Sophomore receives musical honor

Sophomore Preston Atkins had the honor of recently being placed as a finalist, as the first bassoonist ever to try out in the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra “Richard Records” Rising Stars Concerto Competition. This was sponsored by the Mayo Health Education System. He also received a $500 Honorable Mention Award and is a two-time all-stater. 

Explaining the process to get this honor Atkins said, “I prepared the first movement of the Weber Bassoon Concerto and recorded it with my piano teacher accompanying me. I sent in a recording and was lucky enough to be one of the six finalists. This competition is for Midwest high school music students. It is a lot of hard work to prepare for these competitions. I usually spend several hours a day, around five-six, with music. Of course, this makes it very, very hard to get all of my academics and other extra-curricular activities in, but it is competition placements like this that make it all worth it.”

Atkins´s performance will be streamed as an online recital on a YouTube live stream along with all the other finalist performances. 

Preston said that his success would not be possible without Mrs. Ann Byersdorffer, Mrs. Laura Engelhardt and Ms. Diana Blake. “I also appreciate the great amount of support from the CFHS band department in the little time that I have been around, but most of all, I think that my new bassoon teacher Prof. Martin Kuuskmann has helped me a lot with bassoon in recent months. I really do not think it would have been possible without his help. And, of course, my piano teacher, Dr. Suzanne Torkelson, giving me piano lessons and accompanying me,” Atkins said.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.