Music students receive top honors at solo/ensemble contest

85 musicians earned D1 ratings for CF

At the Iowa High School Music Administration (IHSMA) Solo/Ensemble Festival held at Waterloo East on Saturday, April 8, CFHS students walked away with 43 Division I ratings for band, 21 D1 ratings for orchestra, 21 D1 ratings for choir and another 12 D2 ratings through choir.

Over 200 students participated in band, orchestra or choir, with opportunities to perform on their own or with a smaller group for a large crowd consisting of many judges and competitors.

A couple standouts that were highly acknowledged included senior Jack (John) Dunning, senior Angelle Waltz and a trumpet quartet. Waltz received an outstanding performance for a solo choir performance on Saturday as well as four perfect ballots. The trumpet quartet of Gina Mueterthies, Owen Schupbach, Andrew Mord and Peyton Stuckey were honored with an outstanding performance too.

Regarding the day’s events, Dunning said, “I was in a total of four events. I participated in a trombone quartet, a brass quintet, a vocal ensemble and I played my trombone solo.”

At the solo ensemble contest, there are a total of seven centers, each with one judge. Each judge listens to over 30 performances throughout the day and has the ability to select one of the performances as the outstanding performance for the center, sometimes also referred to as ‘best in center.’’’

“I’ve been playing in band ever since fifth grade,” Dunning said. “My motivation for musical success, however, didn’t take off until junior year or so. I was really inspired and motivated to make the All State band. That’s what started it.”

Since then, Dunning has been striving to advance his personal career and has plans for his future.

“Next year, I plan to attend UNI to major in music education,” he said. “At UNI, I plan to play in both a concert band and a jazz band.  Right now, trombone playing occupies a lot of my time. Throughout the year I’ve been involved in numerous playing opportunities including marching band, concert band, jazz band, symphony orchestra, the pit orchestra for Shrek, along with the ensembles I was involved in for contest this past weekend.”

Dunning encouraged anyone with a musical interest to strive after it. “Music, along with all of the arts, takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Potential beginners often hesitate, worrying that they are ‘too old’ to begin working toward a new hobby. From personal experience, hard work and improvement, I refute the idea that anyone can be ‘too old’ to get into the arts. It’s simply a matter of time, dedication and patience with yourself.”

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