Band receives high scores at solo and ensemble contest in late springtime

“Just play the song one more time,” the voice inside says. “After that, you can go home.”

For some band students, this has recently happened, at least in the case of state solo and ensemble, since it requires plenty of time. Sophomore Cheyenne Battiest has spent a lot of her time practicing.

“Sometimes I’d stay after percussion ensemble,” Battiest said. “[It] was around 5:45 or so.”

Band director Jeremy Haas said he saw people practicing every day in seventh hour. Students came before and after school as well.

“If you wanted to come up on Saturday, we’d open it [the band room] up for you,” he said.

Battiest performed her solo and participated in the percussion ensemble that went to state. Junior Ian Beyer also performed in an ensemble and did a solo. He found it difficult to find time to practice for the ensemble.

“Everyone had different schedules,” he said.

The students who participated found their music challenging. Beyer had three movements, or three miniature songs, in his solo. Battiest played a four-mallet solo. She started learning it last year.

“As a sophomore it was pretty challenging, but I’d say I performed it pretty well,” Battiest said.

Haas thought that everyone he heard play was well prepared. Compared to last year at state, he thought they did better this year.

“It was a tough year,” Haas said. “That’s why we wanted to be better prepared this year.”

The ratings consisted of two 2’s and twelve 1’s. This means, collectively, two of the groups that went received an “Excellent” rating (2) and twelve groups received a “Superior” rating (1).

Haas was proud of the students and is looking forward to doing better next year. He hopes to see improvement in his students as they continue to practice.