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HHS, TMP seniors prepare for final KMEA experience

12/7/2012

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

There was no way she wanted to miss this one.

So Anna Hickert got a note from her doctor in Kansas City saying she might have to take a few breaks Saturday.

Organizers of the Kansas Music Education Association Northwest District High School Honor Band and Choir at Fort Hays State University are OK with that.

Now, Hickert will get the chance to perform at the district event for the fourth straight year during her Hays High School musical career.

"I told the doctor that if she doesn't participate in district, she isn't eligible for state," said Sondra Hickert, Anna's mother. "So her doctor wrote a note for her, and the people at KMEA were fine with it. I'm really happy for her; music is her life."

Hickert will be one of several seniors from Hays High School and Thomas More Prep-Marian High School to participate for the fourth straight year at districts. Students audition earlier in the fall for the chance to participate in district in band and choir. Orchestra students from the northwest district combined to participate with the southwest district qualifiers a week earlier this year in Dodge City.

Those chosen for the northwest district vocal and band concert will converge on the Fort Hays campus and work with clinicians throughout the day, then perform in concert together at 3:30 p.m. in Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall. Admission for the concert is $4 a person.

Hickert still is recovering from a concussion she sustained during rehearsal for the HHS musical this fall when a piece of iron bar from a stage prop came loose and hit her in the head.

Hickert, who plays clarinet, had to give up band and working on the school newspaper but was released by her doctor recently to participate in choral music, and she is glad to be back.

"I'm definitely excited to get back to singing and back to Chamber Singers," said Hickert, who today will return to HHS' select singing and performance group for the first time since her accident. "I'm very grateful for getting to participate (Saturday), because the accident took me out of my passion classes for a while, ones that were my life."

Seniors Hannah Dreiling and Maria Marcotte from TMP will participate in band at districts for their fourth straight year.

"Qualifying for state is even better," said Marcotte, who plays the trumpet. "But we get a medal for being in four years (in district), so that's an honor, too."

"It's hard to believe we're seniors, it's gone by fast," said Dreiling, who plays clarinet. "But we've still got a lot of things to do this year yet."

Some of those things are coming up quickly with Christmas concerts. Dreiling and Marcotte also are part of the TMP Singers, a group similar to the Hays High Chamber Singers.

Hickert and the Chamber Singers are scheduled to take a trip to Disney World in Florida in the spring. But for now, she said she is especially thankful for the chance to participate this Christmas.

"All the Christmas stuff, I would have hated to have missed that," she said. "You don't realize how much you miss it until you don't have it."

Other four-year district qualifiers from TMP are Hyo Jin Lim on flute, Megan Gottschalk on clarinet and Chloe Zimmerman on trumpet.

Joining Hickert from Hays High as four-year district participants are trombonist Spencer Greathouse in band and six in choir -- Ashly Arthur, Delphine Burns, Hickert, Sarah Malott, Dustin Mulkey and Preston Ryan.

In addition, two Hays High students qualified for district honor band in both concert and jazz band -- junior Aislinn Walters on alto saxophone and sophomore Ben Rajewski on trombone.