At the beginning of each year, band and choir students have the opportunity to compete in Indiana State School Music Association’s (ISSMA) Solo and Ensemble. This competition is split into three divisions, and each student chooses which division they would like to compete in, with division one being the most prestigious.
“You have the opportunity to perform in front of other people, and they give you positive and negative feedback so, you know what you need to work on,” said junior Johnathan Moore.
Moore will be competing with a vocal solo for his third year and is already beginning to prepare with form LHS choir teacher, Liz Graybiel. Moore’s “support team” consists of family, and choir friends in the competition room.
“I think this is going to help me become a better team player… I am excited for the constructive criticism I will get back,” said freshman Calista Cole.
Cole will be competing in instrument ensemble for the first time this year and is very eager to get the opportunity to receive feedback from the judges. In order to prepare, Cole will be practicing weekly with Mr. Conrad and her ensemble group.
“[Solo and ensemble] is a really nice way to see how much progress you have made,” said senior Nicholas Zamora.
Zamora will be competing for the final time this coming year. Previously Zamora has competed in vocal solo and ensemble, dependent upon the year. Zamora has kept track of his progress throughout all of his competitions. When Zamora first began, he scored a 13, which barely qualified for a gold. For the past two years, Zamora has qualified for state and scored nines, which is a perfect score.
“It [competing and practicing] really helps you learn how to stay committed to something,” said junior Cynthia Kirkman.
Kirkman will be competing in two instrument solos this coming competition year, and is hoping to get a perfect score, just as she did the previous year. Kirkman encourages anyone who is involved in music to try solo and ensemble, even if it is only one competition.