By: Faith Mills, Contributing Writer
Leah Rolfson, the esteemed director of the Centralia High School (CHS) orchestra, is set to lead this year’s enchanting Madrigal performance: Dances With Windmills (an awkward love story).Transforming the cafeteria into a captivating dinner-theater, Madrigal at CHS is a resplendent showcase featuring a renaissance-driven play and a melodic masterpiece performed by the talented CHS orchestra and choir. The performance will take place December 1-3.
With a storied history almost four decades, Centralia’s tradition of presenting Madrigal is a testament to the enduring cultural legacy of the school. Under Rolfson’s guidance, both orchestra and choir students invest substantial time and effort to ensure the perfection of the Madrigal experience.
The meticulous preparation begins early, with chamber choir commencing their harmonious journey in mid-September, while concert choir and orchestra kicked off rehearsals on October 26. The process includes dress rehearsals, late-night practices and the creation of intricate props, all of which contribute to the immersive and polished Madrigal production. Rolfson and her dedicated students epitomize the commitment to excellence, transforming each note and scene into a harmonious celebration of Centralia’s rich musical heritage.
An orchestra student involved in Madrigal, Karyssa McCubbin, says that her favorite thing about Madrigal is, “Either the getting ready process and laughing with friends while going and getting food, or singing Silent Night on Sunday and seeing all of the seniors getting emotional.” Many students like herself enjoy madrigal for what it is and the many memories that come along with it. Since Madrigal has become a yearly tradition for nearly forty years, parents and students alike are always full of excitement when the madrigal season comes around.
By: Elijah Hill, Contributing Writer
CHS students attending conference at Monroe City High School. Not pictured: Elijah Hill.
Centralia High School band, under instruction of Mrs. Kimberly Neighbors has had overwhelming success at district and conference band auditions. District band auditions were November 6, at Moberly High School, and conference band auditions were November 16 at Monroe City High School.
District and conference band auditions consist of two parts depending on the section. A room where you play a few scales on your instrument and a room where you play solo songs. Conference band auditions consist of eight schools, while district band auditions consist of over twenty-five schools, the largest music district in Missouri, all competing for the top chairs/placements.
District band put on their concert, November 11, at Truman State University. To watch the amazing performance put on by these musically achieving students, you can watch at the following link: https://m.youtube.com/live/xym3d68NNGk?si=ZlJqxEsjWGHNnJod.
Four students from CHS went to compete in district band. Trombone players: Susanna Nix and Tylor Taylor, clarinet player: Bre Crockett and trumpet player: Lane Chancellor. Despite these small numbers, Centralia had overwhelming success in districts. Susanna Nix placed sixth chair out of thirty-six trombones, Bre Crockett placed fourteenth chair out of thirty five auditioning clarinets and Lane Chancellor placed tenth chair out of forty auditioning trumpets.
“For me, the actual nerves of the audition were the hardest. Like obviously you know you're going to be judged, but when you actually get in the room with the judges, it's like the air just clogs your throat,” stated Nix.
Twenty CHS students competed in conference bandon November 16. Flute players: Brooke Whitlatch, Lea Whisler and Wendi Hargis, clarinet players: Bre Crockett, Natalie Mistkowski, Abby McSparren and Melody Caballero, bass clarinet player: Addison Lewis, tenor player: Skylar Nichols, saxophone players: Izzie George and Hayden McSparren, trumpet players: Amy Pendergrast and Lane Chancellor, trombone players: Tylor Taylor, Susanna Nix, Mac Dollens and Christopher Marcellus, bass player: Levi Strain and percussionists: Elijah Hill and Elle Elliot.
The placements at conference went as follows. Flutes: Brooke Whitlatch, ninth, Wendi Hargis, tenth and Lea Whisler, thirteenth. Clarinets: Bre Crockett, second, Abby McSparren, fourth, Natalie Mistowski, ninth. Bass clarinet: Addison Lewis, first. Tenor saxaphone: Skylar Nichols, fourth. Trumpets: Lane Chancellor, first and Amy Pendergast, sixth. Trombones: Susanna Nix, second, Tylor Taylor, fifth, Mac Dollens, sixth and Christopher Marcellus, seventh. Percussionist: Elijah Hill, fifth.
“I did conference band my freshman year and got ninth out of eighteen chairs. Sophomore year, I got first chair out of twelve, eight of which were Macon clarinets. I tried out that year for districts as well and made All-District Band at fourteenth chair out of sixteen. I was hoping for the first chair again this year at conference, or at least a high placement, but I’m satisfied with my seat,” Bre Crockett, on her placements for conference band in the past years.
Conference band will have rehearsals in the CHS gym and a concert at Clark County High School on February 3. Students who made it to conference band will also go on a tour of Highland, Clark County and Monroe City schools, playing for each student body on February 7, 2024.
“I am thrilled with how energetic our band program is! It warms my heart to see so many kids eager to work hard, better themselves, and go for all the music opportunities they can. It is not easy making these honor bands, and requires so much hard work and dedication. I love it when they are rewarded with an enjoyable music experience they will take with them forever,” stated Neighbors.
Here is the Marine Corps Band performance, enjoy!
By: Abby Ridgel, Contributing Writer
On Thursday, April 13th Centralia High School(CHS) performed a dress rehearsal of their rendition of Mary Poppins for the 2nd and 8th grade classes. The musical was performed for the public on April 14th and 15th at Centralia High School. This year around 400 people attended the musical Friday and Saturday night.
Mary Poppins was selected this year as it had never been done before and the directors involved thought it would be new and exciting for the community. Directors for the musical include Mr. Scott Long, Mrs. Leah Rolfson and Mrs. Danelle Mathews.
Mary Poppins was played by senior Annie Robinson and Bert was played by junior, Noah Kropf. Mr. and Mrs. Banks was played by juniors, Noah Taft and Morgan Ross. Jane Banks was played by fourth grade student Mayci Robertson and Michael Banks was played by fifth grade student Sawyer Reynolds. The musical had about 40 students total performing in the show.
CHS performs a musical every spring. Mrs. Leah Rolfson, CHS music teacher, announces the show late in the first semester. In January, students start auditioning with pre-selected songs. Rolfson and Long go through auditions and determine which actor and voice would be able to create the best character. Once the cast is decided, students start rehearsing multiple times a week to ensure they are ready for the show come April.
Rolfson’s favorite part about the musical is, “I love the performance, because the kids are energetic and see how they can affect their audience. They see their work come to fulfillment.”
Rolfson has been a CHS music teacher for 18 years.
Robinson, who played Mary Poppins, said her favorite thing about the musical was, “I loved watching the musical come together and being involved in new things to have a wide variety of experiences. I remember watching the musicals when I was younger and looked forward to being involved in the future. I hope the kids who watch the show look forward to these opportunities and are excited to become involved when they enter high school.”
By: Besan Juma, Contributing Writer
Centralia High School (CHS) band students are preparing for the All Conference Band performance that will be hosted by CHS Band Director, Mrs. Kim Neighbors.
By: Gracie Stains, Contributing Writer
On March 5th, the CBMS and CHS band participated in the annual Pie Auction for about the 15th year.
By: Bannon Moran, Contributing Writer
Centralia High School (CHS) students are performing their rendition of The Wizard of Oz on April 1 and 2.
By: Suzee Crabtree, contributing writer
On February 16, 2022, the All Conference Band performed five songs to several schools, including Brookfield, Monroe City, Palmyra and Centralia.
By: Caitlin Ward, Contributing Writer
On May 30, 2022, the Centralia High School Band will travel to Washington D.C. to perform in the annual Memorial Day Parade.
By: Miranda Gregis, Contributing Writer
Centralia High School performed their annual Madrigal dinner theater December 3rd-5th.