NDA Musicians Headed to State Competition

Nick Bumgardner, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

At the conclusion of the WSMA district solo and ensemble competition, eleven Notre Dame students and three large group ensembles finished with a 1* rating, the highest rating available.  As a result, these students  qualified  for the State Solo & Ensemble Festival to be held at UW-GB on May 2.

The Wisconsin School Music Association conducts the instrumental and vocal contests, which feature over 100,000 students each year.  Around 30,000 qualify for the state competition held every spring.

It’s an event few vocalists or musicians will forget.

“They will perform for another clinician with the possibility of receiving an ‘outstanding’ rating from the state festival.  It is a fantastic experience for them,” said Christine Salerno, choir director at Notre Dame.

The goal of the solo and ensemble competition, as defined by WSMA, is to “improve students’ music performance, increase students’ understanding of music literature and music concepts, motivate students to continue their study of music, establish standards of excellence in music performance, and provide opportunities for students to understand the relationship of music experiences to other life experiences.”

Receiving 1* ratings were Monica Sosa-Hernandez, Emily Hoeppner, Jenny Ai, Tommy Zakowski, Abby Heyroth, Noah Sternig, Ryan Beyer, Faith Barington, Malachi Bieker, Alex Prikockis and Elisabeth Bernauer.

In addition, Notre Dame’s jazz I, brass choir, and woodwind choir ensembles also finished with 1* ratings, sending them to the state competition this spring at UWGB.

Their feats didn’t come without sacrifices, however.

Students have been preparing for weeks, setting aside time in and out of school, to perfect their performance.

It is here that they learn the discipline of rehearsal, are challenged to develop their musical talents, and prepare to eventually receive criticism from a judge at the district event.