Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Honor festival taps 11 Haines students


Eleven Haines High School music students have qualified for the Southeast Honor Festival.

“It’s the largest number ever. It’s great. We have pretty much one person in each voice part,” said music teacher Kristy Kissinger-Totten. “The determination of some of the kids to keep working on (their audition tapes) until they got it down well made the difference.”

Kissinger-Totten said she required her high school students to submit audition tapes and 80 percent of them qualified for the festival, which recruits the best student musicians in the region for two days of rehearsals followed by choral and band concerts led by guest directors. This year’s festival is Oct. 20-22 in Petersburg.

The tapes were adjudicated by music teachers from the region.

Qualifying students include musicians Zayla Asquith-Heinz on bass clarinet, Neil Little on trumpet and Zane Durr on trombone. Singers qualifying were soprano Lindsey Jobbins (soprano 1), Madeline Andriesen (soprano 2), Grace Jones (alto 1), Isobel Smith (alto 2), Zeke Frank (tenor 1), Dylan Grimes (tenor 2), Dylan Palmieri (bass 1), and Kyle Klinger (bass 2).

Kissinger-Totten said the help of music teacher Teresa Land was critical, especially for singers, who received Land’s individual attention. “They got one-on-one attention getting their audition tapes prepared. I think that really helped with the success rate. I really appreciated Teresa’s help.”