Holy Family instrumentalists earned all superior and excellent ratings for their performances at this year’s Section 2AA Solo and Ensemble Music Contest on Monday, February 13. Judges rate the performances on eight factors of five points each: tone quality, intonation, rhythm, balance and blend, technique, interpretation/musicianship, articulation, and other performance factors. Scores of 35-40 points earn a contest top rating of Superior, 28-34 points an Excellent rating, 22-27 points a Good Rating, and 21 or below a Fair Rating.
The woodwind performances included Natalie Wideman’s clarinet solo and her clarinet duet with Mitchell Hausback. Both pieces earned Superior Ratings. While most musicians prepare for about 6-8 weeks, Natalie and Mitchell had just 3.5 weeks, due to a back order on their music.
Also performing a solo was Giselle Shannon on the cello. Accompanied by alumni parent and talented pianist, Pat Schaffran, she earned a Superior Rating and a perfect score of 40 on her performance of W.H. Squires’ “Fairytales.” Giselle began playing the cello 18 months ago and spent over four weeks preparing for the music contest. When asked why she chose to enter the contest she answered, “I take every opportunity to perform I can. A performance or contest motivates me to practice, not just for practice sake, but with the intention to improve and give my best performance.”
Giselle joined violinists Nicole Espinoza, Melissa Espinoza, and Maddy Kohrman to form a string quartet. The quartet earned an Excellent Rating for their ensemble performance of Bach’s “Brandenberg Concerto 5.” The Excellent Rating is an impressive feat for a quartet with two members with fewer than two years experience playing a stringed instrument.
Holy Family’s final entry Jazz Ensemble, a group of select musicians from the school’s jazz band, also earned a Superior Rating. Musicians in the ensemble are Anna Alleven (alto sax), Daniel Trieff (trumpet), Giselle Shannon (piano), Sam Winfield (bass keyboard), and Ryan Jandl (drums). Jazz Band will compete in the Large Group Contest in just a few weeks.
Director of Instrumental Music, Mrs. Laura Boillat, encourages all band students to participate in the contest each year for the satisfaction they receive from preparing and performing for the contests. She comments, “The ratings the students earned are great! But the best part of participating in solo & ensemble contest are the feelings of accomplishment students get from performing their very bests; the time and effort are all worth it!”
On March 16, Holy Family’s music department is offering a Contest Concert and Recital in the Performance Center at 7:00 p.m. This free concert is an opportunity for the Holy Family extended community to hear the performances from the solo & ensemble contest including those of the band and chorale from the Large Group Instrumental and Vocal Contest still to come.