Tigers’ songs, speeches shine at state competition

Students from Northwestern High School earned awards for their musical and forensics talents.

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Northwestern High School juniors, left to right, Gus Degitz, Jesse Larson, Gilbert Torvinen and Thomas Shamla, perform "Under the Boardwalk" in a barbershop setting. The quartet earned a state gold medal and the title “Outstanding Ensemble” from the Wisconsin School Music Association. (Photo courtesy of Mike Goodlet)

Northwestern High School vocalists earned medals and praise during the Wisconsin School Music Association solo/ensemble contest in May.

“We brought home some strong results and serious hardware,” said choir director Mike Goodlet.

The school’s barbershop quartet snagged a gold medal with their rendition of “Under the Boardwalk.” The quartet of juniors — Gus Degitz, Jesse Larson, Gilbert Torvinen and Thomas Shamla — was also one of a handful of groups to be named “Outstanding Ensemble.”

Other NHS performers earning gold medals in the solo/ensemble contest included the following: the Tiger Beat Show Choir, which performed "One Tin Soldier" and "Play a Simple Melody"; Nathaniel Fechtelkotter, classical solo; Lily Cain, theatre solo; Sheila Gregerson, theatre solo; Torvinen and Jesse Larson, classical duet; Kyle Granquist, piano solo; and the Wolfpack, a student-led, student initiated group of 12-15 boys who performed "Shenandoah."

Earning silver medals were Torvinen, theatre solo; Lucie Landwehr, theatre solo; Nathaniel Fechtelkotter and Ella Cain, classical duet.


Tiger singers were also recognized at the NHS Senior Honor Banquet this spring. Landwehr, Rebecca Hedin and Fechtelkotter received National School Choral awards. McKenzie Tuura received an American Choral Directors Association Leadership Award and Alex Goodlet received the Accompanist Award.

Forensics medalists

The Tiger forensics team also performed well in the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association’s state competition this spring.

Gold medals, also known as critic’s choice awards, went to Asher Gilderman for informative speech and the duo of Ella and Lily Cain for group interpretation.

Earning silver medals were Tyler Smith for farrago and Kylie Burhans for poetry.

Earning bronze medals were Maija Korpi, storytelling; Lydia Vailancourt and Sheila Gregerson, play acting; Shelby Tenney, prose; and Ivy Bennis and Katie Kyle, demonstration.

Lily Cain, a senior, was recognized for consistent excellence in forensics. She was one of 28 students statewide who earned the top score at the 2018, 2019 and 2021 state speech festivals, as well as participated during the 2020 season before it was interrupted.

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