The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile
Wisdom Konu
Wisdom Konu
Executive Editor and Culture Co-Editor

Solo/Ensemble preview

Solo%2FEnsemble+preview

Solo/Ensemble is a chance for musicians who have been in the band, orchestra, or choir to perform alone or in a small group, and be scored according to their performance.

City High holds its own solo/ensemble festival each year instead of sending students to the state competition, due to busing and other costs, which amounted to several thousand dollars each year.

“We still have to pay judges,” Grove said, “but we can control the quality of the judges.  We can get people we can trust to have a solid background and opinion.  At the state competition, kids never know who they’ll sing for.”

Musicians are scored in a number of categories, including tone, technique, rhythm, interpretation, and other performance factors.

“Ensembles are also judged on their balance and blend,” head choir director Dr. Greg Grove said.

Like at the state level, City High’s competition culminates in an honors recital or showcase, following the respective competitions- choir on April 30, and orchestra on May 1.

“We ask each of the judges to choose the top performance from each of the three or four centers,” Grove said. “They perform at the honors recital with the top three or four from band, orchestra and choir.”

The judges may or may not choose the student or group with the best score.

“It’s not necessarily the top scorer.  It’s the ones the judges think most deserve to be honored,” Grove said.

The band’s festival took place on April 24.

“They all played, and they all did a great job,” band director Ryan Arp said.  “I was impressed by how professional City High students were through the whole process.  They took it seriously, and I really liked that.”

The students have been preparing for several weeks for this competition.  As always, the directors are expecting them to be well prepared, and give a professional presentation of their music.

“The solo I’m doing is absolutely gorgeous,” Holliday Bender ’14 said, “and the piano duet [part] to it makes it sound ten times better.”

While students prepare to perform, they also plan to learn, as the judges provide feedback after the performance.

“I hope to learn more about how a duet works together, and just get better at violin,” Bender said.

The solo/ensemble festival provides an opportunity for students to learn solo music, which they usually would not have the chance to experience in a choral or orchestral setting.

“I think it’s an excellent way to expose [the students] to new music and styles,” Arp said.  “It’s a chance to play in a different group than just the band.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Little Hawk
$1800
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Iowa City High School. For 2023, we are trying to update our video and photo studio, purchase new cameras and attend journalism conferences.

More to Discover
Donate to The Little Hawk
$1800
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Little Hawk Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Solo/Ensemble preview