Solo and Ensemble

Jin Koo, Reporter

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Members of the orchestra recently went on to participate in the Solo and Ensemble contest held at Hanks High School.

“The event itself is where students go to a school, in this case Hanks High School, and perform either a solo or an ensemble in front of a judge in a classroom,” violinist junior Amber Deshaies said. “The scores range from 1 to 5, 1 being the best. If a student scores a 1 while playing their music by memory, they qualify to go to state. There they will perform again and advance to a higher rank.”

Violinist senior Scott Perkins, who performed a solo piece with Mrs. Crye, the orchestra instructor, as a piano accompaniment, gave insight on the preparation for the event.

“It’s all about learning your key signatures, your timing, the feeling, and the rhythm. Taking time out of your day after school and mainly being in sync with your pianist, trusting each other and being able to play with each other hearing the parts you have to offer,” Scott said. “Everything we do is to prepare with nothing but dedication and love, love of feeling the strings, and the way the bow flows on the strings, perfecting every bit of technique and style, finger position, and just pure passion.”

Amber, who also did a solo performance and scored a one, told us what her practice process has been like.

“The preparation was like a concert. We practiced as much as we could after school with Mrs. Crye and on our own,” Amber said. “We had to practice introducing ourselves and making sure our technique was correct.”

Violinist junior Shakayla Wilkes, who also scored a one at the event, told us her experience leading up to the day.

“This year, I switched the pieces the week of, so I only had a week to prepare and polish and I didn’t have enough time to memorize it, but I played the Guige from Paritita #3 by Bach,” Shakayla said.

She also gave us her thoughts on how she played for the contest .

“It was the most confident I’ve felt in a performance,” Shakayla said.

Senior Jacquelin Chavez, who had previously competed in the Solo and Ensemble contest, also gave insight on what she had to do for the contest.

“For my freshman year, my teacher pressured me to practice more and more. On the parts that I didn’t understand I would run it slow then gradually increase my speed to the assigned tempo,” Jacquelin said. “The preparation for the crew this year was similar to how I did it. A lot of the members who performed this year had a similar preparation process or a little different than mine.”

She also stated what her experience was at the event itself back then.

“I was extremely nervous, my palms were sweating, and I was shaking so much. I was having an anxiety attack before I entered the room,” Jacquelin said. “I was the first to perform and I kept messing up. After I got done playing I was finally able to breathe. Once I got my score I sat back down and calmed down.”

The most recent crew who went also provided their thoughts on the competition.

“The experience was fun, I enjoyed listening and hearing the different types of pieces and being surrounded with people who share the same interest,” Scott said.

Amber shared her experience at the event as well.

“For me personally, I was very nervous. However, the contest itself is fun and I know that no matter how nervous I get, afterwards I am glad I experienced it,” Amber said. “I know I would regret not performing.”

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