Letters to the Pilot

Monday, April 8, 2002

Musical ambassadors of Storm Lake


Storm Lake students are top notch, as 193 teenagers were bound for Florida in March (Spring Break at its height).

Some folks would think this would be the beginning of an alcohol-laden Spring Break adventure that would inevitably lead to trouble. Not when those 193 young adults are Storm Lake High School students.

The Storm Lake High School Choir, Band and Orchestra left Storm Lake at midnight on March 26 bound for Orlando, Florida. The students departed Storm Lake for Des Moines via school buses to catch their long awaited flight, arriving in Orlando at about 7 a.m. The groups were traveling there to compete in a national competition called Music Fest 2002. Directing the band was Frank Hoskins, orchestra Carol Peterson, and choir Jeff Tollefson respectively. Accompanying the students were 44 chaperones, including myself.

This trek to the sunshine state had been in the works for over 18 months.

The relentless hard work of the students in their practices and fundraising must be noted. The fundraising events held ensured that any student who

wished to participate in this event would be able to do so.

While in Orlando, the students visited Universal Studios, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios. One of the many highlights of the trip was the students' remarkable performance at Epcot in front of a large crowd.

The Music Fest 2002 competition was an all day-event in which each Storm Lake group finished in FIRST PLACE for their respective division.

Moreover, a truly wonderful time was had by all. The students represented Iowa, the community, and the Storm Lake Community School School District in an exceptional way. Their conduct during the travel, and while in Orlando, was exemplary. Whether having a good time at the parks, on the buses or

performing, these students were top notch. I received numerous compliments from every establishment we patronized on how well-behaved and respectful these students were.

In addition, the chaperones and everyone else who helped with this massive undertaking must be mentioned and thanked for all long hours and hard work they put in to make this trip a reality.

On a personal note, this was an exceptional experience for me, as I had the joy of interacting with a truly fine group of chaperones and students from the Storm Lake High School.

We arrived home on Easter Sunday at about 1:30 a.m. We were met at the scales south of town by a parade of more than 150 supporters and police cars to escort the CHAMPIONS back into town. It was great! Congratulations and thank you to all those that made this trip the great success that it was.

Todd Erskine,

Storm Lake