Voices of Fire to host Harmonic Convergence for Vocal Jazz Concert

Holy Family Catholic High School’s vocal jazz ensemble, Voices of Fire,will host Harmonic Convergence in the HFCHS Performance Center on Wednesday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is just $5 and parking is free.

This select six-member vocal jazz ensemble has gained a reputation for its dedication to preserving the art of vocal jazz. Directed by Lucas Mattson, Harmonic Convergence performs extensively throughout the United States and Canada and has shared the stage with artists such as Groove for Thought, New York Voices, and The Real Group. Harmonic Convergence also serves as the ensemble in residence at the School for Music Vocation’s vocal jazz workshops help each summer.

Lucas Mattson holds an Associate of Applied Arts degree from Southwestern Community College as well as a B.A. in Piano Performance from Northern Arizona University. While attending Southwestern Community College, Lucas was a member of Voices Iowa and performed at Carnegie Hall in 1997, 1998, and 2002. He also performed at the New York IAJE conference in 1998 and the World Choral Symposium in the summer of 2002. Mr. Mattson is active throughout the country as a performer, arranger, and clinician.

Holy Family’s vocal jazz ensemble, Voices of Fire, is directed by Holy Family, Southwest Community College School for Music Vocations, and University of Wisconsin graduate Annelise Brown. More information about our vocal music program can be found on our vocal music web page.

Looking for more great music? Join us for our Contest Recital and Concert on Thursday, March 16. Admission to the recital concert is free.

Drama program announces spring musical

This May, Holy Family drama department presents a musical for the spring play: James and the Giant Peach. This funny and heartfelt production is adventurous and perfect for an audience of all ages.

The play is based on the popular book by Roald Dahl. James is a young orphan who is taken in by two evil aunts. He acquires a magical potion, causing a peach to become gigantic and insects to become human. James then travels with the insects on his giant peach across the ocean, undergoing many adventures.

The cast has a minimum of 9 people, but the theater director, Ms. Olson, is hoping for as many as 35-40 participants.
Ms. Olson’s goal for this play is to set a high standard for what will hopefully be a tradition of musicals at Holy Family. She hopes that this production will help students gain interest and excitement to participate in future plays.

Ms. Olson chose James and the Peach because the show has a cartoony yet approachable mood. It’s also an appealing production because not many people have seen James and the Giant Peach, so they have no preconceived notions about the characters or the performance.

Auditions will be in the Performance Center on Monday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 7 after school, followed by callbacks, Thursday, March 9.

There are also 4-10 roles available for middle schools students. Auditions for middle school students are on March 20 between 4-6 p.m. Anyone interested in auditioning should contact Anna Olson at olsona@hfchs.org

Holy Family’s James and the Giant Peach will premiere May 12 and 13.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theatre Internationl (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIshows.com

by Mary Seifert ’17

Fire hockey finish best season in program history

By Trey Cavello ’17 Photo: John Grunow

Fire hockey made their first-ever Section 2AA Championship appearance on Wednesday night at Mariucci Arena. The Fire ranked 5th in the state, faced off with Eden Prairie, ranked 1st in the state and carrying a 14 game winning streak.

The team was seeking revenge for elimination last season in a hard-fought semifinal against Eden Prairie. Going into the game, Ben Almquist said, “We need to score on our chances and play strong defensively. We also need to stick to our system.”

The Eagles struck first midway through the first period when Spencer Rudrud found the net for EP. The Fire, however, were quick to respond when junior Joe Hankison tied the game on an unassisted even-strength goal.

Eden Prairie then took a penalty with around 12 minutes left in the second period. Senior Nick Michel deflected a shot from Matt Anderson into the net to give the Fire a power play goal and a 2-1 lead, sending Holy Family fans into a frenzy. Eden Prairie responded quickly when Casey Mittelstadt tied the game 9:23 into the second period.

After a scary moment, when Fire captain Matt Anderson was checked from behind and slid head-first into the boards, a 5-minute major penalty was assessed to Eden Prairie. It was divided into the second and third periods, giving the Fire a huge opportunity. It took the team a few minutes to capitalize, but Senior Mack Byers scored on an assist from Ben Almquist 30 seconds before the penalty expired, to give Holy Family a 3-2 lead.

Once again, the Eagles battled back from a deficit, scoring two unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead. With time running out, Eden Prairie took a penalty, giving the Fire an opportunity to pull their goalie and pressure the Eagles with a 6 on 4 for the final minute of the game. The team peppered the Eden Prairie goalie with shots, and hit a post with moments remaining, but were unable to tie the game before time expired.

Holy Family finished what is undoubtedly their most successful season in school history. They defeated some of the best programs in the state, made it to their first-ever section championship game, and won another conference championship in decisive fashion.

If not for their placement in the challenging Section 2AA, the team’s chances of a State Tournament appearance might have improved considerably. Regardless, the team left an impression on the Minnesota hockey community by taking the #1 ranked Eagles, winners of 4-straight section championships, to the wire in an intense game at Mariucci.

The Holy Family community and hockey program says goodbye to an amazing group of seniors and looks forward to more exciting seasons to come.

To see a slideshow of the game, check out the images by student photojournalists Claire Melander and John Grunow and their Section Final Slideshow.

This story was originally published in our schools online newspaper, The Phoenix.

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.

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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