The DeForest Area High School Music Department celebrated more than 80 years of music education on Thursday, May 8, with the first annual Elmer McLaughlin Memorial Band Concert.
Instrumental band students performed under the direction of special guest conductors, and former DeForest Band Directors, Richard Fellenz (1968-2000), Mark Sieger (1981-2012), Nathan Pierce (2006-2009), and David Buehler (2009-2012).
Former DeForest Choir Directors Linda Meier, Carol Kauscher, and Claire Ma were also in attendance to help celebrate the event. Jean McLaughlin, Elmer’s wife, was in attendance and presented the Elmer McLaughlin Scholarship. She received a bouquet of flowers from the band students and received a standing ovation from all band and audience members for her years of service with Elmer in the Music Department at DeForest. Orrie Walsvik, Elmer’s grandson, was the Emcee for the concert.
During the evening the induction of the Linda Meier and Richard Fellenz awards were announced. Meier and Fellenz were present with the induction of these awards. It was modeled after their passion for excellence in Music Education. Peter Weikert was the recipient of the Richard Fellenz Band Award. Erika Schultz received the Linda Meier Choral Award.
Josh Marineau received the Mark Sieger Scholarship and Elise Walker received the Elmer McLaughlin Music Scholarship. Josh Marineau and Natasha Hiebing were recipients of the Semper Fidelis Band Award. Brandon Houldsworth received the Quincy Jones Musicianship Award. Drew Freund received the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Toni Camilleri received the Patrick Gilmore Award and Becca Breiter received the John Philip Sousa Band Award. All seniors received a special gift courtesy of the DeForest Area Music Parents.