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East Kentwood Music Students Selected for Honors Groups | Arts & Culture

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East Kentwood Music Students Selected for Honors Groups
East Kentwood Music Students Selected for Honors Groups

Congratulations to three East Kentwood High School music students who were chosen to perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.  On May 7-9, 2015, they will join the most talented high school students in Michigan for a three-day extravaganza of master classes, exhibitions, workshops and performances at Western Michigan University.

Derek Bartlett (trombone) and Peter Cripps (bass) were selected for the honors jazz band as a result of outstanding performances at the State Jazz Festival.  The adjudicators nominated several students from throughout the state.   A panel of judges selected the top 20 students for the Honors Jazz Ensemble based on their performances.  Tate Schumacher received an honorable mention on trumpet for the jazz band.  Their jazz band directors are James Ross and James Sawyer.

Britton Schwallier was chosen for the Honors Choir by video audition.

The culminating event occurs on Saturday afternoon in Miller Auditorium where the MSVMA State Honors Choir, MSBOA Honors Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, and Orchestra perform a grand finale concert at 2:30 PM.

Derek Bartlett

This is the second year in a row that Derek has been selected for the MYAF Honors Jazz Band.  Derek is a senior trombone player at East Kentwood High School.  He has been playing trombone since he started in 6th grade at Pinewood Middle School.  He plays trombone in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at East Kentwood High School. 

Derek has been playing in the jazz band since 7th grade and is now in Jazz Band 1. 

Derek also enjoys playing in the EKHS Falcon Marching Band and is a section leader in the trombone section.

In his spare time, Derek likes technology and building computers.  He will be attending Central Michigan University in the fall.

Peter Cripps

Peter was selected as the bass player for the MYAF Honors Jazz Band.  Last year he played tuba in the MYAF Honors Band.  Peter is a senior at East Kentwood High School.  Peter plays bass in Jazz Band I and Jazz Combo at East Kentwood High School.  He also plays bass in EKHS Concert Orchestra and ABC Orchestra, as well as the praise band at Cornerstone Church (84th Street and Heritage Hill campuses).  He has studied bass privately with Tom Lockwood and Kyle Wellfare and composition/tuba with Paul Keen.

Peter plays tuba in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Marching Band at East Kentwood High School and The Grand Rapids Youth Symphony.

Peter’s hobbies are playing music and writing music.  He will be attending Grand Rapids Community College in the fall to study music.

Britton Schwallier

Britton Schwallier, a sophomore at East Kentwood High School, sings in the Chamber Choir.  He began his journey to the All State Honors Choir in October 2014 with his first audition to make the Regional Choir.  This year the audition process completely changed to a video audition.  Britton practiced many weeks on one piece of music, video taped his performance with his teachers and then submitted his audition for adjudication.  He made the

Regional Honors Choir along with Gwyneth Hoeksema, the only two to make it from EKHS.  

For the Regional Honors Choir, Britton and Gwyneth learned four more pieces and had to sight read for a judge.  They gave a performance in the afternoon after a full day of practicing and auditioning for State.  At the end of the Regional Honors Choir, Britton found out he was going on to the All State Choir, which performs in May at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.  For the All State Choir Britton has learned six new pieces with help from his teachers, Carrie Hoeksema and Tarin McLeod.  He will spend three days on the campus of WMU working with the guest conductor and other choir students from around the State of Michigan. 

Congratulations on your success!