Sorenson, Watling voted top musicians by class
By Scott Bellile
Seven New London High School senior musicians’ names will live on plaques in the music department for years to come as they were awarded for their contributions to the band at their final concert on Wednesday, May 20.
The awards were presented in front of concertgoers before the spring concert’s finale. The band will graduate 27 seniors this year, according to band director Adam Hardt.
Student musicians voted trumpeter Ryan Watling the John Philip Sousa Award winner for band and percussionist Paul Sorenson the Louis Armstrong Award winner for jazz band.
“It was humbling, and it was kind of cool to know I made that much of an impact,” said Watling, who is also class valedictorian and will attend Northern Michigan University in the fall. He will not study music but he hopes to play in the pep band or small groups.
Sorenson enrolled in four music classes his senior year and plans to study music education at UW Oshkosh.
“I definitely worked hard to get where I am,” Sorenson said.
Awards selected by Hardt and presented before the crowd were (name, instrument, college):
Patrick S. Gilmore Award: Ryne Goedderz, drum major and trombone, UW Whitewater; Ruby Furtuno, clarinet, UW Oshkosh.
Director’s Award for Band: Marielle Bent, drum major and French horn, UW Oshkosh; Elana Heise, trombone, UW Stevens Point; Muriel Metko, tuba, UW Eau Claire.
Hardt smiled from the beginning of the evening to the final note, exchanged hugs with seniors and teared up at one point as he spoke.
“I just love ’em and I am going to miss them dearly,” Hardt told the audience.
The class of 2015 presented director Adam Hardt a gift of his own: a director’s podium to replace his cracked one, autographed beneath by the senior class. Two seniors hauled the old podium away and laid the new one for Hardt to direct the final tune.
The concert and symphonic bands performed selections at the spring concert including “Mambo” from “West Side Story,” a spoken chorus piece titled “Geographical Fugue,” “Firebird Suite” and medleys from “James Bond” and Disney’s “Frozen.”