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High school percussionist takes second at state
Vashon High School senior Dylan Greene laced second in mallets at the State Solo and Ensemble Competition last weeken at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, where he performed “Dream of the Cherry Blossoms” by Keiko Abe, a solo for a five-octave concert marimba.
The high school’s 13-member percussionist ensemble also had a strong showing, placing fourth statewide, said Ken Quehrn, the band director at both VHS and McMurray Middle School.
All told, 20 students from VHS attended the statewide competition, an impressive showing for a small high school like Vashon, Quehrn said. Students who attended had to first win at the regional level, where all the schools compete with each other, regardless of the school’s size. The winners of those 24 regional competitions advance to State, Quehrn said.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our kids,” Quehrn said. “We were up against some pretty big schools.”
Greene, an accomplished mallet player, has made it to State three years in a row; last year, he placed first. “The part about it for me that’s so meaningful is how the kids all support each other,” said Cynthia Chee, Greene’s mother. “It’s really special.”