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North Medford High wind ensemble qualifies for state band contest

North Medford High's wind ensemble will compete at the Oregon State Activities Association State Band Contest May 12 after capturing the Southern Oregon Music Educators Association's Class 6A band contest earlier this month.

"It would be the equivalent of our basketball team winning district," said North Medford Band Director Steve Kessler.

School musical competitions follow the same classification system as sports.

The victory March 21 was the first time the 53-member wind ensemble won their division in about five years. Most recently, South Medford High and Klamath Union, now removed from Class 6A, have been the winners.

North Medford competed against four other bands to win this year's division title, including South Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg and Sheldon high schools.

South Medford, came in second place, and their scores also qualified them for state. Grants Pass High School's wind ensemble placed third.

A total of 20 bands from Class 6A will vie for the state championship May 12 at Oregon State University.

North Medford will perform Don Ricardo by Gabriel Musella, Vesuvius by Frank Ticheli and Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo by Malcolm Arnold.

Competing in a separate OSAA competition for solo music April 28 at Lewis and Clark College are flutists Mary Struckmeier and Rachel Silver, bassoonist Kayla Harris, violinist Chris Scherer, soprano Camilla Whitney and mezzo soprano Bless Lee, all of North Medford.

South Medford is sending clarinetist Andy Atkinson, rudimental snare drummer Sean Siders, multiple percussionist Zachary Edie and tenor Tyler Rosetto to the OSAA contest.

French horn player Jordan Kling, orchestral snare drummer Logan Shrewsbury, violinist Abigail Young, cellist Eian Greenburg, pianist Hali Alspach, mezzo soprano Alessandra Jenkins and alto Abigail Dock will represent Ashland High.

Crater High bass Scott Murry also will compete.

North Medford rudimental snare drummer Alan Christopher, South Medford orchestral snare drummer Kyler Taft, St. Mary's pianist Danielle Shubat, North Medford soprano Hillary Burrelle and Ashland baritone Josh Houghton are first alternates.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or pachen@mailtribune.com.