Students showcase musical talents at spring solo/ensemble contest

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 8.06.55 AMApril 12 brought together many of Cedar Falls High Schools finest musicians in the music festival hosted at Cedar Falls High School where participants had the chance to perform and show off for the judges, showcasing their talent and hard work. The CFHS students in band, choir, orchestra or a mix of two or all had a strong day with many Division I ratings and awards, with a large chunk of perfect scores as well.

All in all, the music departments ended the day with a lot of success, the CFHS musical students took home 51 Division I ratings in Band, 30 in orchestra and around 14 in Choir. Two students received the Outstanding Performance award. Junior Erik Cheng won the award for his bassoon solo, and junior Kyler Boss won the award for his snare drum solo.

Choir director Elliot Kranz was pleased with Saturday. “My expectation is that they prepare a piece of to the best of their ability. The students at Cedar Falls performed very well on Saturday. I feel like the students benefitted from the comments they received from the judges.”

Scott Hall, orchestra director, was also pleased with the efforts. “It takes a lot of fortitude to stand up in front of a judge and audience and perform. I congratulate all the students in the

music department who participated.”

The musicians put in a lot of hard work by taking time out of their free time and class time to practice for each of their performances.  Most soloists also met with a private teacher/instructor to help prepare for the big day, but others who did not have private teachers and instructors were given extra help from the music directors at the high school.

This year each of the three departments had more soloists and solo performances than ensemble/group performances. Though there were more soloists than ensembles, accepting the challenge to do both a solo and ensemble was on the top list of the music directors. “I like to see as many kids as possible in an ensemble. In this setting they perform one person per part, so the success of the group is dependent on every member doing their job well. The result is that it pushes kids to play to their best ability,” band director Gerald Ramsey said. “For the soloists, this is usually an opportunity to play literature that challenges them the most, so this experience pushes them to higher levels of performing, both technically and musically.”

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