The Purple and White Pawprint

Student musicians perform at state solo festival

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On the bright, not quite sunny day of April 11, seven student vocalists and musicians, three teachers, one accompanist, and one girl who just wanted to support her friends loaded up into two vans before the sun had even begun to even suggest rising and began the grueling two hour plus drive to Andover, a suburb of Wichita, to compete at State Solos and Ensembles (despite no one in either of the vans having qualified to compete in an ensemble).

The vocalists competed first.  Chloe Philgreen, freshman, Kendall Smith,  and Katie Arbuckle, seniors, had all finished singing before 8:30 a.m. that morning. They all received one ratings.

The musicians competed later that morning and early afternoon. Maggie Meigs, sophomore, went first with her baritone solo, ultimately receiving a rating of two. Then Molly Meigs, senior, received a one rating for her trombone solo, as did juniors Jennifer Straub and Daniel Bell for their trumpet solos.

The music is difficult, often in classical style, and each solo is approximately five minutes long.

When asked how he prepared for his solo, Bell replied that it was “lots and lots of work. I practiced every night for weeks on end.”

And he had to; on top of the two ridiculously hard cadenzas, Bell’s piece concluded with a single note held for forty eight counts.

Mrs. Melody Richardson accompanied the soloists with her master piano skills and worked with them in the weeks leading up to the competition.

“It’s fun watching kids improve, get better, more confident, and you’re proud of them when they do well,” Richardson said.

In the end though, the real prize isn’t the one rating certificate or the feeling of success; it’s the privilege of performing sixty seconds of their solo in front of a packed crowd at the Spring Band Concert, Thursday May 7 or at the Spring Choir Concert on May 13.

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Student musicians perform at state solo festival