Solon Springs quartet wins state harmony festival

The Harmonistics will perform July 23 at Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center.

Members of the Harmonistics, a barbershop quartet from Solon Springs High School, hold the Schmitt Brothers Traveling Trophy at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point on Saturday, May 21, 2022. They are, left to right, Maddelyn Swanson, Marianne Lear, Bailey Monson and Isabel Molina. The quartet won the award and earned the highest all around score in the treble division of the Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival.
Contributed / Gretchen Molina
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SOLON SPRINGS — The Harmonistics, a treble barbershop quartet from Solon Springs High School, sang their way to first place in the Treble Division at the annual Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival held May 21 at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point. They also received the highest overall score for their musical performance in the contest that drew 15 quartets from around the state.

The members of the quartet are Maddelyn Swanson, Marianne Lear, Bailey Monson and Isabel Molina. They took home the Schmitt Brothers Traveling Trophy, which is given each year to the contest winners, as well as individual plaques and a check for $300 to the music program at Solon Springs High School, which is led by Gretchen Molina. The quartet also qualified to compete at the newly established Next Generation Quartet Contest at the Land O' Lakes District Convention in Minneapolis Oct. 14-15.

Gretchen Molina said the Harmonistics have not decided if they will take part in the Minneapolis competition, but the quartet will be performing at Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center in Solon Springs at 6:30 p.m. July 23 as part of the Young Artist Performers Program. Catch their harmonies prior to the Chris Kroeze concert. Visit for ticket information.

In addition to the festival win, the Harmonistics earned a gold medal and an Exemplary Performance Award at the Wisconsin School Music Association’s state solo and ensemble contest May 7 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. There they performed the song, "Dream a Little Dream of Me," arranged by Andersen.

The Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival kicked off with students participating in warm-ups, followed by sectionals to teach “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Two guest quartets were present to perform and teach tags to the young quartets: It’s About Time, members of Sweet Adelines Int’l and Harmony Inc.; and Coulee Classic, the 2021 Champions of the Land O' Lakes District of the Barbershop Harmony Society.


The festival was canceled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021.

“It was inspiring to again hear these young quartets sing in person representing eight Wisconsin High Schools and share our passion for barbershop harmony with them,” said Jim Rasmus, co-chair of the festival board of directors, in a news release.

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The Loved Never Forgotten memorial holds the names of 163 people. A picnic set for Aug. 20 will honor them.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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