IHSA Solo and Ensemble

Olivia Suarez, Crown Staff

Months of practicing and taking private lessons, all leading up to five minutes in a room with a judge critiquing every sound that is made. Solo and Ensemble is a musical competition that can either be preformed in a group or individually. It started at 7:00 am, but Marian didn’t have its first performance until 8. Once everyone arrives at Harvard High School, to the left of the main entrance is the aux gym where groups and soloists practice before their debut. In the main gym is a projector that puts everyone’s scores up on a screen. Scoring gold is a one, silver is a two, and finally, three is bronze. Each person has a number and the judges will give the results that will be fed into the computer. Since it’s live the numbers move very fast and people have to watch very carefully so they don’t miss their score.  Marian overall had 21 first place contestants, 15 second places, and 1 third place. All of these high titles gave our school a ranking of 21 out of 63 schools in class A. Mr. Rome has been going around to as many rooms as he can listening to all his students, making sure all the hard work they put in pays off. Mr. Rome has been at every competition for the past 30 years. Dante Bucci (11) and Viktor Wilson Miller (10) both agree that the initial sitting down and waiting for your turn to preform gets their anxiety up, but as the music flows Wilson-Miller comments, I feel more relaxed and just enjoy something I have practiced so hard and so long for”. One thing that made Wilson-Miller the most nervous was the scales and how all musicians must know most of them so that the judges can just pick off the list and see if the player knows them or not. “I was worried I hadn’t practiced as much as I could’ve” says  competitor Bucci    (11). Bucci also recommends that students pick music way ahead so that they have enough time to practice and a change anything if an accompaniment is needed.