because of COVID-19 protocols.

Four Orion students won awards. In the Sculptural 3-D category, Nickie Kettler and Weston Ferry were honored for their altered books. Kettler was second for “Dragonflies and Flowers” and Ferry third for “Swing.”

Zoe Larkins used stippling to create two award-winning entries. She was second in Mixed Media 2D with three or more media for “Bee.” In Ink Wash and Marker, black and white, she received honorable mention for “Rope #2.

Ella Sundberg’s “Geo,” entered in Drawing: Still Life, miscellaneous, charcoal, received honorable mention.

Heiberger presented the Charger Band Award to Madison Greenwood for always attending rehearsals and performances of marching band, pep band and concert band with a positive attitude.

The Most Improved Award for band went to Bobby Carlson, who got to sign the Golden Shoe in front of the audience. Heiberger said she found a spray-painted gold marching shoe displayed in the music room when she took the band director position.

Some of the students told her it carried the signatures of the Most Improved award winners. She decided to have Carlson sign it at the concert, and since everyone liked it she’s going to keep doing it.

Heiberger presented the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award to Molly Vestal for “superior dedication, musicianship and creativity.”

She also gave the John Philip Sousa Band Award to Lily Moen, The award is for “superior musicianship, leadership, dependability, loyalty, cooperation, and other qualities of conduct.”

OHS had two All-State musicians in 2020-21. They were Lily Moen, cello, and Maggie Nedved, viola.

Haley presented two choir awards. Liz Wilbur was named Most Improved and Nathan Tapscott the Mr. Personality Award for his joyfulness, laughter and ability to lift spirits.

Lauren Dobbels received the Charger Choir Award for dedication to the program, best effort and positive attitude.

Haley presented Hannah Passno with the National Choral Award for “singular merit, ability and achievement, outstanding contributions to the success of the school

vocal program, and an unusual degree of loyalty, cooperation and high qualities of conduct.”

Eight Orion singers were chosen for the Bradley Honor Choir, including sopranos Catherine Johnson and Liz Wilbur; altos Lauren Dobbels and Hannah Passno; tenors Brandon Houdyshell and Nathan Tapscott, and basses Joseph Hogan and Shaw Ringier.

On behalf of Orion Music Boosters, Autumn Manning presented Arion awards to outstanding juniors, with Sophie Selander receiving the honor band and Catie Johnson receiving it for choir.

Tony Stiles, the Voice of the Chargers, introduced the seniors in band and choir with his signature style. The seniors were Luciano Bradley, Emily Canterbury, Brandon Houdyshell, Chad Kruse, Collin Meisenburg, Lily Moen, Hannah Passno, Shaw Ringier, Ethan Schoutteet and Molly Vestal.