Eighth grade student, Alaina Rausch, earned the top achievement in Milbank’s Middle School band. She was named to the South Dakota Music Educators Association Middle School All-State Band for three consecutive years.
“This is a great honor for Alaina and our band program,” said Milbank band director Susan Karels. “This is the first time one of our students has been selected three years in a row. Alaina was also chosen in 2014 and 2015.”
Rausch was chosen for the 2016 honor band and has been placed at the number eight chair in the clarinet section. She will be one of 21 clarinets in the top band and will take part in a concert in Pierre March 4 and 5. Karels presented Rausch with her music for the event on Friday during her band lesson.
Rausch, along with 14 other Milbank band students, prepared scales and two etudes for her audition in December, and has been patiently waiting since that time. One hundred students were selected for the all-state honor band while one hundred other students were selected for the festival band. A large number of students selected represent Sioux Falls and Rapid City schools. “There are very few students represented from smaller schools which makes this honor even more special.” stated Karels.
Rausch will be accompanied by Susan Karels and Deb Rausch, Alaina’s mother and St. Lawrence music teacher. Dr. David Berberick of Black Hills State University will direct the honor band, and Ms. Renita Dose, a retired middle school director, will lead the festival band. The 17th annual concert will be broadcast on South Dakota Public Broadcasting at a later date.
Rausch will join an elite group of Milbank students as a middle school all-state band honoree. Her name will be added to a plaque that is displayed in the high school/middle school band room. Others chosen before Rausch include, Jon Ludwig, 2004; Tanya Baldwin, 2005; Rachel Wollschlager, 2006; Kylie Hagen, 2007 and 2008; Rebecca Wieting, 2009 and 2010, and Clara Reynen, 2011 and 2012.