“Solo and Ensemble” Encouraged Students and Enhanced their Self-Confidence

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Orchestra students were warming up in the band room at Junior High School in order to play for the Solo & Ensemble.

Searcy(LP) Solo and Ensemble for Orchestra was on last Thursday, April 13th and for the band, it will be on next Thursday, April 20th.

Solo and Ensemble is an annual regional music audition for students who are learning and playing the instruments. It provides individual performers (soloists) and small groups of performers (ensembles) with an opportunity to perform for a qualified adjudicator. “I think it is an opportunity for students from orchestra and bands to perform in front of judges and show them the progress you made after a year” said Courtney King, an 11th-grade student in the orchestra. This audition is usually in April and many students prepared and practiced their music for a long time. Chesni Raibley, a Senior in the orchestra, said “ I played Sarabande in G Minor for my judge. It is a fun piece of music. I probably practiced it for 3 weeks or more because I really want to get a ‘1’ on the Solo and Ensemble.” Students can choose music and room number by themselves and play for the adjudicators. Students are capable of choosing any time for playing between 4:00-7:00 pm.

The adjudicator will provide written comments and suggestions for improvement, along with assigning an overall rating to the performance. Each student or a group of students was evaluated by one judge and rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 (“the Superior”) being the highest rating possible. They need to arrive at the junior high school at the time which they have signed. Students are required to wear formal clothes for playing. Dresses for girls and suits for boys or they can wear all black shirts and black pants. Performers warmed up in the band room and waited in the hallway. Many students were volunteers and came early to help other students to check in. There were 4 judges in the 4 different rooms on Thursday and students checked in before they go into the room. Each student played 4-5 minutes and the judge took 2 minutes to complete the comments sheet. After the performance, students can go home directly and they would get their comments in the class next week.

Solo and Ensemble is a very good chance for students to challenge themselves. Parents and teachers are able to see the progress and hard work of students after this activity. This activity also encouraged students and improved their self confidence.

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