At the beginning of the month, the band and choir competed in their Solo and Ensemble competitions. Each group prepared in their own way for their competition.
“In class, we worked on our ensembles every day for a week or two, and we performed them for the class as practice for what it would be like at the competition. We also practiced outside of class to try and perfect our piece as much as possible,” junior Alayna Kenworthy said.
The band and choir typically have good placings at Solo and Ensemble to set them up for future competitions, and this year was no exception.
“For me personally, my rating has stayed the same. My specific scoring, without using numbers, I believe is better than it was last year at Greenwood Solo and Ensemble,” senior Colin Short said.
Going into an ISSMA or Solo and Ensemble competition students never know what they are going to get when it comes to judges. While the set criteria is put in place, some judges are a little harsher than others.
“The severity of judging varies from judge to judge. I think my ensemble had a nice judge this year, but she still was a difficult judge. She pointed out lots of helpful details to review in preparation for state,” Kenworthy said.
The ISSMA and Solo and Ensemble competitions provide a chance for students to step outside their comfort zones and push their own limits musically.
“For ISSMA, the competition is kind of against yourself. We’re all graded individually with gold, silver, bronze, and participation awards,” junior Tiffy Carlson said.
The band’s next step is District Solo and Ensemble, but after receiving 29 gold ratings, the choir is headed to State.
“All qualifying solos and ensembles have State on Feb. 22, where we will perform our ensemble again, just like at District. The judging will be harsher and there is the chance to receive a rating of gold with distinction,” Kenworthy said.