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Eleven-year-old from Hammond seeking to repeat first place performance at St. Croix County Fair

by Laura Giammattei

HAMMOND — In the heart of St. Croix County resides Glenwood City-born Joyanne Kohler and her husband, William Rohrbach, proud parents of Evelyn Rohrbach, a young girl of unique abilities.

Evelyn is the granddaughter of Russ and Rosie Kohler formerly of Glenwood City. Evelyn was born in Baldwin, Wisconsin and then lived in St. Paul, Minnesota before moving to Hammond six years ago, where she and her family currently live.

One of Evelyn’s many talents brought her to the Wisconsin State Fair in 2015. Last year, she attended the state event after winning first place for her piano performance in the St. Croix County Fair non-vocal talent competition in the under 14 age group.

This year, Evelyn is eleven years old, going into fifth grade, and has been playing the piano for five years. This will be her fifth year participating in the fair’s non-vocal competition. In addition to receiving first place in last year’s county fair, Evelyn has also won both the 2015 and 2016 Badger State Piano Competition, hosted by the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association. Clearly Ms. Rohrbach has a gift she is just beginning to open.

Though she did not place for a prize at the 2015 Wisconsin State Fair, Evelyn said that she enjoyed the experience of winning first place in the county fair and was proud to represent St. Croix County at the state level last year. Presently, she is hoping to return to the event this year as well. First, though, she will be looking to repeat her success at the local level.

Evelyn is currently preparing for an encore performance at this year’s county fair and will be playing two pieces: “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin and “The Black and White Rag” originally written by George Botsford and composed by Albert Benzler.

During her performances, Evelyn also dresses up in a costume related to the theme of her music. When she participated her first year, she performed a Mozart rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in a cowboy hat, her second year featured a performance of the “Beer Barrel Polka” in a German dress, and her third year, she performed the “Bumble Bee Boogie” in a poodle skirt. Last year, she revived several Baroque pieces dressed as Marie Antoinette.

In addition to participating in the non-vocal talent competition, Evelyn will also be showing livestock (sheep) for the first time, and will also be entering baked goods and other food projects through the 4-H program. Her father, William, has a passion for baking and has passed his knowledge and talent for baking to his daughter. One of their favorite and most baked items are gingerbread cookies.

While the piano and cooking are near and dear to her heart, Evelyn also has a passion for working with animals, particularly dogs, sheep, and horses. She is excited to show her sheep at the fair later this month.

On top of her musical abilities, baking talents, and care with animals, Evelyn has also been studying Chinese. She and her family spent six weeks in China a little over a year ago, where she began learning the language and continued studying after returning to the states.

Please feel free to attend the local talent show event on Sunday, July 24 beginning at 1:00 p.m. and experience Evelyn’s musical stylings.