1. Name: Owen Obrien
2. Age: 18
3. Hometown: Fort Dodge
4. Area of Artistic Interest: Music, Songwriting, Sound Production
5. In what ways were you exposed to art and culture as a child? I was first exposed to music because of my Grandfather, Tracy Ernst. In fact, he was the one that made me become passionate about music in the first place. So my main exposure to music was through him showing me all kinds of music, and watching him play live shows when I was growing up. I owe it all to him.
6. How did you learn to play bass? What other instruments do you play? I learned how to play bass about 5 years ago. When I began, I pretty much just learned the instrument via several YouTube videos, and trying my best to learn difficult basslines. I definitely tried to go way over my skill level when it came to learning techniques but, I think it worked out. Trying to learn hard songs made me more determined. I also play drums and guitar, but bass is definitely my main focus.
7. What do you most enjoy about being a musician? Being a musician, I think, is one of the greatest feelings you could have. Creating music, learning music, playing live shows, I mean it almost gives you this euphoric feeling.
Being a musician means you express your creativity and emotions in a way that anyone can hear it, whether it be through an instrument, or your voice. It’s incredible.
8. Tell us about the gig you’ve played that has left the biggest impression? The gig that’s left the biggest impression? Hm. For me, Honestly it was quite recent. The band I’m in, Aka The Tank Anthony Band, recently played at the downtown country jam, which is an event put on by shellabration. I have to say, playing that show, with the
amazing musicians and people I play with made me feel on top of the world in that moment.
9. What inspires you? What inspires me? Creative people. People that want to inspire the world through their art. The thing I love about music, or art, is that they can bring all people, from any ethnicity or believe system, together. Not many things can do that. I find that inspiring.
10. What are your plans after Iowa Central Community College? After Iowa Central, It’s been my dream for a while to go to the Berklee College of Music. The things they offer there, I mean it would perfect for a career in the music scene. Plus, the music scene in general around Boston, is quite nice.
11. What is something you’d like us to know about you? Something I’d like the people to know about me? I’m not sure at this point besides what I’ve mentioned. I can make a mean packet of Ramen I suppose. hahah
12. Favorite Musician & Why? Favorite artist/musicianHonestly, I would say Victor Wooten. He’s not only an incredible bass player and composer, but he also is a very inspiring and wise person, and finds ways to relate music analogies to everyday life. He’s like.. the Yoda of Bass
13. Favorite Food? Favorite food? What a way to end! haha. I’d say a good chicken wing would do the job.
- Name: Addie Schulte
- Age: 17
- Hometown: Fort Dodge
- School/Grade: Senior at Saint Edmond Catholic School
- Artistic Outlets: My artistic outlets are mainly through my involvement at school. Show choir is one of my biggest artistic outlets because I love expressing myself on stage through dancing and singing. I cannot wait for later in the season when we get to start performing; the thrill of being on stage exhilarates me. Cheer is another one of my favorite artistic outlets that allows me to express myself and display my positive personality. I’m so excited for this year’s competition cheer season where we perform in state cheerleading and for basketball cheerleading (my favorite season!)
- What activities are you involved with at school and in the community? My fine arts involvements at St. Edmond have included Gaelic choir, Concert choir, Chamber choir, Show choir, All-Iowa Show choir, musical, Showcase, and small group speech. My other involvements have included football cheerleading, competition cheerleading, basketball cheerleading, cross country, cross country manager, and Play like a Champion. I have also been involved in leadership positions such as Gaelic choir President, Concert choir President, student body Secretary, Student Ambassador, and cheerleading captain. In the community, I stay involved by lecturing and eucharistic ministering at weekend masses at Holy Trinity Parish.
- What is your first memory of experiencing music for the first time? My first memory of experiencing music was my first year at the McSweeny’s School of Arts children’s chorus. My best friend at the time was super into the choral arts and she introduced me to the group. I remember loving practices and feeling so excited about the music we were making. I never knew what my voice was capable of. When our first concert came around, I just felt so comfortable on stage. I knew that this would not be my last time on stage.
- Walk us through a typical school day for you. I wake up around 6:00 A.M. most mornings so I can be at school for Show choir practice that starts at 7:00 A.M. On the days I don’t have show choir, I’ll enjoy my morning by getting a workout in or enjoying an extra thirty minutes of sleep. My school day is packed full of classes. My favorite class is Service where I get to help out in Mrs. Lennon’s three-year-old preschool room. You can often catch me working on one of my four Iowa Central college classes in the library during the school day. At the conclusion of the school day, I head to work at the Saint Edmond After School program. I work there every day after school from 3:00-5:00 P.M. in the preschool through kindergarten room. After work, I head home to work on homework and eat supper with my family before heading to cheer practice, to babysit, to cheer a football or basketball game, to chamber choir practice, or to one of my many other involvements.
- If you could play any role, who would you want to play, and why?If I could play any role, I would want to play Penny Pingleton from Hairspray. I grew up loving the movie and musical Hairspray. It was my sister and I’s favorite movie for a while so we watched it on repeat. I love all of the songs in Hairspray and I would just adore being in the scenes of a movie that I grew up loving. I also love the combined aspect of singing and dancing in the movie which is probably why I enjoy show choir so much.
- What are your plans after high school? After high school, I plan on attending a college out of state to study kinesiology with a pre-physical therapy emphasis. I am currently undecided about which university I will study at. I will continue college after my undergraduate degree in a physical therapy program to fulfill my dream of becoming a pediatric physical therapist.
- In what ways will the arts and culture be a part of your life in 30 years?In 30 years, I hope that I will have instilled my love for the musical arts in my children. I want to give them all of the extraordinary experiences that I had growing up from a children’s chorus to private voice lessons to being in junior musicals. The arts gifted me with so much joy and passion and I hope to instill that into my children someday.
- What makes you happiest?The people I surround myself with are my most predominant source of joy. This includes my family and my close circle of friends. Children are one of my other main sources of happiness. I love each and every one of my SEAS children and all of the children I babysit for. These children are oftentimes the highlight of my day and they always can bring a smile to my face. I also have to mention that ice cream sure does make me happy :)
- What, or who, inspires you? My parents have always been a big inspiration for me. They’ve been my most significant role models and supporters. I wouldn’t be the successful young lady I am today without them. My dreams for the future also inspire me. I have lots of challenging goals for myself and striving to achieve them motivates me to do many things. My old vocal teacher, Mr. Ben Wegner, has also had such an impact on me. He inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and bolstered my vocal growth. He had an influential role in shaping me into the musician I am today.
1. Name: Nicole Canty
2. Age: 4
3. Grade/School: Homeschool
4. Hometown: Webster City, Iowa
5. How old were you when you started painting and what did your paintings
look like? I started painting at 7 months old. They were beautiful!
6. How are your paintings different now? I get to paint them how I want. I can
use paintbrushes and get messy.
7. Is your family artistic? If so, how? My mom can paint and draw. She took
art classes in college. My dad is also very creative.
8. What’s the hardest part about painting and why? Nothing. I just paint.
9. What do you most enjoy about painting? I get to choose and mix colors.
10. What do you want to be when you grow up? An artist. And I’m already an
11. If you could meet any celebrity, who would you meet and why would you
pick them? I want to meet Ryan Kaji. I like his youtube channel and he’s
12. What other activities are you involved in? I go to library events and play
soccer in the Spring. I went to a few of the summer art camps at the
Blanden. I start Classical Conversations in the Fall. Before we moved here,
I played soccer year round. At home, I like to catch bugs and play with my
Jurassic World dinosaurs. I’ve made two dinosaur movies.
August 2022 EVAN PRATT
1. Name: Evan Pratt
2. Age: 17
3. School/Grade: Junior at Fort Dodge Senior High School
4. Hometown: Fort Dodge, Iowa
5. How did you become interested in music and theater?
I was fortunate enough to have older cousins who were very involved in the FDSH Theater Department and I always enjoyed watching them perform. So, when I had the opportunity to go out for theater and perform for audiences, I took it.
6. What, or who, inspired you to teach yourself guitar?
The older I got, the more interested in music I got. I always thought the guitar was cool. About 2 years ago, I just decided I wanted to finally learn. My uncle plays guitar and he was self-taught, so I told him if he found a used guitar for me to let me know. I finally bought an acoustic guitar and then covid hit. So, my only option was to figure it out by reading music and playing until things sounded right. I finally figured it out after lots of practice.
7. How many original tunes have you written, and, what do you most enjoy about writing your own songs?
I have written 12 full songs. I am actively working on about 4. I really enjoy being able to tell my own stories with nothing holding me down but my imagination.
8. What theater productions have you been involved in?
I was involved in The Wizard of Oz and King Artie and the Knights of the Rad Table in middle school and have been involved in While the Lights Were Out and Footloose in high school. I recently performed in a community theater show under the direction of Mrs. Krug called Johnny Brooke: A Ghost Story.
9. What is the most challenging part for you when it comes to performing?
The most challenging part for me might be memorization. I can go up on a stage and perform with no problem as far as nerves since performing is one
of my favorite things to do. I will always be nervous about forgetting a line or lyric though.
10. Do you come from an artistic family? If so, in what ways?
Considering the definition of Art from person to person is rather subjective, anyone could come from an artistic family. Most of my cousins have been in theater and I have an uncle who is an incredible artist, graphic designer and painter. Performing and creating are the two major definitions of art, so those are my prime examples.
11. Where can we hear your perform?
I am working on getting a date set up for an opening performance at Shiny Top Brewing. After that I would love to set up some more live shows. In the meantime, you can find my music on any streaming service.
12. Will music and the arts be a part of your life in 25 years? If so, how?
As long as I have a guitar or a pencil, I will always be drawing or picking my 6 string. Drawing, playing and singing are all such a big part of my life at this point that I truly couldn’t see a future without them.
13. What are your plans after high school?
I plan on going to Iowa Central Community College for 2 years and I would love to be involved in their theater and music programs.
14. Who do you look up to and why?
Naming one person isn’t easy. I am fortunate enough to have many influences in my life for every part of it. Obviously I look up to my parents a lot, but I would say some of the people I look up to the most musically would be Zach Bryan, Evan Felker, Eddie Van Halen, Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson to name a few.
15. You have 2 tickets to go to any live concert. The band/performer can be any, living or deceased. Who would you choose to see, who would you take and why?
Well, that’s a hard question to answer. I think that it would be between seeing the Eagles in their prime and Van Halen. I think at the end of the day, I would choose Van Halen because seeing Eddie just solo for ten minutes straight would be absolutely incredible. As for who I’d take, that is even hard to answer. Although my parents both love music, and I have been to
multiple concerts with them, when it comes to Eddie, I gotta pick my Uncle Russ.
July 2022 Lea Chau Chiaco
1. Name: Lea Chua Chiaco
2. Age: 7
3. Grade – Fall 2022 & School: 2nd Grade in St. Edmond Catholic School
4. Hometown: Fort Dodge
5. Instrument: Violin
6. Violin Instructor: Melissa Gillette is my violin instructor.
7. When did you first become interested in learning music? At age 4, I started learning to play the violin. I also began voice lessons with Mrs. MaryAnn McSweeney last summer of 2021.
8. Do you have a musical family? My grandpa and brother play the violin and piano. My dad used to play the euphonium.
9. What do you think about while performing? I mostly try to focus on my violin. I check my that my bow is straight and my fingers look good.
10. Do you get nervous on stage? If so, how do you overcome your nerves? I do not get too nervous because I have been on stage a lot of times. When I do get nervous, I try not to look at anyone and just look at my fingers and my violin.
11. What do you most enjoy about playing in front of other people? And why? I get to show people how I am improving at playing the violin. I practice a lot at home, so it is fun to play in front of other people too. They get surprised when they hear me play because I am very little.
12. What’s the hardest part about playing in front of other people? And why? Sometimes, when there are a lot of people, then I feel like there are way too many eyes on me. I cannot see my mom or dad, so I try to just focus on my violin.
13. What are some of your other hobbies? I love to sing and dance. I like to read books about animals and Junie B. Jones. I also love to go swimming, and hangout with my friends.