On February 24, 2018, students from different schools came to Northland Pines and performed a piece of music in front of one judge. Performers are allowed to chose their piece of music based off of their level of experience. Class C is the easiest class to perform, and class A is for the most experienced performers. When being judged, you are scored on a scale from five being the lowest, and one being the best. If you perform a class A piece, you have the opportunity to go to the state competition that is held from late April, to the middle of May. You are only allowed to go to state if you receive a one with a star on the rating sheet. We have some students going to state from Northland Pines from band and choir.
We were able to talk to some performers about their last experience at Solo Ensemble, specifically what was going through their mind knowing that this was going to be their last Solo Ensemble performance. “It was kind of bittersweet because you work so hard on a piece for three months, just to have it come to an end, but at the same time you don’t have to stress about it anymore.” said Becca Beyersdorf, a senior who has been in choir since middle school. Fellow senior Hadley Burns said “It didn’t really feel that different, it’s a lot of work but going into my future I will be in college choir and in my degree so it did not feel that different.
We asked two of our peers who both were in the musical, and asked about the struggles of handling both. They did not find it too difficult to handle both the musical and getting their Solo Ensemble pieces ready to perform. “It was not that difficult because most of the pieces are mixed in with one another. The musical theatre acts were better due to the experiences from the musical.” Colton Clure explained, a junior at Northland Pines.
Mrs. Janssen is the choir director here at Northland Pines. She has been very busy, from directing the musical, to teaching 7-12 choir, and helping students work on their Solo Ensemble pieces. We asked her what some advantages were to hosting Solo Ensemble at Northland Pines, “It is nice to have Solo Ensemble on your own ‘turf’, kids are comfortable with the performance spaces and don’t have the added anxiety of trying to find performance sites, etc. I think our kids do a good job as hosts too, helping other schools and students find their way around.”
“Transitioning from the musical to Solo Ensemble is a tough thing for the students. The music styles are very different from the character they were playing, and sometimes voices just need a period of rest, as well. They definitely did the best they could under the circumstances.” said Mrs. Janssen.
Actors and actresses had a brief period after the musical to better prepare their Solo Ensemble piece. “During musical we had time to work on Solo Ensemble in class, and when the musical ended when we had a two week time period between the two and that was plenty of time to get prepared for competition.” said Morgan Phillipich, a sophomore at Northland Pines. Morgan also had two pieces of music advance to the state competition. “This was my first year doing class A, and I did two pieces and I ended up making it to state with both of them. I am really excited to continue in the future and to perform more class A’s .”
It has been a successful year for Solo Ensemble Northland Pines band and choir students. Solo ensemble is a great way to learn new songs, work on your vocal range, and to meet new people. This was a great experience for newcomers because this gave them the opportunity to be judged by a professional, and to also receive comments from that judge to help them in the future. For the seniors this was their last Solo Ensemble performance, they worked very hard to perfect their piece before performing.
Those who advanced to the State Solo Ensemble competition in a couple of months, names are listed below.
Musical Theater Solos: Malcolm McCanles, Faith Webb, Morgan Phillipich, Cheyanne Warren.
Soprano Solos: Faith Webb, Jillian Gleason, Kennedy Thomas, Anna Reese, Hadley Burns, Rebecca Beyersdorf
Alto Solo: Myria Strong, Morgan Phillipich, Langdon Langhoff, Heather Wyatt, McKenzie Parnewicz, Emily Klopp
Vocal Jazz Improvisation Solo: Massa Justice
Vocal Duet: Emily Klopp, Anna Reese, Natalie Fluegel, Sofia Lane, Faith Webb, Malcolm McCanles
Vocal Trio: Langdon Langhoff, Anna Reese, Hannah Retzleff, Cheyanne Warren, Faith Webb, Emily Klopp
Vocal Ensemble: Ethan Graper, Morris Justice, Brenden Erdle, Ethan Sites-Parker, Haskel Parker, Mason Birchbauer
Tuba Choir: Liam Oas, Billy Garrison, Rachael Krupka, Matt McGill, Myria Strong, Peyton Hernandez
Jazz Ensemble: Sheamus Roelle, Chris Hom, Hunter Indermuehle, Taylor Madl, Kelvin Lindbom, Remington Wendling, Faith Webb, Bryce Langhoff, Malcolm McCanles, Dane Gleason, Nicolo Bortolotti, Jack Uhrine, Vito Bortolotti, Nick Lofy, Gracie Stevens, Billy Garrison, Claire Reese
Percussion Ensemble: Cheyenne Warren, Faith Webb, Rachael Krupka, Taylor Madl, Nicole Ravanelli, Gracie Stevens, Billy Garrison, Gillian Bellman, Kelvin Lindbom, Bryce Langhoff, Dane Gleason, Malcolm McCanles
Creative Jazz Combo “Always Chris”: Malcolm McCanles, Dane Gleason, Bryce Langhoff, Gracie Stevens, Kelvin Lindbom, Remington Wendling, Chris Hom, Sheamus Roelle
Jazz Strings Improvisation Solo: Dane Gleason
Jazz Piano Improvisation Solo: Dane Gleason
Jazz Woodwind Improvisation Solo: Claire Reese
Tuba Solo: Matt McGill