The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

The accompanists say, "Their Passion is Music"


April 11, 2018

Big Sandy’s High School District Musical Festival will be held on April 20th and 21st in Havre. The Pioneer Band, Pioneer Choir, and piano solo’s will be judged on the 20th and solos, duets, quartets, and quintets will be judged on the 21st. Big Sandy students will compete with 18 soloists, 8 duets, 5 quartets, one quintet, the Sandy Select and Sandy Sweethearts. The accompanists are Melanie Schwarzbach, Nona Danreuther, Cheryl Strutz, Bailey Gasvoda, and Mrs. Robertson. According to the music teacher, Mrs. Robertson, “The kids have worked extremely hard over the last six to seven weeks. We created a schedule for practice and they have been here every night until six o clock practicing.”

This is Cheryl Strutz first year accompanying. She is playing for five different voice competitions. “I am really enjoying it and it’s all been new. I thought it was one more way to get involved and do something different.”

Melanie Schwarzbach said, “I’m frantically practicing. You can’t say no, I’m so glad that kids want to do music.” She has 10 pieces to practice for. “I’ll play for anyone, unless the piece is too hard for me. I’ve only said no once. I don’t ever want to be the reason the kid gets a poor rating, because if you aren’t good enough, the support music becomes what the judicator notices! I love it every year.” She’s very busy this time of year, but “It’s hard to choose, because I can’t say no to music.” She is inspired by the incredible talented young musicians we have in our community. “We are blessed to have the teacher (Mrs. Robertson) we have. She is truly amazing. Our band as doubled, it’s awesome.”

Nona Danreuther has accompanied for years. She says it’s scary, for the same reason Melanie said. She doesn’t want to hurt the student’s ratings. However, as she said, “I just love music! You just need to go and listen, it’s really fun.” Nona has accompanied so many students and as of yet never got tired of supporting the students of Big Sandy or encouraging them to love music as well.

April 12th concert is for everyone in Big Sandy so we can hear the 30 plus performances. It helps them get over the jitters and gives them the chance to perform in front of an audience. Big Sandy has always loved it’s musicians. Time to welcome our newest artists.


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