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Woodbury High School student musicians earn top honors at regional competition

Two Woodbury High School students earned Best in Site honors and four students earned perfect scores at the Minnesota State High School League Solo and Ensemble Contest on Saturday, April 7. The competition was held at Centennial High School in Circle Pines.

Sophomore Aditya Ashwin Pondicherry, who plays the tuba, and junior Evan Murray, a percussionist, received Best in Site honors. Pondicherry and Murray were selected by their judges for the Best in Site award, which honors them as the most accomplished solo or ensemble they heard the entire day.

Performances were judged by a band director and professional on their instrument and rated on a scale of 1-40 points based on a myriad of expressive and technical musical factors. Based on the event rating, students are assigned either a superior, excellent, good, fair or poor rating. 

Out of 45 events, Woodbury High School students entered, four events earned perfect scores: senior percussionist Rachel Yurik, junior percussionist Evan Murray, senior clarinetist Cheyenne Warren and senior flutist Sarah Hughes. Twenty-seven events earned the highest rating of superior (35 points or above), including the Woodwind Choir, Low Brass Choir and Saxophone Ensemble. Eighteen events earned excellent (28 points or above). 

“I am very proud of the performance by our band, these are exceptionally positive results for exceptional students,” said Tark Katzenmeyer, Woodbury High School Band Director.  

Seventy-three members of the band volunteered to perform at the contest. The Woodbury High School Low Brass Choir, Woodwind Choir and Saxophone Ensemble were all featured.