Orchestra Solo & Ensemble Competition 2023


Practice makes perfect • Junior Christopher Mora practices his solo in class. Photo by Lizett Garcia.

Lizett Garcia and Kyleigh Lewis

On Saturday, January 28, orchestra students will travel to Marshall High School for the UIL Solo and Ensemble Competition. For the past couple months, since about November, students have been preparing their solo every day so it will be ready. After the Christmas concert in December, it was go time! Orchestra director Sherry Paetznick allowed the students to have free practice time every day so they would have time to pick out, practice, and polish their solo. Most of the solos also have a piano accompaniment which is usually performed by local pianist David Berryhill, who came to start rehearsals with the students on Tuesday, January 17. Students have been working very hard to get their solo learned, maybe memorized, and played with the piano accompaniment. 

The Solo & Ensemble competition takes place every year and gives students a chance to play music by themselves rather than with a full orchestra. Solos are divided into three different classes with class three being the easiest and class one being the hardest. At the competition, students play their solo in front of the judges and then receive a rating with 1 being the highest possible rating. If they receive a score of 1, they get a medal. Participating in this competition also gives students a chance to advance to the State Solo & Ensemble competition in May if they receive a score of 1 on a memorized, class one solo.

Come check back after January 28 to see the results.