Archive for the ‘Erin’ Category

Thank You!

June 3, 2016
Contemplative Rosie
Contemplative Rosie

I would like to thank all of our friends and family for your amazing support of Erin as she gets ready to compete in the NHD National Contest at the University of Maryland in a little over a week. Your words of encouragement and financial contributions have been an absolute blessing. Early on, we contacted several local and national organizations to ask for assistance and so far Erin has benefited from the generosity of the the Waukesha Elks and the American Rosie The Riveter Association. Additionally, she received a grant from the Hamilton Education Foundation (a charitable body associated with our school district) to pay for her registration fees.

On top of all that, I have been truly amazed by the support shown by everyone through Erin’s GoFundMe page. It is wonderful how small amounts from many people can make quite a difference. We are so happy that nearly two-thirds of Erin’s travel, food, registration, and lodging costs are taken care of by your kindness.

Thanks again to everyone! We are looking forward to an amazing experience at the University of Maryland and in Washington, DC soon.


Erin’s Trifecta – Part 3

May 5, 2016
Erin's State Solo/Ensemble Score
Erin’s State Solo/Ensemble Score

This is the third and final of three posts that discuss what we have begun to refer to as Erin’s State-Level Honors Trifecta. The first two posts can be found here and here. The final event in this trifecta was the Solo/Ensemble State Festival at UW-Milwaukee on April 30th. Erin participated in two events for Solo/Ensemble this year. She performed a Euphonium Solo, “Bride of the Waves,” and a Euphonium Duet with her band-mate Tommy. Tommy and Erin have been playing low brass together since sixth grade and have always wanted to play a duet together. It was their “Bucket List” duet.

Both pieces were Class A and if played well enough would qualify for participating in the state festival. At the district Solo/Ensemble festival at Brown Deer High School in mid-March both performances received *1 ratings, which advanced them to state. At the state festival, Tommy and Erin played the duet well enough to earn a rating of 1; the high rating available for an ensemble. Erin’s Euphonium Solo garnered a rating of 1-N. State judges have an opportunity to nominate soloists whose performance is truly exceptional for the Exemplary Soloist Award. Those soloists get a rating of 1-N and at the end of the day of the judge chooses a single nominated individual from their room to receive the award. Last year, Erin also got a 1-N score but did not get selected for the award. This year however, Erin not only got the nomination but also received the Exemplary Soloist Award for her amazing performance.

As you can see, this is quite the trifecta; fourth place at State Forensics, national finalist at State NHD, and Exemplary Soloist Award at State Solo/Ensemble. Erin’s hard work and dedication all year long has definitely paid off in the end. I am so very proud of all that this young lady has accomplished and look forward to many more amazing things in the future.

Erin’s Trifecta – Part 2

May 4, 2016
Rosie at State NHD 2016
Rosie at State NHD 2016

This is the second of three posts that will discuss what we have begun to refer to as Erin’s State-Level Honors Trifecta. The second event in this trifecta was the National History Day (NHD) in Wisconsin state event at UW-Madison. For those that have never heard of NHD, it would be best described as a science fair for history. Students compete in one of five different areas: Exhibit, Paper, Documentary, Website, or Performance. In all of areas except Paper, a student can compete either as an individual or in a group. In Erin’s case, she competes in the Individual Performance category.

Erin's Medals from NHD 2016
Erin’s Medals from NHD 2016

To provide a little background, Erin first got involved in NHD back in eighth grade when her social studies teacher had the entire class create NHD projects as an assignment. They also had to compete for the opportunity to advance to the regional competition. Erin and many of her classmates competed at regionals and she was lucky enough to be the only person from her school to qualify to compete at the state event that year. She even won the state “Women in History” award for the junior division. And that just happened to be three years ago today.

Erin at State NHD 2016
Erin at State NHD 2016

Due to the great enjoyment she got from that competition, Erin endeavored to compete in NHD when she got to high school. Unfortunately, the regional competition dates conflicted with scheduled forensics tournaments and solo/ensemble for band and she was unable to compete in both her freshman and sophomore years. Undaunted, last spring she found a way to arrange her schedule in order to compete this year. She began to research possible topics over the summer and once school started she developed her individual performance, “We Can Do It: Women’s Exploration of Work During and After WWII.” A performance that chronicles the lives of three “Rosie the Riveter” type women from the WWII era.

On March 5th, Erin competed at the regional competition at UW-Milwaukee and qualified to advance to the state event. She even won a regional “American Labor History” award as her topic discusses women workers. At the state event on April 23rd, 2016, she performed early in the morning and found out that she had done well enough to advance to the final round in the afternoon. At the awards ceremony that evening, it was announced that Erin would be one of two young women representing Wisconsin in the Senior Individual Performance category at the national competition at the University of Maryland in mid-June. Additionally, she won a state “American Labor History” award as well. Erin was the only competitor there that both qualified for nationals and won a special award. You can see her proudly wearing both medals above.

Needless to say, we are all very excited about the upcoming trip to our nation’s capitol (University of Maryland is just outside Washington, DC). And I am extremely proud of all the hard work that Erin has put into this project. It is amazing.

Erin’s Trifecta – Part 1

May 3, 2016
2016 Forensics Trophies
2016 Forensics Trophies

Erin has been having an amazing junior year in high school when it comes to extra-curricular activities. This and the next two posts will discuss what we have begun to refer to as Erin’s State-Level Honors Trifecta. The first event in this trifecta was the Wisconsin State Forensics Tournament at UW-Whitewater on April 2nd, 2016. As you will recall from my previous post, Erin and her partner Samantha have been participating in the Duo Interpretation category this season and presenting “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris. Throughout the season, they placed in the top three at four separate tournaments and Erin placed an additional two times when she double entered with her Four Minute Speaking piece on “Rosie The Riveter.” What an incredibly awesome season.

Erin and Samantha at State Forensics
Erin and Samantha at State Forensics

The way that the state forensics tournament works is that you present your piece three separate times to three separate judges. If you do well enough, you advance to semi-finals where you perform once in front of three judges. From the semi-finals, they choose six presentations to advance to the finals and perform in front of five judges. Most people involved in forensics will tell you that advancing to finals at the state competition is the ultimate goal. All six of the competitors at that point are so good that they are all truly winners.

Both Erin and Samantha had advanced to semi-finals in different categories twice each in previous appearances at the state tournament. And both had not been able to break into finals in those events. This year, however, things were different. Erin and Samantha finally made it to finals and placed fourth overall in the Duo Interpretation category. As you can see by the picture above, they were very excited.

As an interesting side note and strange coincidence, three years earlier, during his junior year, Erin’s brother, A.J., also performed “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris. He performed in the Solo Humorous category. And he also placed fourth overall in his category at the state tournament using that same piece. How peculiar.

Mid-Season Forensics Update 2016

February 29, 2016
2016 Forensic Trophies

Just about a year ago, I posted an update about Erin and how she had been performing on the Forensics team. I was bursting with pride because Erin had “placed” in her first four tournament of the Forensics season and had four trophies to prove it. With four tournaments completed again this year, I am again pleased to announce that Erin doing a fantastic job. By looking at the attached picture, you notice that there are five trophies that have been earned this year.

Having competed in the Four Minute Speaking category for two years in a row, Erin decided to try something new this season. She joined forces with Samantha Moore, a senior and captain of the Forensics team, to participate in the Duo Interpretation category. The ladies are presenting “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris and so far have placed first twice, second once, and third once. Much like Erin did last year, they have placed in every single tournament so far.

At the encouragement of her coach, Erin has also decided to double enter at those tournaments that allow doubling and has prepared a Four Minute Speaking piece on “Rosie The Riveter.” In the two tournaments that she competed in that category, she has placed third once. Thus, breaking her personal record by placing five times in four tournaments.

Words can’t express how proud I am of Erin and Samantha. They have put a lot of hard work into both of their performances and it has really paid off. And I crossing my fingers and sending them good vibes for continued success for the rest of the season.

Rosie The Riveter World Record

October 27, 2015

Last Saturday, Oct. 24 2015, Erin and Kristi traveled to the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan to help set the Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter.” While it hasn’t been confirmed yet by the official record keepers, the unofficial results are that they broke the record with 2,096 women and girls dressed as Rosie the Riveter. The previous record of 1,084 participants had been set in California this past August.

In case you are unsure as to why Erin and Kristi drove all the way over to the Detroit area to be a part of this momentous occasion, let me provide some background. First of all, Erin has always been interested in strong women role models; Elizabeth Blackwell, Frida Kahlo, Alice Paul, and, of course, the Rosie the Riveters that took the place of the men/soldiers in the shipyards and bomber plants during World War II. So last summer, when Kristi and Erin were planning a vacation, they decided on a trip to San Francisco in part because it would allow them to visit the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Park in Richmond, California. Not only was it an enjoyable vacation, but Erin was able to gather some research for this year’s National History Day competition.

While they were there, they discovered that the park was planning an event for August to break the record for the most Rosie The Riveters in one location. The previous record of 776 Rosies had been set by the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan in March, 2014. The timing of this event was disappointing as a second trip to California in such a short time was not in the stars. As I stated earlier, the August event at the National Park broke the original record by a little over 300.

This event was fortuitous for Erin and Kristi in that it caused the supporters of the Willow Run Plant to organize an additional event to take back their record. As Ypsilanti, Michigan is much closer to home for us, a car trip to be part of the World Record in October was easy to arrange. So, now Kristi and Erin can be proud of the fact that they are part of a Guinness World Record and they did it while supporting strong women.

Mid-Season Forensics Update

March 1, 2015

I have to tell ya that I am just bursting with pride. Erin is doing a fantastic job in High School Forensics this year. This is her second year on the High School team and her second year competing in the category of Four Minute Speaking. This year, her topic is entitled “The Psychological Disorders of the Disney Princesses.”

The Sussex Hamilton team is competing in six Invitational tournaments, one Conference tournament, and the State tournament this season. As they have already been to four of those Invitationals, I would consider this the halfway point for the season. In those four tournaments so far this year, Erin has received three First Place trophies and one Third Place trophy. I know, right?

I am so very proud of her and all of her accomplishments so far this season. Keep up the good work, Erin! We’ll be cheering for you for the rest of season.

Dramagoon Band Updates

June 3, 2014

Erin and AJ at the beginning of Marching Band season.

I know that I tend to sing the praises of Erin and AJ quite a bit, but I am so very proud of them that I can’t really help it. If the uncontrollable gushing of a proud parent makes you queasy, please stop reading now.

Okay, now that only the hearty souls remain, I will proceed. I have some fantastic Hamilton Charger Band news about each of them. After the coin toss, I have elected to share Erin’s news first. This spring Erin competed with four other individuals for one of the three available spots as drum major of the Hamilton Charger Marching Band. Drum majors conduct the band during the marching band competition season in the fall. The candidates for drum major compete in front of the entire band and the choice is decided with a popular vote by the band members. Two sophomores and Erin (the only freshman) were selected by their peers. Congratulations, Erin! You will be a spectacular drum major.

And now for AJ’s news. Every year, the band director gives out several awards to the outgoing seniors in recognition of their contributions over the past four years. Only three of those awards also come with a $500 scholarship from the band booster organization; the John Philip Sousa Band award, the Patrick S. Gilmore Band award, and the Louis Armstrong Jazz award. At the spring band concert in May, AJ was presented with the Patrick S. Gilmore Band award and scholarship. Way to go, AJ! It has been a joy to watch you play over the years.

State Solo/Ensemble Festival

April 29, 2014

Erin and Her Euphonium

Back in the middle of March, A.J. and Erin participated in Solo/Ensemble on the district level. The both performed solos, A.J. on trumpet and Erin on euphonium, and they both performed as part of the brass choir. Additionally, A.J. played with the brass quintet and the jazz ensemble. It was a busy day for the Magoon family.

All of A.J. and Erin’s hard work paid off because Erin received a 1* rating on her euphonium solo, Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann and the Hamilton Brass Choir and Hamilton Brass Quintet also received 1* ratings. This rating qualifies the performer to participate at the State Solo/Ensemble Festival. These three scores meant that both A.J. and Erin would be participating in two areas at the State level; Erin with her solo and the brass choir and A.J. with the brass choir and brass quintet.

The State Solo/Ensemble Festival was last Saturday and I am happy to announce that Erin received a rating of 1 on euphonium solo. Way to go, Erin! It was so fun to watch her play and I have been humming Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann for the last couple of days now. Both the the Hamilton Brass Choir and Hamilton Brass Quintet received a rating of 2 on their performances. They all did extremely well and I am proud of the tremendous effort put forth by both A.J. and Erin.

Accolades For Erin

May 31, 2013

May has been an incredible month for Erin… and I am so proud of her.

To begin with, back in March, Erin participated in the Regional Event for the National History Day Contest and was the only person from her Middle School to qualify for the State Event this May. On May 4th, she competed at the State Event and although she didn’t qualify for the National Event, she did win the Junior Division Women in History Award with her individual performance entitled Elizabeth Blackwell: A Woman Doctor?

Later on in the month, Erin was notified that she was selected as one of the four speakers at her Middle School Completion Ceremony in June. The teachers from each of the four houses in the eighth grade select a student to represent their house and Erin is her house representative.

That brings us to this week. Earlier this week, Erin received a letter indicating that she was selected to receive a Hamilton Education Foundation For Youth (HEFFY) award at a ceremony next week. You may recall that A.J. also received a HEFFY back in 2008. They are given to Hamilton School District students “in recognition of exceptional talents and skills in leadership, creativity, arts, communications, and human relations.”

And then to top it all off, last night Erin received another letter informing her that she had been selected as a member of the WSMA Middle Level State Honors Band. 1,300 students auditioned back in April and only 98 were chosen. Erin and her band-mates will perform in a concert in Madison in October.

Congratulations Erin on all of your amazing accomplishments. You are indeed a special young lady.