This past Saturday, Feb. 8, over 50 students from DHS went to Owosso High School to compete in Solo and Ensemble. Solo and Ensemble is an event where music students can participate in a solo, trio, duet, quartet, quintet, sextet, octet or another option of an ensemble. The soloist or group plays alone in front of a judge at a designated room and time.
Skill and talent varies throughout the Solo and Ensemble participants. How Solo and Ensemble works is that there are ratings the judges will give based on the performance. The highest of all these ratings is a one. The categories the judges will base their rating on are intonation, interpretation, musicality, expression and technique.
“It’s a really great experience and it’s fun to be able to prepare something and get input from someone other than people that you’re around [everyday],” sophomore Rachel Lew said.
If a performer or performers received a one on their performance (whether it’s a solo or an ensemble), they advance to states which takes place in Lapeer on March 22. What’s different about states is that the judges will critique the performers at a much stricter level than at the district competition. Also, if the performers are playing a solo and are a sophomore, junior and senior, they are required to play memorized scales and sight read. For sight reading, the judge will place several excerpts in front of the musicians. These excerpts will be ones they have never seen before and the judge will score them on how well they can play piece without any prior practice. Their entire score will be out of 100.
“States is different because you have to do proficiencies and they expect more from you,” sophomore Clayton Burlew said.