Joshua Shaikoski and Kaitlyn Hohenstein, juniors at Rockford High School, were both recently selected to participate in the St. Olaf honor band and performed with top student musicians from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa earlier this month.
Shaikoski plays the trumpet and has been since before fourth grade, and that’s the instrument that got him to the honor band. He also plays guitar and is doing so as part of the orchestra for the RHS fall musical “Bye Bye Birdie.” He also participates in the school’s jazz and marching bands.
Hohenstein has been playing the tenor sax since elementary school and has found the music programs at Rockford Schools to be good breaks in the day or a great way to start out the day, she said. She’s in choir and the musical as well as the jazz and marching bands.
Cally Nielsen, an RHS senior, was chosen to be part of the Gustavus honor band and sang at that school’s campus in St. Peter earlier this month with accomplished musical contemporaries from across Minnesota and nearby states. She’s the principal flutist for Rockford’s concert band and a drum major for the marching band. Music is a big part of her life, and she plans to follow through by studying musical therapy at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2014. She’s also a guitarist and plays occasionally at the Black Water Cafe in Maple Plain. Like her Rockford band mates, she started warming up just before fourth grade. She also has a part in “Bye Bye Birdie.”
All three honor band recruits cite RHS band director Gerald Ferdig for recognizing their particular strengths in music and recommending them for honor band positions.