Maharishi School Wins All State Banner for Radio Broadcasting

Students from Maharishi School won the “Critic’s Choice Banner” at the thirtieth Iowa High School Speech Association All-State Festival in the new category of Radio Broadcasting. For their news broadcast, freshmen Nathaniel Alexander, David Fulcher, and Lanie Goldstein wrote and performed the required international, national, and state news, weather and sports, a special feature, and an original commercial “increase your energy with Adrenalade!”

Jason Parkin of KCCI Channel 8 in Des Moines, the judge in the competition, commented that the winning broadcast was what he had “been waiting for all day. These students blew me away.”

“We really enjoyed doing all the sound effects and the music for the radio broadcast and we learned so much about broadcasting,” said David Fulcher, one of the winning students. “Elaine Speer, our coach, helped us develop our voices, the characters, pronunciation and tone. When recording, we had to do quite a few takes—one in particular took almost an hour—because if you mess up on even one syllable, you have to redo the whole thing. In spite of all the details, we did it quite quickly, because we really enjoyed it and were quite efficient and focused.”

“It took us about two to three weeks of preparation,” said co-winner and anchorman, Nathaniel Alexander, “because we had to research the news articles on the internet, and wanted to use uplifting, positive and humorous news. We think that may be why we won, because the judge also liked the items we chose.”

Lanie Goldstein, the on-location reporter, reports live on a man being rescued from a raging river (with accompanying running water noise, and cheers in the background as he is rescued). Lanie said she “was really happy to be asked to do it. I really had fun and enjoyed working in a recording studio.”

“It was a thrilling experience to coach Maharishi School students in Speech Competition,” said coach Elaine Speer. “We had a wonderful compatible team with great expertise. Stan Stansbury, Director of KHOE, lent his talent and time to help with the initial recording, and Jeffrey Hedquist provided invaluable assistance.” The judge commented on the diversity of the voices he heard and was impressed that it was only three students doing all the voices.

“This is the sixteenth Critic’s Choice Banner that students of Maharishi School have won since they first started competing in the competition in 1988. Our students have now won more banners than any other school in the history of the competition,” said Dr. Ashley Deans, Head of the Maharishi School. “Just to be chosen as an outstanding performer and to be given the chance to perform at All-State is a great honor, but to win a banner is the dream of every speech program participant.”

Also receiving the honor of outstanding performers were Bagambhrini Gerace, Alessandra Hass, Anjali Krystofiak, and Donna Schill, who performed in the Musical Theatre category with a piece entitled The Taffetas; the group mime ensemble of Bagambhrini Gerace, Marissa Markowitz, Julia Ross, Donna Schill, and Ali Swigart, performing Fish Story; and the solo mime entitled The Plumber performed by Jeremy Jones, all of whom received high praise from the judges. Special recognition was given to the second musical entry Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber, performed by Mogen Fishback, Marissa Markowitz, Jessica Pollack, Julia Ross, and Ali Swigart .

The mimes were coached by Erin Levi, David Murphy, Lucia Rich and Thomas Selleck. John Speer was musical director. Jennifer Fishback and Ben Pollack assisted with Musical Theatre.

Said parent Vicky Alexander, mother of Nathaniel, “It was really an experience for me too as a first time parent of a winner, because the whole competition is such a positive thing, and especially to reach the level of All-State is an honor.”

After the radio broadcasting show many people asked the winners for a can of Adrenalade! “We are thinking to patent the name!” said co-winner David Fulcher.


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