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WDC band students participate in Honor Band Festival

WDC fifth-grade band students performing at the band festival in Fergus Falls, from left: Kelanie Oldakowski, Simon Kreklau, Libby Hartman, and Alycyn Swanson. Lisa Weniger/WDC Schools.1 / 2
WDC sixth-grade band students who participated in the band festival, from left: Ally Pavek, Kayla Meeks and Jade Benning. Lisa Weniger/WDC Schools.2 / 2

Seven Wadena-Deer Creek first- and second-year band students participated in the Northwest Minnesota Band Directors Association Honor Band Festival on Saturday, April 8 at Fergus Falls High School.

Participating as first-year band students were fifth-graders Libby Hartman, percussion; Simon Kreklau, alto saxophone; Kelanie Oldakowski, flute; and Alycyn Swanson, trombone.

Second-year band students participating from sixth-grade included: Jade Benning, clarinet; Kayla Meeks, baritone; and Ally Pavek, alto saxophone.

These seven students were nominated and chosen to participate in the festival.

According to WDC band director Lisa Weniger, students receive five pieces of music to practice about two to three weeks prior to the festival. The day of the festival includes morning rehearsals and sectionals, as well as a concert at noon, where parents, relatives and friends attend.

Guest conductor of the first-year band was Denise Pesola (retired band director from Horizon Middle School in Moorhead) and conductor of the second-year band was Nolan Hauta (band director at Eden Prairie Schools).

Weniger said students who participate in the band festival find it to be a rewarding, lifelong musical experience.

"These students get the opportunity to perform with band students from 34 schools from northwestern Minnesota. It certainly helps them grow musically," said Weniger, who also serves on the Northwest MBDA Board.