Last Saturday, Megan and three of her friends competed at District Solo & Ensemble which was held at Hartland High School. What the heck is that you say!? According to the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, this is what it is:
Solo & EnsembleSolo & Ensemble Festival is an opportunity for individual students from member schools to perform a selection of their choice for adjudication. District-level festivals are held in late January through mid-February.
ScoringEach student or group of students is evaluated by one judge and rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest rating possible. Students or groups that earn a rating of 1 (or "Superior") are qualified for State Solo & Ensemble Festival which is held in March. The basic structure of State Solo & Ensemble Festival is the same as District, but the students are held to a higher standard. Soloists in grades 10 through 12 must perform Proficiency Exams which include scales and sight reading. Students and ensembles that are chosen for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Band, Orchestra, Soloists and Ensembles come from the highest rated events at the State Festival. Participating students that earn a rating of 1 or 2 at District or State Festivals are eligible to purchase medals.
Megan at this point is too "chicken" to do a solo. Last year she did a duet with one of her flute friends. This year, they went with a quartet. That's ok, I used to do the same thing when I was in school...no solos!
So they found their music, practiced individually and together a handful of times. Arrived early to warm up for their scheduled performance time in front of the judge. In the end, they played well and received a 1 rating (the highest)!!! Yay! Me and the other moms listened in. While watching, I had to sit kind of behind Megan so that I/we did not get the "church giggles". Yes, sometimes I am that immature. Like say her clarinet "squeaks" during their performance. Well, I would have one of two reactions. Horrified...or...more likely -- uncontrollable laughter! Thankfully, all went well. The judge listened and afterwards gives suggestions and critiques and talks to them for about 10 minutes. It is a great learning experience as well as good exposure - playing in front of a judge like that. After waiting about 20 minutes, their rating is posted outside of the room where you performed.
Their 1 rating qualifies them for the State competition in March. Apparently, their high school band director is requiring them to pursue the State competition. So, off they will go to compete at the State level. Meanwhile, they will practice some more and try to perfect what was already a lovely quartet!
Nice work girls!!!!!!!!
They Warmed Up
They Sorta Tuned and Warmed Up Some More...
They Played "Summer Sketches" by Castle
They Received the Judge's Rating and Remarks
Division 1 Rating Blue Ribbon
Alexis, Madeline, Katie and (my) Megan
(and a forced smile for One of the Crazy Blogger Moms!!)