by Dennis Dalman
Two Sartell High School students, Brooke Ebensteiner and Carter Vonderahe, have been chosen to perform in the Grades 9/10 Minnesota Honor Choir.
For Vonderahe, it is the second consecutive year he was selected for the honor.
Two other Sartell residents (Dolan Binder, Carter Trombley), both students at St. John’s Prep School, Collegeville, will also perform in the Honor Choir. For a feature story on those two honorees, see feature story in the Jan. 19 Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleader.
There are various categories of the Minnesota Honor Choir for girls and boys: grades 4-6, grades 7-8 and grades 9-10.
The concert will take place Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
About 2,400 students from throughout the state audition each year for placement into the Choral Directors Association of Minnesota’s Honor Choir program, and each year about 850 are selected by a panel of judges.
Brooke Ebensteiner, a ninth-grader, said she was “really surprised” when she heard the news she had been selected for Honor Choir.
“I decided to audition,” she said, “but I really didn’t think I’d get in.”
Ebensteiner will perform in the grades 9-10 all-female choir at the Feb. 22 concert.
The daughter of Jennifer and Scott Romstad, Ebensteiner loves music, musical theater, being in the ninth-grade school concert band (she plays trombone) and the SHS female choir under the leadership of choir director Joanna Richards.
She is also a member of the school Jazz Band and enjoys participating on the high school’s speech team and the Cathedral/Sartell Nordic Track Team.
She has also performed in three stage productions produced by the St. Cloud-based GREAT Theatre organization. In addition, she performed as part of the Greek chorus in the school production of the ancient Greek classic tragic play, Antigone by Sophocles.
One day, Carter Vonderahe was in choir class when a teacher walked in and asked him to leave the room.
Classmates, good-naturedly, chuckled, then razzed him that he was about to get disciplined for something wrong he did.
Not to worry. The teacher told Vonderahe he had been chosen, once again, to be part of the Minnesota Honor Choir. He is a member of the SHS Men’s Choir under the direction of choir director Brandon Nordhues.
Vonderahe, now a ninth-grader, joined the school choir when he was in seventh grade. He is the son of Melinda and Adam Vonderahe.
Always passionately devoted to music, Vonderahe loved to sing, as well as play piano and trumpet. He is a member of the SHS Jazz Band, takes piano lessons at the Wirth School for Performing Arts and is also a member of the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota, as well as its Ensemble Choir. That choir is an auditioned choir comprised of the top-talented 20 students in the region.
Vonderahe is also a member of the Seventh Street Ensemble and its Show Choir for Sartell High School. He sings in an a cappella group he founded called Minor Seven that has performed at various Sartell events in the past half year.