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William Kelley listening team competes at state

From left, coach Mary Carroll, Becca Larson, Kristiina Thums, Kenny Albrecht and coach Kris Peterson pose for a picture after tying for first place at the regional competition for the Minnesota Listening Contest. Photo courtesy of Kris Peterson.

The William Kelley High School listening team tied for first at regionals and moved on to state for the second year in a row.

The listening team is comprised of three students: Kristiina Thms, Kenny Albrecht and Becca Larson. Competing on a listening team involves memorizing all sorts of music and facts about that music.

The tournaments consist of teams of three listening to a selection of music and having to identify certain facts about the piece of music play, such as the name of the piece, the composer, the era it was written and style it is in. The teams are given a guide with samples to study at the beginning of the year.

For the second year in a row, the WKHS team is headed to state after a dramatic regional finish.

"I was really proud of my team this year," said coach Kris Peterson. "In the first two rounds, they got perfect scores."

At the end of the competition, there was a tie between WKHS and Duluth Denfeld, which meant there had to be a tiebreaker round.

"Going into the tiebreaker round was so nerve racking because they don't tell you before hand if you are tied for first or tied for second place," Peterson said. "The top two teams move on to state, so they didn't know if they were in for sure even if they lost or if they would lose out on going to state."

It turned out that WKHS was tied for first with Denfeld, so when they lost by one point in the tiebreaker round, the Silver Bay students were still able to move on to state. William Kelley received 78 points out of 100 points, which was 14 higher than last year and higher than any score from the previous year.

"I guess I was a little worried in the second year because you kind of rest on your laurels," Peterson said. "But they still really came through and they work really well together."

The state tournament starts today at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. The team finished in the bottom last year and they are hoping to do better this year and get their score up.

"I think the kids on this particular team really love music and it really shows when they go to contests like this," Peterson said. "I'm just so proud of them because they were going against bigger schools in the area and they just really shined."

Adelle Whitefoot

Adelle Whitefoot is a Michigan native who moved to Minnesota in Sept. 2014 when she started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., in 2012 with a bachelor's in English writing and has been a professional photographer since 2011. Whitefoot is the night general assignments reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

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