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Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association Shining Star: Zoe Fiddelke

This appeared in the March 2020 issue of Twist and Shout. Zoe Fiddelke is a senior at Manson Northwest Webster High School.

When did you first become interested in music?

I had always had an interest in music for as long as I can remember. I remember that music class was always my favorite special in elementary school. When I was in fifth grade, I joined band and began taking piano lessons (as most kids do). This is when I really became fascinated with music. I’ve done everything that I can with it since then.

What instruments do you play and how long have you been studying them?

I’ve been playing the clarinet and the piano for seven years. I’ve played the alto saxophone for five years. I learned the trumpet about two years ago, I started the tuba last year, and I just began the baritone saxophone last week!

Who has influenced you as a musician?

The people who have influenced me most as a musician are my teachers. My favorite teacher, Ms. Benz, has taught me so much about music. Watching her teach and play her instrument has shown me what it means to enjoy music and put your heart into what you’re teaching. Before I met Ms. Benz, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After only having her as a teacher for three years, I knew that I wanted to do exactly what she was doing. She taught me to put my soul into the songs that I perform and she’s inspired me to want to share that gift with others.

What do you enjoy most about making music?

I enjoy almost every part of making music. I love sight reading (even though it’s hard sometimes), I love using my metronome, I love practicing the same measure over and over until you finally get it right. However, my favorite part of preparing a song is when you can finally start adding fun dynamics and musicality to a song. This step is what makes the music come to life. It’s what makes it fun to play and fun to listen to.

Walk us through a day in the life of Zoe Fiddelke.

I typically wake up around 6:50 and start getting ready for school. I leave the house around 7:45 and start my school day. I have a pretty easy schedule this trimester: (1st period)- I practice my clarinet, (2nd)- I do AP English, (3rd)- Choir, (4th)- Band, (5th)- Media Literacy, (6th)- Calculus. After school, I typically have pep band or practices for musical and speech. Every Wednesday, I have clarinet lessons in Newell that takes up most of my afternoon. If I’m not busy after school I’m typically hanging out with my family at home, doing my homework, or hanging out with some of my friends.

What other activities have you been involved in both in school and in your community?

In school, I participate in: Speech, Musical, Play, Choir, Show Choir, Band, and Jazz Band. Outside of school, I sing at my church.

What are your plans after high school?

I plan to go to either ISU or UNI in the fall to study music education. I would like to become a band teacher and help inspire future musicians as my teachers have inspired me.

Where do you see yourself in 25 years?

In 25 years, I hope to be a music professor at a college. I would love the opportunity to play in or conduct a very talented band. I also hope to have tons of dogs and cats, a great house, and hopefully someone to share it all with. I would also love to say that I have traveled the world and seen many amazing things.

Who inspires you and why?

The music teachers that I’ve had throughout junior high and high school have really inspired me. Besides teaching me important music facts and basic knowledge, they’ve taught me why music is important. Most important of all, they’ve taught me to have fun whenever I make music because if you’re not having fun with music, what’s the point?

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies (outside of music, of course) include reading, watching movies and my favorite TV shows, crocheting, and hanging out with my friends.

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