How often do you hear a barbershop ensemble in high school? And an award-winning one at that? Batavia High School has the Blue Belles, and their leader is senior Melzie Case. Melzie also plays piano and percussion. She loves the marimba, in part, because she mastered playing with four mallets. "Once you get it it's incredible," she says. "Because you can just fly all over the keyboard instrument. I love the sound of it, it's just a beautiful instrument and I find it the most fun."
Melzie consistently wins top marks in all-county and all-state competitions. She was chosen as a student soloist in a concerto competition sponsored by the Genesee Symphony Orchestra. In one way or another, music has been her mainstay since she was a young child. She wants to teach music.
"I think she's going to be an excellent educator," says music teacher Jane Haggett. "But she could very well be in the performing world with any orchestra and wind ensemble of her choosing." "She's so talented in so many musical areas both vocal and instrumental," says music teacher Dan Grillo. "She's a real treat to teach and very valuable to the department."
Last fall, the Blue Belles competed in a national festival called Harmony Incorporated. They wound up winnmig an award for best novice quartet. Melzie counts that as among her proudest accomplishments. Next year, she's off to Ithaca College to study music education.
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