Love of singing leads to Iceland
W-F student performs with Appleton Boychoir
By Angie Landsverk
A Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School student is headed to state Solo & Ensemble in May and then to Iceland in June with the Appleton Boychoir.
The starred first rating seventh grader Logan Foster received on the Class A solo he sang on March 18 at a district Solo & Ensemble festival at Marion High School means he qualified for the state festival.
He is singing that solo again on May 6, at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“I didn’t think I did well,” Foster said.
He sang his solo at the end of the March 18 festival and then headed home with his family.
“On Sunday, I really wanted to know my score,” he said. “On Monday, my first class is math.”
During the morning announcements, Foster learned he qualified for state Solo & Ensemble.
How he did at the festival was included in the announcements.
LuAnn Rupnow is the middle school choir teacher in the W-F School District.
She said Foster was able to pick a Class A solo for Solo & Ensemble because of his involvement in the Appleton Boy Choir.
Foster is in the program’s Ambassador Choir, which is its top choir.
This is the second year he is in the Appleton Boy Choir.
Foster was in fifth grade when Jim McConnell, the district’s elementary music teacher, asked him if he was interested in the choir.
His parents, Shari and Mick Foster, did not know much about the choir.
Foster applied that spring and began singing with the program’s Concert Choir when he was in sixth grade.
Next year will be his final year in the Ambassador Choir.
Foster likes being on stage and performing.
His mother said he has been singing since he was a toddler.
She remembers him seating in his car seat in the back seat of their vehicle, singing along to pop songs.
Her mother, who passed away last April, also loved to sing. She sang with the Sweet Adelines chapter in Stevens Point.
“I think maybe it was something passed down,” Foster’s mother said of their love of music. “I think she’d be so proud of him now.”
As this year’s Solo & Ensemble season approached, Rupnow asked Foster if he wanted to sing a Class B or a Class C solo.
The music for the festival is divided into three difficulty levels, or classes, with Class A being the advanced level.
“I said I wanted to do A,” he recalled.
Kevin Meidl, the director of the Ambassador Choir, said Foster was ready for Class A.
“As a seventh grader, Logan’s voice is nearing the point of changing. A phenomenon occurs with boys’ voices before they change where the voice has a rich, full beautiful tone,” Rupnow said. “Couple this with the fact that he is exposed to more difficult music in Boychoir; it made sense for him to try a Class A solo in his unchanged voice.”
She said it is a special event category for the Wisconsin School Music Association contest.
“I’ve had a few other students in my career who have entered the Unchanged Voice event in middle school and attended the state contest, but it definitely is a special occurrence,” Rupnow said.
Foster chose “Strike the Viol” by Henry Purcell for his Class A solo.
“I wanted this one, because I liked it,” Foster said.
The song is about bringing in different instruments and in the end, about singing in harmony.
Rupnow said once Foster’s voice changes, he will go back to Class B or C, depending on the range of his changing voice.
“This progression is natural and appropriate. Students like Logan who work their high voice as long as possible usually develop rich, full low voices and have a less dramatic, more gradual voice change experience,” Rupnow said.
Foster’s mother hopes he does not lose that high range.
Rupnow said Foster “has been an outstanding leader in our seventh and eighth-grade choir this year, not only because of his musical abilities and interests, but because of his pleasant outlook and helpful attitude.”
Foster, who also studies piano, likes classical music. He is also a fan of the music of the 1970s.
He wants to be a middle school choir teacher.
Being in the Ambassador Choir is something he enjoys. He has had the opportunity to sing numerous solos.
Practices take place twice a week at Appleton West High School.
Most of their performances are at Lawrence Memorial Chapel, in Appleton.
Their last concert of this season is there at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 8.
As a member of the Ambassador Choir, Foster will go to Iceland in June.
The choir does an international trip every other year.