Choral director Martha Schmidt thought she saw a dream team of three Burnsville High School students to enter into the Minnesota Listening Contest.
She was right.
The team of Kristina Butler, Savannah Lim and Chris Neiner recently won first place for the region and will now head to state competition Feb. 1.
"We were thrilled," Schmidt said in a District 191 news release. "There are nine regions throughout the state and most of them brought nine to 15 teams (of three each). Our particular region had 24 teams and we won handily by earning 87 out of 100 points while the 2nd place winner got 72."
After getting buy-in from the three students last October, Schmidt began meeting with them after school every week to review the 80-page study guide for the competition. Contest materials cover medieval to modern century music and jazz.
"Students had to know all the pieces from hearing them, along with knowing composer dates, composition dates, instrumentation, composers and the piece themselves," Schmidt said. "It was very extensive and to top it off, all composer names and pieces had to be spelled correctly."
What made the three students a "dream team" was their passion and extensive knowledge of classical music, she said. Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky are among composers they favor.
All three are also involved in performing music. Butler is a singer and plays the flute. Lim sings and plays piano and guitar. Neiner plays French horn and composes music.
"They are a dream team — all top level students with a real passion for classical musical," said Schmidt. "I expect they will do well at state."
For more information about the statewide contest, visit: www.musiclisteningcontest.com.