Two from New England make Northern Plains Music Festival

Eve Stegner and Emily Ehlis attended the Northern Plains Music Festival Nov. 13-14, at Dickinson State University.

Eve Stegner (L) and Emily Ehlis sit in the music room of New England school. Both were selected for the Northern Plains Music Festival in Dickinson. (Photo by Rachel Bock/The Herald)
Eve Stegner (L) and Emily Ehlis sit in the music room of New England school. Both were selected for the Northern Plains Music Festival in Dickinson. (Photo by Rachel Bock/The Herald)

By RACHEL BOCK | Herald Reporter

Eve Stegner and Emily Ehlis attended the Northern Plains Music Festival Nov. 13-14, at Dickinson State University.

The Northern Plains Music Festival is an honor festival for high school students from around the state of North Dakota, with some students from South Dakota and Montana. To be selected in one the high school band, mixed chorus or women’s choir, each student needs to submit a recorded audition performing different scales and other musical material. This year auditions needed to be submitted by Oct. 9. Once students are selected they are given roughly three weeks to learn and practice the music.

The first and second day of the festival consists of practices with a concert on Saturday night.

Eve Stegner, a freshman at New England Public School, has attended the Northern Plains Festival for the last two years. Stegner plays French horn in the high school band, and enjoys attending the festival.

“I really like just going to see a whole bunch of people that love to play, and getting to know a lot of different people from different places,” Stegner said.

Emily Ehlis, a junior at New England Public School, plays trumpet in the high school band and has attended the Northern Plains Festival for the past four years.

“It is really fun, because all the music people are just awesome to hang out with. Also you get to experience such a different feel of music, because it’s a much bigger band, and it’s all these people that want to play, and its more difficult music. That is probably my favorite part is just getting to play with a completely different group of people under a different conductor, it is just so different than what I am used to,” Ehlis said.

New England school Music Director Conway Heupel encourages all of his students to try out for the Northern Plains Music Festival. Heupel feels that when his students attend the festival, those students bring back talents and skills, which helps his band and choir succeed.

“I mention it to them, I tell them the process. I try to be as encouraging as possible. I think the fact that it’s an audition scares a lot of them away, for one and they just don’t know what to expect, they don’t know what it’s all about. It is definitely a different experience than your regular choir or band setting. It is a social thing, you meet new people. You get to work with somebody else, and you get to play harder music as well,” Heupel said.

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