YEAR IN REVIEW: Gov. Dalrymple and first lady Betsy visit Mott to present choir with top recognition


Gov. Jack Dalrymple (L) presents Mott-Regent Choir Dicector Heather Hertz (R) with a plaque honoring the choir as the 2016 Governor’s Choir. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Mott-Regent Choir was named 2016 Governor’s Choir. The Governor and the first lady were in Mott to present the choir with a plaque.

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor

The selection process began in October. Mott-Regent Choir Director Heather Hertz submitted a recording of her group and sent that in with multiple letters of recommendation, trying to get her group the honor of being recognized as this year’s Governor’s Choir.

Just after Thanksgiving Hertz received word that her submissions and the choir’s efforts paid off; Gov. Jack Dalrymple and First Lady Betsy selected them as the top chorus in the state.

“Awesome of course,” Hertz said of her feelings after receiving the good news.

Hertz praised her kids’ hard work and how well rounded each individual member is. She said that many of her choir members participate in a wide range of activities and yet still find time to practice their pitch.

“They’re awesome children, they do very, very well,” Hertz said.

Hertz, in just her second year as Choir Director, said that they recorded their song for submission in the atrium of the school—it has the best acoustics.

The song submitted was one they knew well, they had performed it at the regional competition and were very familiar with the tune.

Dalrymple and his wife were in Mott on Wednesday, Jan. 6 for a small program to present the choir with their recognition plaque.

Usually the Governor’s Choir is invited to sing at the capitol, but because the government is not in session right now, Mott-Regent was treated to a special, personal visit.

The program started at 10 a.m. and began with the chorus singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Mott-Regent Principal Adam Hill introduced the Governor to the gymnasium-filled crowd.

“I want everybody to let me know what they think about Mott-Regent Choir being named the best choir in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said, opening his speech.

The crowd let out a giant uproar of applause and cheers.

The recognition is quite an honor, and Dalrymple said there were many great groups to choose from before he and his wife ultimately picked Mott-Regent. He noted that the decision was based on musical talent, musical achievement and community involvement.

“Mott-Regent goes right to the top in all three categories,” Gov. Dalrymple said.

The choir has finished in first place in the choir concert section at the Region 10 Music Festival for the past four years and have a long standing tradition of the Café Concert.

“Only one can have that distinction (Governor’s Choir),” Gov. Dalrymple said. “And it’s because of the impressive program that you have here at Mott-Regent.”

Dalrymple praised the work of Heather Hertz and her group, noting that the Mott-Regent Choir membership is overwhelmingly joined by just under 70 percent of the enrolled high school student body. At the time of the submission, Hertz’s group included 52 members.

The program finished with the choir performing three songs, and sending the Governor and his wife away with a gift bag filled with little pieces of Mott-Regent, including homemade caramels, a Café Concert CD and an album of a local student band.

Gov. Dalrymple told the school to hang the plaque and be proud of the work it took to accomplish this recognition.

“Not only are you the home of the Wildfire,” Gov. Dalrymple said. “You are now the home of the North Dakota Governor’s Chorus.”

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