News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters wind ensemble headed to State

Sister High School’s Wind Ensemble is made up of some extremely hardworking musicians. Their determination shines through in their qualification to compete at Oregon State University for the OSAA State Championship.

This is the first time the band has attended the competition in 13 years.

The band is made up of 20 participants, most of whom have been playing their instruments for over three years. The age of these students range from 14 to 18. Some of the upper classmen remember qualifying for State in 2020 but not attending because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I’m excited to go, especially because we qualified during my freshman year but weren’t able to go,” said Norma Quero. “It’s my last year, so I’m ready to try my hardest.”

Quero is a tri-instrumental senior at Sisters High School. She’s been playing for over 10 years, and is vice president of the wind ensemble.

She isn’t the only student ready to try her hardest; all of her peers have poured valuable time and energy into this project. They’ve been practicing the same four songs since January, and all agree that they’ve come a very long way since the beginning of the year.

“We’ve evolved a lot, and I think the biggest way is culturally, because we understand each other better, have a deeper respect for each other, and care about doing better for each other,” said Band Director Kayla Golka.

This is Golka’s first year teaching, and the group never expected such a strong start. They credit the previous band director, Tyler Cranor, for setting the foundations to this achievement.

“It’s a huge honor to go to State my first year. I never expected it…but Cranor definitely left the band in a good spot for me to take it and improve it,” said Golka.

When Cranor received the news, he reacted with encouragement and wise advice:

“I could not be more proud of all of them. It’s such an impressive feat to go through a pandemic, a teacher change, and still be a State-level band. Still, I can’t say that I’m surprised, so stop listening to me, go practice, and kick some butt.”


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