Students deliver heartfelt concert finale

Band, soloist remember a teacher who pushed students to be their best

The finale of New Hampton High School’s Winter Music Festival Monday night was, in a word, powerful.

Just ask Hannah Schwickerath, a senior who played the bari saxophone during the final number — “You Raise Me Up” — that was performed in honor of Mary Frese, the educator who passed away last week after a valiant fight with cancer.

“I was definitely crying through the whole song,” Schwickerath said. “It just really hit me how important Mrs. Frese was to me. She was a huge female role model to me. She was so strong, so passionate and she pushed me and a lot of students to be the best we could be.”

That final number — performed by the Concert Band and vocalist Sydney Lau — showed how music can move not only the audience but those performing it.

The idea behind the song originated, Concert Band Director Justin Adam said, at a staff meeting earlier this month.

“We talked about our different events we were going to do for the month,” he said, “and it got me thinking about doing something nice for other people. l suggested, and the band agreed, that it would be nice to record something for Mary and sent it to her to say we were thinking about her.”

Among band members, it was “pretty unanimous that everyone volunteered Sydney to sing it,” the band and vocalist rehearsed it three times, recorded it and, along with Christmas carols performed by choir students, sent it to Frese.


For more of this article, see Friday's Tribune.

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