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Elena Hirst

Year: Senior.

Age: 17.

Art Focus: A Cappella Choir.

Adviser nomination: “Elena is the Central Lakes Conference honor chair and alto section leader. She composed “Even Song” that was performed at a March concert. Elena is a hardworking team building leader. She has quietly led her peers in class.”

Tell me about ‘Even Song’: “I composed the song last summer with our choir in mind. It has four parts, and goes into eight parts. I looked up poems and I found one I thought was cool called ‘Even Song,’ so I put it to music. I asked (Brian) Stubbs (the choir director) if we could sing it and we did.”

Have you composed a lot of music: “I’ve arranged some hymns, but this one was my first successful piece. My first song was on piano in eighth grade. I started taking piano lessons in first grade.”

Are you taking any private music lessons: “I’m taking a music theory class at the St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls. I’m taking the class with the hope that it will help me get into a composition class in college. I’m attending Brigham Young University, majoring in linguistics and minoring in sociology and music if I can fit it in. I’d like to be a professor and teach linguistics/sociology and compose music on the side.”

How does singing make you feel: “It’s expressive. When I sing I have the opportunity to focus on making things sound good. Music allows me to let out my emotions on how I want it to come out.”

Most memorable fine arts achievement: “Writing a song that the choir performed.”

Artist most admired: The Piano Guys.

Fine arts activities: Debate and Knowledge Bowl.

Favorite TV shows: “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who.”

Book you’re currently reading: “‘Snuff’ by Terry Pratchett.

How many songs on your iPod: “My iPod is filled with more sound tracks and scores and individual artists than it is bands. I have about 4,000 songs.”

Biggest pet peeve: “Kids who don’t care about school.”

If you were an animal, which one would you be and why: “A dog because I’m loyal.”

Activities: Key Club and Class Cabinet.

Parents: Paul and Teresa Hirst of Brainerd.

Honorable mentions: Ali Spieker, senior, art: “Ali is a vivacious art student and dancer. Her love of dance dominates as subject matter in her artwork and the work ethic that drives Ali’s athleticism also motivates her to produce quality artwork in a timely manner. Ali’s energy affects any classroom she enters and her perseverance to meet the high standards which she sets for herself are an inspiration to her peers.”

Shelly Juaire, senior, Fifth Street Journal: “Shelly is an editor and works hard to create a quality product for the Fifth Street Journal. She doubles as a reporter for the paper, and in addition to designing her page for this issue, she initiated and took on an ambitious story, diligently searching out and examining multiple sources to create an unbiased, well-rounded article.”

— Jennifer Stockinger, Staff Writer

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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