MASO Young Artist Competition deadline is Monday

The Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras invites all Montana musicians, ages 13 to 22 who play any of the standard orchestral instruments, to apply for its biennial Young Artists Competition, held on Jan. 15 in Bozeman. Applications for the MASO Young Artists Competition can be downloaded from the MASO website at"> and are due Nov. 1 for this statewide competition.

The winner performs with at least one of the member orchestras. Many of the greatest virtuosos of our time launched their careers by winning a competition.

In addition to an opportunity to perform with a Montana symphony orchestra, winners of each division win a cash scholarship. Participating orchestras include those of the Billings Symphony, Bozeman Symphony, Butte Symphony, Glacier Symphony, Great Falls Symphony and Helena Symphony.

Once jurors have screened the applications, finalists are invited to perform in person on Saturday, Jan. 15 in Howard Hall on the campus of Montana State University-Bozeman. The public is invited to watch these talented young musicians compete.

The Young Artists Competition, which recognizes and nurtures talented young Montana musicians, is made possible, in part, through a legislative grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust and grants from the Montana Arts Council and National endowment for the Arts.

PEAK students to showcase fish research, art

On Nov. 2, PEAK Gifted and Talented fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students will present, “Creating Our Montana — a PEAK Event” from 5 until 6:30 p.m. at the Myrna Loy. This student designed and implemented event will showcase student and professional artists (including Kenton Rowe, Richard Swanson, Ann Bryant and many more) wildlife art that will be auctioned and sold to raise money for the WILD Montana Living River.

The event is a culmination of seven weeks of in-depth study on some of the critical issues of the Missouri River and sensitive fish species research. The event will include jazz music provided by local area musicians, appetizers, wildlife videos and art displays. Tickets are on sale at the Ray Bjork Learning Center office for the suggested donation of $8 to cover costs. It will be a great night to celebrate student creativity while raising money for a great cause. For further information, contact Erin Maxwell at 324-2900.

Adoption celebration planned Nov. 4

The 14th Annual “Celebrate Adoption Party” organized by Catholic social services of Montana is set Nov. 4 in the old supreme court chambers in the state Capitol building. It will begin at 2 p.m. and will feature guest speaker Lt. Gov. Bollinger, Mayor Jim Smith and many more dignitaries.

The event will feature the finalization the adoptions of seven children into their “forever” homes by the Honorable District Judge Jeff Sherlock. Judge Sherlock, the St. Andrew’s choir and attorney Bill Driscoll have participated in the event since its beginning in 1997.

Montana educator receives national rural education award

Claudette Morton, longtime Montana educator, was honored by the National Rural Education Association early this month at their conference in Branson, Mo. Morton received the Stanley A. Brzezinski Memorial Rural Education Research Award for research which addresses significant rural issues and makes notable contributions to the knowledge of rural education. Morton’s specialty for several years has been rural education.

This summer Morton retired after 14 years as the head of the Montana Small Schools Alliance, a nonprofit organization which helps small schools meet state and federal mandates in educationally sound ways.

Through the years, Morton has provided the Office of Public Instruction, the Montana Legislature, the Governor’s Office, the federal Government Accounting Office and the U.S. Department of education with results from her work, which have led to better policy for Montana’s schools.

Two teachers receive National Board Certification

Shannon Matthies-Callahan and Kelly Elder recently received a $3,000 stipend in recognition of achieving National Board Certification.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau presented the awards in an early morning ceremony last week.

“We are proud to recognize these educators for their hard work and dedication to furthering excellence in education,” Juneau said.

Matthies-Callahan is a primary Montessori teacher at Smith Elementary. Elder is a social studies and history teacher at C.R. Anderson.

“Research shows that Nationally Board Certified teachers make a huge difference in the education of the children they serve,” said Eric Feaver, president of the MEA-MFT in a press release.

Matthies-Callahan and Elder are among 85 Montana teachers who have achieved National Board Certification, which requires extensive series of performance-based assessment that includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and analyses of the teacher’s classroom teaching and student learning. This collection of materials is complied over the course of a regular school year and is submitted in the spring.

Youth Connections working to decrease teen violence

A six-month “Keep it in the Ring” campaign to curb teen violence kicks off tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Helena Havoc at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.

Youth Connection in collaboration with the Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative has teamed up with local instruction Bret Hamlin, of Hel-town Hybrid Mixed Martial Arts Studio, to send a message to honor, respect and discipline to keep teen violence off the streets with a “Keep it in the Ring” campaign.

According to local data youth violence is on the rise, say members of the Youth Connections Coalition. Some of this violence involves a new trend where youth see violence and fighting as a form of entertainment.

Students are leaning fighting strategies from the new trend of mix martial arts fighting and utilizing these strategies in staged fights that occur in unsupervised, unsanctioned situations resulting in cases of severe harm to youth in our community.

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