Local composer invited to compete
To get invited at the national level, 16-year old Eric Schwickerath, a junior at the Crook County Christian School, first had to beat out all competition at the Oregon Fine Arts Festival. This he did, performing his original composition, "Reach on out."
Schwickerath was only one of those attending the Fine Arts Festival held in Albany earlier this month who came home a winner. Sponsored by the Assembly of God Youth Ministry, the festival draws young people from all over the state. The competitions cover a wide range of categories such song composition, choir, band and male and female vocal solo performances. Music is not the only discipline, the festival also involves such categories as drama, photography, fine art and dramatic speaking.
Another CCCS who came home a winner was John Hite II, a junior, who was awarded top honors for his website design. Also returning home with an award was the 16-member Junior High Choir. Like Hite, their performance won them the Superior rating. Only Schwickerath was given a Superior With Invitation, which will take him to Kansas City.
When the decision to attend the Fine Arts Festival was made, Schwickerath had only a short time to prepare. He said it took him about four days to write his song. But his background in music is much deeper. He plays a number of instruments and teaches piano, guitar and bass.
When interviewed for this article, he explained that the money he makes with the lessons will help pay his expenses on the Kansas City trip. Anyone wishing to take lessons can contact him through the CCCS office, 416-0114.