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Students participate in District Solo and Ensemble Festival

A total of 40 Somerset Middle School students took part in the Feb. 9 District Solo and Ensemble Festival in Amery. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Pictured are the Somerset Middle School musicians who received the Best of Site award at the Feb. 9 District Solo and Ensemble Festival in Amery, including: (from left) Libby Churchich, Shyann Erickson, Mackenzie Eickhoff and Riley MacDonald. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

Somerset Middle School

On Thursday, Feb. 9, 40 Somerset Middle School musicians traveled to Amery for the District Solo and Ensemble Festival, in which five school participated.

The festival is sanctioned by the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA), and students either play their instruments or sing in small groups or alone. The music they play is selected off a state list of varying levels. Class "C" is geared for middle school students, class "B" is advanced middle school or easier high school, and class "A" music is challenging high school music.

Adjudicators listen to the students play and return an evaluation rubric with ratings from one through five, with one being the best. Musical qualities evaluated include tone quality, intonation, accuracy of notes and rhythms, their playing or singing technique, and their use of musical expression and awareness of balance and blend if in an ensemble.

Somerset was very pleased to bring home all one and two ratings, and two best-in-site awards. Each adjudicator at the festival will hear around 35 events during the course of the evening. Of those, they choose the one selection that stood out to them as the best they had heard that day. One of the events receiving this honor was a vocal trio by Riley MacDonald, Shyann Erickson and Mackenzie Eickhoff. All three are eighth graders who performed in several events each, both vocal and instrumental. The other Somerset event which earned this honor was a clarinet solo performed by sixth grader Libby Churchich. Congratulations to all students who performed at this event for their hard work in preparing their selections.