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On Friday, April 9, Katelyn Mattson-Levy performs at the Huck Boyd Community Center to the choir, band, and Amendment students. Mattson-Levy is part of the Ad Astera Music Festival out of Russell, Kansas.

Mystical Music

Listening to and/or creating music gives students varying appreciation levels

--Summer Peak

Music. Students love music and surround themselves with variations of it all the time. From humming a tune while walking down the street, to playing an instrument solo for contest, or maybe even just singing along to a song with all your friends— students are interacting with music in some way. 

“I listen to music because I really like the happy feeling it gives me, like it makes me feel like I’m in a different place,” senior Ava Schemper said.

Schemper and many others prefer to listen to Apple music because she can listen to any song she wants without having to buy it, but if she really likes the song, she can still download it and listen to it offline. 

Downloading songs means Schemper can listen to her favorite music in one of her favorite ways—in her car.

“I’d rather listen to [music] in my car because then it can be super loud and no one can judge me,” Schemper said.

A large portion of students listen to music on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music or YouTube.

“[Spotify] has access to more music. They give you everything, except it does give you ads,” junior Lizzie Sauer said. 

While basically everyone can listen to music, there’s a smaller portion of students who don’t just listen but also create their own sounds through classes like band and Amendment. 

Band and Amendment give students a chance to interact with music in a whole different way. By reading sheet music, interpreting and performing music, students gain a better appreciation for music and everything that goes into its creation. 

But band and vocal students don’t just make music themselves to understand and appreciate it, sometimes they experience other forms of music while still in school. 

On April 9, choir, Amendment and band members spent three and a half hours at the Ad Astra practice opera performance in the Huck Boyd. Students listened to singer Katelyn Mattson-Levy perform parts of a new opera that will be debuting in June at the Ad Astra Music Festival in Russell. Students also received the opportunity to interact and learn about opera with Mattson-Levy, the Ad Astra Music Festival manger Alex Underwood, and special guest Austin McWIllians, the music director, who zoomed in. 

“I personally enjoyed listening to someone in the opera profession sing and talk about what opera actually is. Opera isn’t as popular now because people don’t understand the language, it’s mostly made for “rich people,” or people just don’t care. It’s actually a lot more than that,” senior Amendment member Zoey Dinkel said.

Even though the opera concert was the last potential rehearsal day before the Amendment’s benefit concert, they still attended.

“I was glad we did - what a rare and special opportunity. I thought it was interesting, and a good eye-opener to a different type of musical culture that we don't see much around here. It is important to help music students be open-minded about all genres, and something like this helps reinforce what we try to teach them,” music teacher Kelsey Pinkerton said. 

Check out junior Theo Keesee's solo from the Amendment Benefit on Sunday, April 11 at the Huck Boyd.  CDs of the entire performance are available from Mrs. Pakkebier.

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