11/5/2008 – News
Volume 125, Number
Minnewaukan girl has trip of a lifetime visiting Europe
BY RICHARD PETERSON
Minnewaukan High School senior Beth Beecroft had the experience of a lifetime this past summer when she took part in a Sound of America Honor Band and Choir tour of Europe July 4-29. The 200 people in the group visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Luxembourg, giving 10 performances during their tour.
Beth was chosen for a position in the group on the basis of her singing ability. A soprano, she has served as a member of the Minnewaukan High School Choir, participated in North Dakota’s All-State Women’s Choir in 2007, the Northwest Music Festival in 2005 and 2007 and North Dakota’s Junior High All-State Choir in 2004 and 2006. She also performed in the 2008 UND Honor Choir. She sang the National Anthem for the 2007 Boys’ Class B State Basketball Tournament in Bismarck, the only soloist chosen for that event. She has also sung for events and meetings in her community. She is the daughter of Nichole Beecroft of Minnewaukan.
The student performers from around the nation flew to Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. on July 4. They had four days of intensive rehearsal and orientation.
She was assigned to two positions in the choir. One was to stand by height near the male singers and the other was to stand beside an alto singer to provide more sound blending. The conductor determined which of the two positions the performers would assume.
On July 9 the group departed by jet from the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for Frankfurt, Germany. It wasn’t all performing — there was ample sightseeing.
While in Europe they traveled on four buses. "We did everything together by bus," Beth said. "It was like the people on my bus were my family. We stayed at the same hotel, ate in the same restaurant and did our sightseeing together."
They arrived in Frankfurt July 10 about noon and were bused to the medieval city of Rothenburg where they had supper and a tour of the 16th Century village. Breakfast was at the hotel and sightseeing continued until 4 p.m. when they set up for a concert in the marketplace. After the concert they had supper at the hotel.
On July 12 they departed Rothenburg. On the way they toured salt mines at Berchtesgaden, arriving at Salzburg, Austria, where they had supper at a hotel. They visited the lake where the house used in the "Sound of Music" is located. They went on to Mondsee, a colorful Austrian village located on a lake. They returned to Salzburg and had supper at their hotel.
July 13 they visited Mozart’s birthplace, the cathedral where Mozart was baptized, Hohensalzburg, the fortress overlooking Salzburg and a pedestrian shopping street. Supper was at their hotel.
On July 14 they visited an Alpine slide in Saalfelden. Their hotel was in the Olympic ski village of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the impressive Dolomite Mountains. They had supper at the hotel and gave a concert in the brand new Alexander Hall at 9 p.m.
On July 15 they toured the village of Cortina before departing for Venice, Italy at 2 p.m. Supper was at their hotel, after which they got on a boat bus to visit St. Mark’s Square in Venice, which is actually in the sea. Their hotel was on mainland Venice and the beautiful city extends well into the sea. She saw many beautiful buildings in Venice and was very impressed.
On July 16 they again took a boat bus back to Venice in the sea and saw many wondrous sights. The choir sang during Mass in St. Mark’s Basilica that evening. Beth said instruments were not allowed in the churches and all singing was a cappella. After the performance they returned to their hotel by boat bus and had a late supper.
July 17 they left Venice for Verona, where they visited the world’s third largest Roman Coliseum. They checked into a grand hotel located on a lake in Stresa. After supper they strolled along the lake promenade.
On July 18 they toured the area before presenting a concert at 9:15 p.m. in Stresa’s Palazzo dei Congressi.
On July 19 they left Stresa and traveled over the Alps. They went on to Grindelwald, a ski village, where they presented a concert at 8:30 p.m.
The following day, July 20, they had a free day in the Alps where they were able to ride on cable cars in the ski area. The views were spectacular. The Sound of America group had a snowball fight in the Alps in July, something Beth thought was quite interesting.
On July 21 they had free time until 1 p.m. when they departed for LaChaux de Fonds, the largest watch and clock making center in Switzerland. They had supper at their hotel and presented a concert in the Musica Theatre at 8:30 p.m.
On July 22 they boarded the buses for a late afternoon arrival at their hotel in Paris. Supper was at a Paris restaurant. After supper they cruised on the River Seine.
The following day they visited Notre Dame Cathedral and presented a concert at 11 a.m. Beth said this was a distinct thrill. At 2 p.m. they took a bus tour of Paris. They presented a concert in the Saint Roch Church at 8:30 p.m.
On July 24 they boarded buses to visit Versailles, the magnificent palace built by Louise XIV. They also visited the Louvre Museum which houses many famous paintings, including the Mona Lisa, the Museum d’Orsay and Notre Dame Cathedral. Supper was at the Hard Rock Cafe in Paris, after which they toured the Eiffel Tower.
July 25 they departed Paris for Luxembourg. They had supper at the hotel and presented a concert in the Conservatory of Music.
July 26 they left for Verdun where they toured the battlefields of World War I. They presented a concert in the afternoon to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Meuse-Ardennes Battle, in which the Americans were involved. They were guests of Verdun at a supper. At 10 p.m. they were treated to a sound and light show, after which their buses returned to Luxembourg.
On July 27 they visited the American Cemetery just outside of Luxembourg City, where more than 5,000 American soldiers were buried following the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. The choir sang at the grave of General George S. Patton. After lunch they departed for a hotel near the Frankfurt airport. A farewell supper and party was held at the hotel. The following day they returned by jet to New York and returned to Elizabethtown College.
In most cases noon lunches were on their own, which participants had to pay for out of their spending money. She remembers one meal that was served with something that looked like applesauce, but as time went by, it turned solid. "We were scared to eat it because we didn’t know what it was. It was weird," she said.
She also learned not to call waitresses in Germany "ma’am." When she did, the young waitress asked, "Do I look old enough to be called ma’am?" She also noted there was a McDonalds in nearly every city. She said the Europeans were very friendly and hospitable.
The performers had to pay for entrance fees to some attractions, so it took quite a bit of spending money. Nothing is cheap in Europe. Beth had to come up with $5,000 to give to the Sound of America for the airline tickets, bus transportation, hotel accommodations, etc. She also had to come up with about $3,000 in spending money and the round trip flight to and from Pennsylvania. She figures the trip cost from $8,000 to $9,000. About half of that was raised by local fund-raisers and donations.
The excitement of her big trip is over now, but the fond memories remain. However, she isn’t putting the emphasis on memories. Rather, she’s concentrating on the future. She hopes to attend UND and is thinking about majoring in pre-med or music.
The 2008 Sound of America Honor Band and Choir
This year’s recipient of the North Dakota Fire Chiefs’ Association scholarship is Dana Rieger of Sheyenne, a first-year business student at Lake Region State College. Her father, Dave Rieger, has been a volunteer firefighter for the Sheyenne Fire Department for 25 years. Her brother and brother-in-law are also volunteer firefighters. Dana is pictured with Devils Lake Fire Chief Jim Moe.
Earns plaque for art efforts
Audrey Herman was recently presented a thank you plaque for her many years of dedicated art instruction at the Leeds Elementary School.
Can’t put it on their faces yet
Who needs pencils and paper? Students in Mrs. Nybo’s kindergarten class in Leeds practiced writing letters and numbers with a different kind of medium, shaving cream. On the right, Carson Tracy gets ready to write his numbers in the foamy cream. Below, Izik Burtchell works on his ABC’s.
Leeds music SOQ
Leeds Elementary music students of the quarter for the first quarter are, back row, left to right, Katelyn Nelsen, Erin Jorgenson, Arnikka Thompson, Keaton Nelsen and John Fischer. Front row: Sara Galbraith, Julissa McGarvey Paige Johnson and Andrea Jorgenson.
Band students of the quarter at Leeds Elementary are Taylor Bisbee, left, and Kalvin Slaubaugh.
Students of Quarter
The Leeds High School announces the Students of the Quarter for the first quarter of the 2008-2009 school year. Students are selected for this honor based on their academic performance, cooperation, attitude and effort, student involvement and responsibility. In front is seventh grader Mylie Herman, daughter of Reg and Eileen Herman. Left to right, second row: eighth grader McKenzie Silliman, daughter of Randy and Brenda Silliman and freshman Kendra Leibfried, daughter of Al and Carol Leibfried. Back row: junior Morgan Leapaldt, daughter of Brian and Gay Leapaldt, senior Kayla Bingham, daughter of Jerry and Karen Bingham and sophomore Allison Manley, daughter of Jeff and Michelle Manley.
Halloween greeters at Tracy’s Market in Leeds were Witch Renae Holmes and Willlie Nelson, also known as Pat Hjelden. (Photo by Jan Lee, Leeds)
Over the past six years members of the Maddock Bobcats football team have been involved in more than just the football games they play on Friday nights. They also have a reading program for elementary students before school on game days. Jason Smith, JD Schmid and Karl Kenner are shown reading to first graders. "I’m proud of each and every one of these young men," said coach Bobby Hoffner.
Jaden Kallenbach and Matt Knudson read to second graders. The players also visit residents at the Maddock Memorial Home and run some of their plays for residents.
Brennan Eyl, Mitch Olson and Ryan Lang read to third graders. The athletes also read to pre-school kids and play catch with them.
Andrew Pranke, Trevor Knudson and Jordan Smith read to fourth graders. These activities give team members a chance to be positive role models.
Campaigning at Esmond
Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin made a surprise Halloween visit to the Gordon Smith farm near Esmond to persuade Smith (center, wearing Obama button) to vote Republican. Smith registers his glee at meeting the Republican candidates.
Sing in Minot
Shayna Sherman, Mandee Neeland and Beth Beecroft participated in the Northwest Music Festival held at Minot State College. Students rehearsed October 31 and November 1 and presented a concert Saturday evening. Shayna and Mandee were part of the women’s choir and Beth participated in the mixed choir. All attend the Minnewaukan High School.