Many Revere Band and Choir students participate in solo and ensemble, which took place at Firestone High School, to expand on their ability to perform professionally.
At Firestone, the students go to the high school and wait until it is their time to go into a designated room to play their piece for the judge. After the group or soloist is done playing their piece, the judge will take some time to rate their performance from one to five and make comments to give them tips for the next performance. Band director Darren LeBeau explained how competitions are set up.
“Each solo and ensemble is scheduled for eight minutes and [the students performing] are scheduled throughout the day between eight in the morning and five in the afternoon,” LeBeau said.
Band student Abby Kayani started participating in solo and ensemble at the middle school and decided to continue participating throughout high school. Kayani talked about her experience with solo and ensemble.
“In seventh grade we started a clarinet choir and every other year after that we’ve been doing solo and ensemble,” Kayani said.
Kayani also explained the process of picking a song to play in these types of competitions. The songs the groups usually play are classical pieces, but the song they choose depends on the difficulty and skill the students can perform.
“There is a select list of songs [the students] use and [the songs have] different rankings which matches the ensemble skill level,” Kayani said.
A Minutemen Time session has started for people in solo and ensemble to give the students time to practice their music before the competition. Kayani explained the benefits of having a dedicated minutemen time session for solo and ensemble.
“It gives [students] time for the directors to walk around and listen to us, during band we don’t have that privilege,” Kayani said.
First chair wind ensemble trumpet John Scheetz spoke about the students perspective of how solo and ensemble competitions go.
“[The soloist or ensemble group] goes in at your designated time in front of one jude . . . .Then you play your song; thirty minutes later you get a rating from one to five. Five being the best, one being the worst,” Scheetz said.
Scheetz explained why other band students should consider participating in solo and ensemble.
“It’s a great experience to work on music and to push yourself instead of having a band director push [ students] to get better,” Scheetz said.