Music department participates in Solo Ensemble festival

Over the weekend, numerous Cedar Falls High School students performed in the Solo Ensemble Festival held Saturday in Dubuque.

Students from all three music sections (band, orchestra, choir) had the opportunity to perform a solo with no auditions required. With no limit to the amount of pieces performed, some students went the extra mile and participated in multiple events.

“I performed in nine events,” said junior Josh Carlo. These events included an oboe duet, barbershop group, oboe-flute duet, vocal solo, bassoon duet and madrigal group. Carlo recieved seven Division I ratings and two Division II ratings.

“I prepared by practicing almost every day inside and out of school and by taking advice from my teachers and peers,” Carlo said.

Some students worked with their teachers while practicing for the performances, while others chose to practice with a private teacher. Teachers give advice to their pupils on which song to choose, but ultimately song choice is up to the musician. For the Solo Ensemble participants, practice meant everything.

“I prepared in a variety of ways. For chamber orchestra and myviolin quartet, I mostly practiced during C shift on the days Mr. Hall gave us to work on our events. In choir, Mr Kranz gave us time to work on our group events as well. For my vocal solo, I mostly learned it myself or in my lessons with Mr. Kranz. I also basically learned my violin solo on my own time, but since I take private lessons outside of school for that, my teacher helped me quite a bit as well. Those performances helped immensely with my confidence, and were a great preparation tool,” said junior Clarissa Sutton who performed in six events.

Solo Ensembles are time consuming and require a lot of hardwork, but those who taught and mentored the performers know what a rewarding musical experience it is.

“It is a great way for students to push themselves and become better players. It’s the process and music requirements that bring the best out of musicians! I am very proud of all the musicians that have gone above and beyong and who participated in the contest,” said Orchestra Director Scott Hall.

Performers also learned a lot from their Solo Ensembles and note that this Festival teaches them how valuable practice time is.
“It’s a great experience and it’s wonderful to see the product of hard work both for me and everyone else that went. It’s a great bonding experience for those of us in the musical department too,” said Sutton.

 

(Allie Harris photo)

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