Students earn honors for creative works in PTA competition

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Whitefish Middle School eighth grader Danika Tintzman earned first place in the Montana State PTA Reflections Program competition. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

Whitefish Middle School eighth grader Danika Tintzman likes music and dance.

She likes composing her own songs on the piano and ukulele, and plays the oboe and sings in choir. She dances in several dance companies.

“When I get bored I like to play on the piano,” she said. “My favorite part is playing a song you already know because that really satisfying and relaxing. Playing songs in the learning stages is harder, but fun when you make a breakthrough.”

Last summer Tintzman created an original piano piece she submitted to the annual Montana State PTA Reflections Program competition. She earned first place in the music composition category.

Her older sister, Whitefish High School sophomore Regan Tintzman, earned first place in the dance choreography category.

The PTA Reflections Program is a nationally recognized art competition designed to enhance and celebrate students’ artistic abilities. Both girls work will advance to the national competition held in Washington, D.C.

Students create original artwork specific to a theme. This year’s theme is What Is Your Story?

Danika Tintzman created her original music piano piece over about two weeks. The song begins with smaller, minimal notes and has larger chord progressions along with building in volume.

“It’s about starting small and building on what you have,” Tintzman explained. “The more things you add the more it gets complicated and exciting, it’s like your life progressing.”

The competition focuses on six art disciplines: dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, and visual arts. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to enter and compete in four age group categories.

Several Whitefish students also placed in second at the state level including, in literature, Ashlyn Finley and Armen Keuylian; in film production, Cohen Gates, Danika Tintzman, Jeff Hyer; in music Bethany Barnes; in photography, Jeff Hyer. Those earning the judge’s award included, in literature, Eleanor Blanden; in film production, Bethany Barnes and Jeff Hyer; in visual arts Carmela Forcone, Selah Hagle, and Ali Hirsch; and in dance, Danika Tintzman.

Whitefish School District has been participating in the Reflections Program for many years; each year sending all first and second place district winners to the state level.

For more information on the PTA Reflections Program visit

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