Holy Family music students earn excellent and superior ratings

Holy Family instrumentalists earned all superior and excellent ratings for their performances at this year’s Section 2AA Solo and Ensemble Music Contest on Monday, February 13. Judges rate the performances on eight factors of five points each: tone quality, intonation, rhythm, balance and blend, technique, interpretation/musicianship, articulation, and other performance factors. Scores of 35-40 points earn a contest top rating of Superior, 28-34 points an Excellent rating, 22-27 points a Good Rating, and 21 or below a Fair Rating.

The woodwind performances included Natalie Wideman’s clarinet solo and her clarinet duet with Mitchell Hausback. Both pieces earned Superior Ratings. While most musicians prepare for about 6-8 weeks, Natalie and Mitchell had just 3.5 weeks, due to a back order on their music.

Also performing a solo was Giselle Shannon on the cello. Accompanied by alumni parent and talented pianist, Pat Schaffran, she earned a Superior Rating and a perfect score of 40 on her performance of W.H. Squires’ “Fairytales.” Giselle began playing the cello 18 months ago and spent over four weeks preparing for the music contest. When asked why she chose to enter the contest she answered, “I take every opportunity to perform I can. A performance or contest motivates me to practice, not just for practice sake, but with the intention to improve and give my best performance.”

Giselle joined violinists Nicole Espinoza, Melissa Espinoza, and Maddy Kohrman to form a string quartet. The quartet earned an Excellent Rating for their ensemble performance of Bach’s “Brandenberg Concerto 5.” The Excellent Rating is an impressive feat for a quartet with two members with fewer than two years experience playing a stringed instrument.

Holy Family’s final entry Jazz Ensemble, a group of select musicians from the school’s jazz band, also earned a Superior Rating. Musicians in the ensemble are Anna Alleven (alto sax), Daniel Trieff (trumpet), Giselle Shannon (piano), Sam Winfield (bass keyboard), and Ryan Jandl (drums). Jazz Band will compete in the Large Group Contest in just a few weeks.

Director of Instrumental Music, Mrs. Laura Boillat, encourages all band students to participate in the contest each year for the satisfaction they receive from preparing and performing for the contests. She comments, “The ratings the students earned are great! But the best part of participating in solo & ensemble contest are the feelings of accomplishment students get from performing their very bests; the time and effort are all worth it!”

On March 16, Holy Family’s music department is offering a Contest Concert and Recital in the Performance Center at 7:00 p.m. This free concert is an opportunity for the Holy Family extended community to hear the performances from the solo & ensemble contest including those of the band and chorale from the Large Group Instrumental and Vocal Contest still to come.

Students recognized with Scholastic Art Awards

 Holy Family artists submitted a variety pieces to the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards and several pieces are winners of Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention awards.  The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards have recognized the ingenuity, vision, and talent of America’s youth since 1923. The numbers of participants has increased ever since their inception.


Holy Family students seeing success in Knowledge Bowl Season

Holy Family students competed in a multi-school Knowledge Bowl event on January 18th in Blaine. Over forty different teams competed alongside the four teams Holy Family sent.

Knowledge Bowl competitions consist of two different portions. First, everyone competing takes a written test. There are sixty questions on the test and individuals are given fifty five minutes to complete it. Based on those test scores, teams are placed into different rooms.

The oral rounds take place in these rooms. There are four rounds of oral, or buzzer, and each round consists of forty five questions. All points are cumulative, and at the end of the meet, whichever team has the most points wins.

Team ‘Plural Moose’, with Walter Treat, Patrick Loughran, Mitchell Jans, and Josh Mohling, took third place in the competition.

Many students participated in this meet, such as the team ‘Hopefully Not Last Place’, consisting of Colin Dosedel, Dominic Phillips, Evan Epple, Matt Deavan, and Tony Berg. Reflecting on the competition, Colin Dosedel said, “The meet went pretty well, but there were some struggles because we are a JV team and this was a varsity meet.”

The team ‘Hopefully Not Last Place’ during yesterday’s competition.

Participation in Knowledge Bowl has grown over the years, drawing students from all grade levels at Holy Family. For this particular meet, Holy Family sent two senior teams, one junior team and one sophomore team.

Sophomore Dominic Phillips said Knowledge Bowl “is fun because it’s an opportunity to challenge myself with things I might not otherwise have known. It’s also fun to work as a team with friends outside the context of sports. My highlight of the season so far is getting third place at the first meet.”

The team’s next competition is at Holy Family on January 31st.

This article originally appeared in the school’s online newspaper, The Phoenix

Anna Mohling

Student artists contribute to Empty Bowls fundraiser

Holy Family students artists will once again contribute to PROP’s Empty Bowls fundraising efforts. Proceeds from this event help to alleviate hunger in our local communities. Run by People Reaching Out to People (PROP), Holy Family began participating in 2012 and has continued to do so every year since. According to PROP, “Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger, personalized by artists and art organizations on a community level.”

PROP began in 1971, when an Eden Prairie pastor asked Gerry Beckmann and others to make Thanksgiving food contributions to local needy families. The organization has grown in scope and participation since then, but at its heart the goal is the same.

For this particular project, students at local schools make clay bowls on the wheel at school and donate them to Empty Bowls. Here at Holy Family, students can make bowls for the next few weeks after school on Mondays and Tuesdays. The goal is to create 100 bowls to donate. All students and staff are invited to participate.

The event itself is free, and will take place on February 21st at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie from 11am – 1:30pm and 4pm – 7pm. At the event, you receive one of the hand made bowls with soup served in it. The food is donated by local restaurants. Attendees get to keep the bowl, which was made by an artist from the local community.

In addition to the food, there will be entertainment and a silent auction. A donation is asked for but not required. The donations assist PROP in their service of over 1,100 families in the Southwest Metro. Nearly half of those PROP provides food service to are under the age of 17.

Anyone interested in helping should stop by the art room after school and check it out. Help glazing the bowls will be needed closer to February.

You can find more information about the event HERE.

Students take seats of government officials in newly-renovated Capitol

By Jack Geadelmann

Model Assembly is one of Holy Family’s shortest but most unique extra-curricular activities. Every January, for an extended weekend of four days, it summons 1,600 students from across Minnesota to the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis to form an intricate simulation of state government.

Participants can serve as legislators, judges, attorneys, lobbyists, cabinet members, media representatives, or introductory leadership corps members. Most students take the opportunity to make daily commutes to the Capitol in St. Paul to take on these roles and sit in the chairs of real political officials.

This year was one of Holy Family’s most successful in the program. Students participated in the House of Representatives and the Senate, debating bills and passing some in the two chambers of state legislation. Others had the opportunity to act as both lawyers and justices in cases for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Finally, several students debated bills that reached more broadly in the National Issues Forum. All these great programs were located at the Capitol (some even required walks through underground tunnels to get to the correct building).

While many students did well in their court cases, victory was more apparent in the legislature, where a Holy Family record of five student-made bills passed into law. For a bill to be “passed” it must receive a majority vote in a legislative committee, in the House, in the Senate, and then be signed into law by the governor (who in this case is a fellow student elected from last year to preside over the government this year).

If rejected in any of those areas, the bill will fail. This is why it’s such a difficult task to pass one. Some students had great bills that the legislature didn’t even get time to discuss, since there were only three days to discuss them all and every representative or senator makes one.

Emily Bauer, Evan Epple, Gabi Shiffler, Walter Treat, and Bryce Villanueva did great work in passing their bills through the legislature.

What’s truly amazing is the graciousness the state government has shown in allowing young students to make a large-scale simulation within the Capitol building. Only four other states actually allow Youth in Government (YIG) students to have this great privilege. Furthermore, the Minnesota Capitol building has been in construction for 3 yrs, and renovations were completed for the real state officials for just two days before they were asked to recess so a bunch of students could use it for a four day weekend.

As a result of the large sum of money spent on the renovations, the Capitol looks amazing. While YIG participated in activities throughout the building, crowds of excited citizens took tours and photographs. Colin Dosedel, a sophomore who participated in Court of Appeals, said that his first YIG experience was “A great way to learn more about how the government works,” and that ” being inside the Capitol was the coolest part.”

Dr. Pottebaum has been running Model Assembly for eleven years at Holy Family. It all started when a transfer student from New Prague approached her about starting up the program, which she had enjoyed at her previous school. So, a Holy Family “delegation” ended up being created at Model Assembly, and Dr. Pottebaum has supervised the program for students ever since.

When asked why she keeps coming back to run it, she said, “I recognize the importance for students to understand their civic duty as Americans. In this program, they are actively involved in how our government works, whether it be courts or legislature. Understanding parliamentary rules and the voices of peers, researching current issues, putting the facts before personal opinion in court cases… there are just so many life skills that you’re exposed to. Since adolescents rarely have much of a voice in politics, seeing them sit in the chairs of today’s representatives reminds me that they will be the generation who take them up in the future. The idea of kids civically participating is so important, because they are the future of America.”

While Holy Family students may come to YIG from different grade levels, they all naturally come together to support each other in Model Assembly, learning how to be citizens that will dictate society’s future.

 See a slideshow from YIG

Read more articles about student life on the school newspaper, http://hfphoenix.com/

Wildfire defeats BSM, carry momentum into next game

Coming into an important contest Thursday night, the Wildfire hockey team was riding a wave of momentum from two big victories in the Schwan’s Cup. Having just defeated Tartan 8-2 and Irondale 6-2, the girls were slated to take on the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights, a perennial powerhouse and team that they’d never before defeated. But, things where about to change.

Freshman Caitlin Rock said, “Going into the game we knew it would be tough. The team had to come together and make a game plan. We knew what we had to do to win the game.”

The Wildfire jumped out to an early lead, as Lauren Hickey scored three minutes into the game on assists from Molly Garin and Ashlyn Rakos. BSM answered a few minutes later when Sally Calegnor netted to tie the game at one a piece.

The Wildfire came out roaring in the second period, scoring two goals in the first two minutes. Lauren Hickey added her second of the game, and Claire Rothstein extended the lead to 3-1. Benilde answered a minute later on a goal from Megan Cornell and then tied the game at 3 at the beginning of the third period.

The Wildfire bounced back ten minutes into the period when Sadie Long scored on assists from MacKenzie Lamp and Maddie Brandt. The girls held on to clinch a huge 4-3 victory over the Red Knights, extending their winning streak to 3 games.

The team then looked to extend that streak the next night against Litchfield at Waconia City Ice Arena. Going into the game, Molly Garin said, “Beating BSM was a pretty big deal and it is a good momentum swing for our season and for our game against Litchfield.”

The Fire did indeed carry that swing into the contest, rolling over the Dragons 7-0. Garin had another multiple goal game, scoring twice. Hickey also had a two goal night. Rock, Long and McEnelly all also added a goal. Jasmyn Neubert made 11 saves for a shutout.

Fire Boys Basketball defeats Holy Angels 69-67

by Claire Melander
January 8, 2017

On a chilly Saturday at Holy Family, the Fire took on the Academy of Holy Angels Stars. The game was closely contested from tip-off to the final buzzer, as Holy Family edged the Stars 69-67.

Nathan Hendler led the way with 17 points, including 5 three pointers on 10 attempts. Lincoln Cizek (16), Matt Waterman (14), and Nick Hendler (12) rounded out a balanced offensive performance. Waterman also pulled down 8 rebounds.

The win brings the team’s record to 6-4. Their next matchup is at Watertown-Mayer (9-1) on Tuesday night at 7pm.

See Claire’s slideshow of the game on the school newspaper website, The Phoenix: Slideshow of HF vs AHA

Fire defeat #3 Grand Rapids in OT thriller

After a disappointing stretch over the break, the Fire hockey team was looking for a big turn around against third-ranked Grand Rapids on Friday night at the Victoria Ice Center. Tenth-ranked Holy Family came into the game after going 0-2-1 against difficult competition in the Sports Authority Holiday Classic.

The Fire got off to a quick start, with Nick Michel scoring his seventh goal of the year 4 minutes into the game off of assists from James Marooney and Ben Almquist. Grand Rapids tied the game on a short-handed goal later in the period, but Holy Family responded quickly with a goal by Joe Simon a minute later. Holy Family outshot the Thunderhawks 17-15 in the first period.

The Fire dominated the second period in terms of shots, with a 16-6 edge, but Grand Rapids capitalized on their opportunities, scoring two goals to take a 3-2 lead.

4 minutes into the third period, the Fire were on a 5 on 3 power play when Junior Brady Ziemer fired a shot past the Thunderhawk goalie Zach Stejskal, tying the game. Holy Family continued to test Stejskal, accumulating 45 shots before the end of the third period, but the Grand Rapids goaltender kept the game tied.

For the second game in a row, the Fire were going to overtime. Two minutes into OT, Ben Almquist carried a puck into the Grand Rapids zone and took a shot that rebounded off Stejskal, rebounding in front of junior Joe Hankinson, who buried the puck in the back of the net. The goal happened right in front of the student section and the Victoria Ice Center was full of pandemonium.

Holy Family outshot Grand Rapids 52-31 in the game to knock off the #3 team in state. Jared Moe continued his stellar play, tallying 28 saves.

The boys now take on a strong Blaine (8-2-1) team at Fogerty Arena in Blaine on Tuesday night at 7pm.

Excitement builds for one-act production, “You’re Driving Me Crazy”

On Thursday, January 26, at 7 pm, Holy Family’s one-act play, “You’re Driving Me Crazy,” will be presented in the Holy Family Performance Center. The performance is the culmination of months of rehearsals and preparations. This play is the first play presented to an audience in the new performance space and boasts one of the largest casts and crews in recent Holy Family history.

“You’re Driving Me Crazy” is a comedy about teenagers who are learning how to drive. It has four scenes, each with its unique storyline and point of view. Some scenes are from the perspective of the teens, parents, and even the driving instructor.

When asked, Ms. Olson, director and head of Holy Family’s theater program, explained her decision to select this play: “I chose the show because I thought both students and adults would relate to it. It moves quickly, which is essential for mini-shows, and it is funny. I think everyone who comes to see it will leave laughing!”

The students who auditioned for the play are embracing the amount of dedication that has to go into the performance and are now beginning to feel the pressure as the date draws nearer.

“I auditioned for the play because it was something different from what I’m used to doing. I’m forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone.” says junior Ronnie Deckard, “I’m very nervous because I play the Grandma. I only have nine lines, most of them are “what,” and I’m probably still going to mess up.”

While several students decided to audition for an acting part in the play, many showed interest in building and painting sets and running sound and lighting as well. Junior Nora Erdman volunteered to help with painting and gave an idea regarding what it will look like: “Since it is a one-act play, we aren’t planning on creating a huge set; it’s mostly a few boxes that we have to paint. We are also planning on making a makeshift car that the actors will sit in during each scene.”

This play will also be performed as a Holy Family’s submission to the Minnesota State High School League One-Act Competition, too. Ms. Olson was able to elaborate on what the competition entails: “The MSHSL One-Act Competition is an event held in the winter every year. All shows are meticulously timed and must be under thirty-five minutes. If your performance goes even one second over, it is disqualified! There can only be twenty students involved in the traveling production, including both actors and tech crew. Your set must be able to be transported to different locations and must deconstruct to fit within a 10’x10’x10’ cubic space. You have ten minutes to construct your set on the host school’s stage before performing, including any technical elements such as lighting and sound. Schools then perform their show for judges and receive feedback and an overall score.”

Nora Erdman also had this to add: “I think that the theater program is becoming a lot more recognized and will continue to grow. With all of the new equipment and resources, there are multiple opportunities for people, which is great! I think more people will get involved because of all the possible roles, and the fact that it is fun to do.”

Preparations will continue over the coming weeks. The public is invited to attend the January 26 performance. Students in grades 5-8 are invited to join the cast and crew for a post-performance reception and closer look at this play’s set and production. RSVP for the reception at http://myschool.hfchs.org/performancersvp.php


Following the MSHSL competition, the theater department will start preparations for the HF’s spring musical production.

Excerpt of orginal HF Phoenix article by Mallory Lindahl ’17

Our Advent Journey: Walk the Talk

Campus Ministry students continue to lead us through our Advent focus, Walk the Talk, during this final week before Christmas.  Along with daily Convocation reflections and prayers, they also prepared and led last week’s Advent Reconciliation service for our school.  Campus Ministry student, Caitlyn Shipp ’17, shared the following reflection this year’s Advent theme.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust, French novelist

The quiet whispers of the wind spoke through the air of a king. Three wise men swayed side to side on their camels as they traveled across the uneven terrain of the desert. Mystery hung in the night sky like a blanket. The men walked in a starlit path leading them to the true light, the king that shined in the darkness. These three wise men had to prepare, for it was no ordinary journey. These men traveled with clothes of prayers and hope, shoes of charity and justice, a map in the form of a shining star to lead them through the darkness, food to sustain them, and each other to walk side by side. These men embarked on the first Advent journey to discover God made human in the birth of a King.

Advent is a journey of discovering God’s presence in the world. For the three wise men, theirs was a physical journey; Christ came to Earth as a humble human being. For many, it is hard to see God’s presence in the world. Christ was crucified and rose from the dead to fulfill His promise of eternal life in heaven. Despite His death and resurrection, God’s presence is still incarnate in the world today. God’s incarnation is us. The spirit of God that dwells within each of us becomes God’s living presence in the world. Advent  is a journey of discovering his presence. In order to discover this, we must learn to use our eyes to see those around us who are hurting, lonely, hungry, and cold. We must “Walk the Talk” and be God’s living presence to others with acts of service and kindness during the Advent and Christmas seasons, but, also each day throughout the year.