While it was a challenging year, the Dexter High School Orchestra was able to take the stage at DHS’ Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday, May 18. The special event was a chance to give a proper send off to a special group of seniors.
Dexter graduated 17 seniors this year. Each senior received a certificate and a personalized award/pen set. Additionally, they gave out three other awards.
“In my 21-year career I have never had a more challenging year,” says DHS Orchestra Director Matt Deloria. “The amount of new technologies to be absorbed by both teachers and students is mind boggling. My typical curriculum became almost useless while we were remote. Students quickly adapted to a new remote orchestra curriculum at the start of the year.
“In many ways, it was nothing like the orchestra class they knew and loved, yet they were engaged and achieved and learned new ways to be a musician. Likewise, I learned a great deal as well. What a year!”
The MSBOA Scholar Instrumentalist Award winner was Emma Hodder.
The Orchestra Booster Award winner was Matthew Remington.
The Amanda Jekabson Memorial Scholarship winner was Emma Hodder. Amanda, the concertmaster of the first DHS orchestra, died tragically in a car accident at the age of 19 and this scholarship was created in her name by the Jekabson family.
“We use the same scholarship form as the booster scholarship but this time a committee consisting of myself, Mrs. Jekabson and a high school administrator choose the winner,” Deloria said. “This is a $500 award. A plaque bearing the names of all the winners back to its inception in 2003 is displayed in the orchestra room.”
Deloria had nothing but praise for his seniors who “tuned” in a brilliant final year at Dexter HS.
“The seniors this year were amazing,” he said. “I admire their resilience. They had every right to be upset about their school year and all the challenges it brought. But despite that, they brought a positive attitude to class every day whether in person or on zoom. They embraced the new elements of our Covid orchestra class and were understanding about the limitations and the losses. I can’t tell them how much I appreciate them and how inspiring it is to see them behave the way they did under the circumstances we found ourselves in. Bravo!”
Here are the Dexter seniors:
Allison Berkholz Volin
Lily Campbell Viola
Skylar Constantine Violin
Abigail Fox Violin
Hannah Grube Violin
Jackson Helmholtz Bass
Adam Hershner Viola
Emma Hodder Cello
Eleanor King Cello
Jordan Kless Violin
Joseph Kowalski Violin
Lili Leier Violin
Robert Lych Cello
Alison Moore Violin
Elizabeth Rathbun Viola
Matthew Remington Violin
Gabriel Rickard Violin