Thursday, November 15, 2007

News Article

Tommy McCann
Slug: Edina Football Choir Boys
Many students know senior Andy Bartz as strong safety on the Edina football team or the starting center fielder who led the baseball team in homeruns. But not as many people know that Bartz is also one who enjoys singing.
Like nine of his fellow teammates on the Edina football team, Bartz is a member of the Edina Concert Choir. Among the players are three football team captains: Bartz, senior Joe Magnuson and junior Zach Buddish.
“It’s a good balance between my art and athletic interests. The performances are loads of fun and we have a lot of laughs along the way,” Bartz said.
Bill Rodgers, a second-string linebacker for the football team and second-year member of Concert Choir, enjoys the contrast between football and singing.
“You don’t get hurt in singing,” Rodgers said. He also participates in six different organized choirs including the Minnesota All-State Choir.
“It’s a skill that everyone should have. It’s been part of my life since I was a kid and it’s a great way to be creative,” Rodgers said.
Every June, about 200 Edina students audition for 98 Concert Choir spots. Once the choir is chosen by teachers Dr. David Henderson and Mr. Christopher Piela, choir members commit to a full-year class that meets every day to rehearse for its many concerts and choral competitions.
The choir’s concert on Nov. 12, “Grammy Gala,” featured the band, orchestra and choir performing at the Edina Performing Arts Center.
“It was tempting to be a part of,” Magnuson said. “With our town having great history behind music and sports, I wanted to join the bandwagon and do both.”
Many choir members from last year observed an increase in the number of football players participating in the program this year. In the 2006-07 school year, only four players wore their jerseys to choir class on game days compared to 10 wearing jerseys this year.
Henderson, the conductor of the choir, was pleased to see more football players in his class. He hopes it will inspire boys in elementary and middle school to partake in the Edina choir program.
“This is a great thing,” Henderson said. “It shows that singing is becoming less of a ‘girly’ thing.”
Aside from Henderson’s approval of the singing football players, he sees a definite connection between team sports and a choral group.
“Both involve a unit working together to produce a successful end result,” he said.
Henderson requires that all male members of Edina Concert Choir participate in Edina Men’s Chorus, a group composed of men of all ages throughout Edina. They practice every Wednesday morning before school and perform various shows throughout the school year. Every year, Dr. Henderson arranges for the Edina Men’s Chorus to perform the “Star Spangled Banner” prior to opening kickoff of Edina’s Homecoming football game. This year, Henderson arranged for the ten football players to be placed in the center of front row of the chorus, facing the Edina fans’ seating section.
“Football players can sing too,” said Henderson.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Zephyrus Response

For the most part, I enjoyed reading this edition of the newspaper Zephyrus but there was some things that I believe could have been altered to make the paper more interesting. To begin, the story which was above the fold on the front page called, " MNDOT introduces the initial designs for the new I-35W bridge" is technically news but I felt that the issues surrounding the event of the bridge collaspe would be a story that would be near the end of the paper. I feel as if the front page story should be one that really reaches out and touches the reader and this one just made me say "oh, cool..." and I proceeded to flip through the rest of the newspaper to see what else it consisted of. I think that if a story like the one entitled, "You might get jacked" would be more fitting for the front page above the fold because it relates more closely to the students and would successfully answer the question that journalists often use to determine if something is news: "who cares?" Although, the story above the fold didn't satisfy what i thought should have been in that location of Zephyrus, I felt the story below the fold was in perfect placement. "Lend a hand this Thanksgiving" was well placed in the paper because it informs the student body about a way to give to the community around Edina and the opportunity can be seen more easily since it is on the font page.

I liked the fact that in the "features" section they asked a question that would spark students' humor senses to come out . This is always fun to see because of the humor aspect in these blurb -like questions. A "Teenage Zephyrus Date" was also something I found to be quite entertaining. The Zephyrus staff does a good job of entertaining their student body but the thing that contradicts so much with the material we learn in class is the Zephyrus staff writers' subjectivity. For example, "English courses often controlled by females while many males shrink from discussions and participation..." wheres the facts? the proof? there isn't really any. I feel they really don't do a strong job of remaining completley objective. But because they are subjective at times, they recieve feedback from their audience, and that is exactly what they want because that means people are actually taking the time to read their articles. For example, In class we discussed how some people wrote to Zephyrus and found an article written by one staff writer to be offensive. The person who wrote the letter expressed much fury with the article, but that means that people are reading it if it is getting this much attentions. I have come to realize that a newspaper will always get feedback, both good and bad, but the amount of feedback the paper gets is as, if not more important.