Fifteen Milford High School students are among the state’s top student musicians this year, and will join more than 100 other singers and band members in the All-State concerts in early 2009.


Fifteen Milford High School students are among the state’s top student musicians this year, and will join more than 100 other singers and band members in the All-State concerts in early 2009.

“The kids did a great job, they worked really hard on their auditions, and it shows,” MHS choir teacher Kathy Wetherhold said.

Four MHS students were named to the All-State Senior Band: Rebecca Russell, on bassoon; Becky Godwin, on bass clarinet; Bryan Walker, on oboe; and Devon Schlegel, on trombone. Schlegal was also accepted to the All-State Jazz Band.

“I’m really proud,” he said. “I tried out for jazz band last year and didn’t make it.”

Russell, Godwin and Schlegal are all veteran All-State musicians. This is Walker’s first year making the cut, although he was part of Kent County’s All-County Band last year.

“This is definitely great,” he said. “It was really fantastic to win the audition.”

Eleven students were named to the All-State Choir: Arielle Foster, Suzette Madanat and Lindsey Smith, soprano I; Colleen Farrell and Jessica Lear, soprano II; Kelly Metzner, alto I; Taylor Phillips and Amy Landis, tenor I; Clarence Cartwright, bass I; and Levi Dodge, bass II.

That total puts Milford in the top five schools statewide, and the top three downstate, for the number of All-State choir members.

Wetherhold said the program’s success in sending students to All-State comes from a dedicated core that keeps trying out year after year.

“We have a very dedicated group of singers,” Wetherhold said. “Once they’ve done an All-State performance, they realize it’s something worth doing every year.”

Like the band roster, the choir is mostly veterans – eight of the 10 singers were in the All-State Choir last year as well. Dodge is in his sixth year as an All-State singer, Landis her fifth and Cartwright his fourth, among other long-runners.

“The feeling you get when you step off that stage is amazing,” Dickerson said.

Madanat and Smith made the cut for the first time this year.

“It’s really exciting – I’m almost speechless,” Madanat said.

“It feels wonderful,” Smith said.

The singers will spend as many as 8 hours a day in rehearsal during the first week of February, before a concert at Appoquinimink High School at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7.

The band will perform at P.S. DuPont Elementary School at 6 p.m. on Jan. 31.

“It’s a ton of work,” Landis said. “But the concert is the payoff. It’s great.”

The students spent as many as three months before auditions preparing to try out.

“Ms. Wetherhold prepared us really well,” Cartwright said. “It was a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it.”