Band Students Prepare To Be Superior

Ryan Jayne, Staff Writer

The Solo & Ensemble took place at Dwyer High School last week. It’s an event in which students are encouraged to participate in performing pieces of their choice from a list. They vary in difficulty, and musicians may prefer an easier experience by playing a piece with a lower difficulty level, or rise up to the challenge by playing a harder one. Students also choose whether they want to do a solo, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, or choir. Since preparation is underway, the students expressed why they are interested in the event. 

“I chose my piece because it sounded rigorous and I love a challenge,” said senior Jaden Beckles, an alto sax player. “Choosing this piece reassured me that I’m a more than capable musician. I’m also very excited because this is my first time playing a grade 5 piece by myself.” He picked a harder piece because he hopes to go to State Solo & Ensemble in the future. Students that play a grade 5 and above while earning a superior are automatically qualified to go to the state level.

“I’m stepping out of my comfort zone by doing this event,” said senior Jordann Townsend, a clarinet player participating in a trio. Senior Elianah Esquenazi is excited to play with her friends; “It’s my last year here and I’m really looking forward to participating in a trio with my friends.”

“I love S&E because it makes me want to overcome my own current abilities and become a better musician,” says Franklin Ticas, senior. “Through persistence I got a superior at both the County level and the State level.” Ticas is performing a very hard level of piece, a grade 7, and hopes to get far in his tuba-playing career. 

“This is my first year choosing a small ensemble in S&E. I gathered a small group of four including myself to perform ‘Dance of the Little Tubas’ by Peter Tchaikovsky,” says Parker Perez, senior, who plays the euphonium. “As euphonium and tuba players we are portrayed as the strong base, but this piece allows us to try a different delicate, light style.”

The event just ended, and many of the band students, got the highest score, “Superior.” Expect another story in the future on how these “Superior” students feel about their hard work!