KWCH Top of the Class 2023 - August Siefkes
Great Bend High School
Biography: August is a senior from Great Bend High School. She lives on a farm in rural central Kansas with her parents, Jon and Andrea, and her younger sister Madelynne. August started her musical career in the 2nd grade with piano lessons. In the 5th grade band, she started playing percussion. Her passion for “hitting things with sticks” really took off when she started taking private percussion lessons with Kurtis Koch. Since then, she has participated in 27 different honor ensembles. Some of which include the 2020 KMEA Full Orchestra, 2022 KMEA 1234A Band, 2022 John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band, and 2023 KMEA 56A Band. In late May and June of this year, August will perform with the All-American D-Day Band at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., and in Sainte-Mère-Église, the American Cemetery at Brittany, the American Cemeteries at Omaha Beach and Utah Beach, and Jardin d’Acclimatation in France. At the 2022 KSHSAA State Solo & Ensemble Festival, she received one ratings on her percussion ensemble, marimba solo, and snare drum solo.
As a pianist, August enjoys playing for two different churches in her community. She has participated in the KSHSAA State Piano Festival all four years of high school and has received one ratings the past three years. This summer, August will compete in the IPPA (International Piano Professionals Association) Conero International Piano Competition. In the band program at Great Bend High School, August is the percussion section leader in the Panther Pride marching band and concert band. She also plays drumset and piano in the Panther jazz band. In addition to her musical endeavors, August is a member of National Honor Society, Kayettes, GBHS Student Ambassadors, Random Acts of Kindness Club, and Scholar’s Bowl. In May, she will graduate in the top 10% of her class. August then plans to attend K-State, majoring in music performance and minoring in business.
Academic Honors & Awards: Honor Roll (9, 10, 11, 12), Presidential Scholars Program Nominee (12), National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation (12), Southwest Kansas Music Educators Association District Jazz Band (9, 10, 11, 12), Southwest Kansas Music Educators Association District Concert Band (9, 10, 11, 12), Kansas Junior John Philip Sousa Honor Band (7, 8, 9), K-State All Star Marching Band (9, 10, 11, 12), KHSAA Piano Festival (9, 10, 11), KSHSAA Solo/Ensemble Festival (10, 11, 12), John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band (9, 11), Kansas Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra (9), Kansas City Youth Symphony (10), Salina Youth Symphony (11), Kansas Music Educators Association 1234A State Band (11), Kansas Music Educators Association 56A State Band (12), All-American D-Day Band (12), 2023 International Piano Professionals Association: Conero International Piano Competition U.S. Division Finalist (12)
High School Involvement: Private Piano Lessons (2012-Present), Private Percussion Lessons (2016-Present), GBHS Cross Country (9, 10, 11, 12) - Injured halfway through the season in junior/senior year and was unable to finish, GBHS Bands (9, 10, 11, 12) - Percussion Section Leader (10, 11, 12), Kayettes (9, 10, 11, 12), Random Acts of Kindness Club (10, 11, 12), GBHS Student Ambassador (10, 11, 12), National Honor Society (11, 12) - Elected as secretary (12), GBHS Scholar’s Bowl (11, 12)
Fun Fact about Yourself: This summer, I will perform in Washington D.C. and at several locations in France as a percussionist in the All-American D-Day Band. This elite band of high school students from around the nation was organized to recognize, honor, and commemorate the heroes of D-Day.
Dream Job: Professional Percussionist/Pianist
College & Major: Kansas State University; Majoring in Music Performance, Minoring in Business
Future Plans: After receiving my bachelor’s degree from K-State, I will continue my education with a Master’s degree in music performance from the University of Missouri Kansas City. After receiving my graduate degree, I would like to perform professionally with a major symphony, recording company, or musical theater orchestra.
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