Blair Show choir workshop

Blair Show Choir Workshop
Caleb Sandall, center, and Ovation Show choir sings “Sit Down your Rockin’ the Boat Saturday during  the Blair Show Choir Workshop.

Ten schools from across the area participated in the Blair Music Department fifth annual show choir workshop.  The performers worked with show choir experts Dan Hays and Jennifer Toney.  Hays, the Midland Vocal Music director, was BHS vocal music director Dan Hutsell’s predecessor.

Blair Show Choir Workshop
The Blair Innovation Show Choir performs Saturday at the Blair Show Choir Workshop. Performers from left are: Addie Wolff, Baelyn Chavez, Emma Harnack, Christina Paxson, Katie Blice, Anna Bassler.

The choirs worked on staging elements, choreography and show pacing to improve their shows.

Blair Show Choir Workshop
The Platteview High School show choir performs at the Blair High School Show Choir Workshop.

“The performance has no competition aspect to it so the students have the opportunity to be everybody’s fan and support each other,” Hutsell said.  ” As audience members they (performers) have the opportunity to see some of the things that make a group good or great, or maybe not quite there yet and hopefully each student can apply that to their own individual and group performance.”



It’s a celebration! Christmas concerts and events in Washington County 2017


BHS presents ‘Guys and Dolls’

Blair High School music and drama departments will present “Guys and Dolls” on Thursday through Saturday evenings and a Saturday Matinee in the Blair High School Auditorium.  The classic ’50’s musical features many memorable songs, and the talented cast does a great job of singing them.  In fact, there is such a wealth of quality performers that BHS director Kelli Westphal and music director Dan Hutsell double cast the roles of Adelaide and Sarah Brown.

BHS Musical Guys and Dolls
Sarah Brown, played by Maddy Nannen, and Adelaide, played by Jenna Carlson sing “Marry the Man Today” during rehearsal for Blair High School’s production of Guys and Dolls” BHS drama director Kelli Westphal double cast the female leads.

Senior Jenna Carlson and Junior Maddy Nannen play Adelaide and Sarah Brown respectively, for the Thursday night and Saturday matinee performances.  Junior Payton Murray and senior Maddie Knudtson assume the roles on Friday and Saturday nights.

Pumpkin fun at South School

Who would have thought that practicing reading, math and science skills could be so much fun?  For more than a dozen years, South School first grade teacher Mariann Andersen has been hauling a pickup load of oversize pumpkins from sister and brother-in-law Rose and Bob Helgoth’s 40 acre patch in St. Libory, NE for this pumpkin fun activity. Each of the pumpkins weighs anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds.

Pumpkin Fun South School

During the Wednesday afternoon activity, parents join in to help supervise, tote the pumpkins, and wield the knives and cutting tools.  Teams of four students to a pumpkin read and follow the instructions in the booklet as they read, record, estimate, weigh, measure and count lines and seeds.  They also read the directions and measure and mix the ingredients to make a batch of pumpkin muffins.

Pumpkin Fun South School
Parent Ashley Bacon watches as a student weighs her pumpkin.

Teachers Anderson and Julia Warner enjoy doing this activity year after year because it gives the students an opportunity to practice math, science and reading skills, and because it is a great way to get the parents involved in a learning activity with their children.  Over 30 parents and grandparents helped with the activity.

“It’s exhausting, but fun!” Warner said.

Arbor Park students dance to the music

SOAR subject

Arbor Park SOAR eagle and owl
SOAR Educator Kay Neumann holds a bald eagle named Thora while she talks with Arbor Park fifth grade students

Save Our Avian Resources (SOAR) educator Kay Neumann visited  Arbor Park School last week with Thora, a bald eagle, and Cedar, an eastern screech owl.  While the goal of SOAR is to return all birds to the wild, Thora suffers from limited vision, due to lead poisoning.  Cedar is non-releasable due to a damaged wing. Neumann said she and her family love to hunt, but lead ammunition can be toxic to wildlife.  That is why Neumann and SOAR advocate the use non-toxic ammunition when hunting.

Jump Rope for Heart week

North School jump rope for heart
Mrs. Pike’s first grade class warm up for the jump rope contests.

Throughout February, students at Deerfield, North and South primary schools in Blair collected donations for the American Heart Association.  The week of Feb. 16th students and staff participated in Jump Rope for Heart week activities.  The annual  event is an opportunity for students to help others while learning about heart health.