Advanced Band Solo/Ensemble Night 2018 Print

On Tuesday, December 19th, the Advanced Band members took the Middle School Auditorium stage from 5pm-7:45pm for their Annual solo/ensemble night. There were 29 different performances in 5 minute time slots and all of the 58 members of the Advanced Band participated in preparing for this event.

Gary McCurdy (aka The Tubadour), former Washington band director, judged students giving them a rating and verbal comments at the conclusion of their performances. It is an unusual event from the standpoint that audience members can stay for all 29 performances or they can pick and choose to watch only one or a few performances.

It all starts in November when students choose their own groups and the only limitations are that the performing groups have to be a solo, duet, trio or quartet. After choosing the members of their group, the next step is selecting music. Most of the music is selected by students with guidance from Mr. McClenahan and/or private instructors. A majority of the music chosen is Holiday/Christmas or pop/movie music, but there are also many traditional instrumental pieces, standards and folk songs as well. Some are accompanied by parents, some by their instructors and some play along to recorded accompaniments.

Overall outstanding performances were selected and Kevin F. (tuba solo) and Sofia J. and Teegan S. (Flute Duet) were the two outstanding performances of the night. These groups received $100 in Be Bucks with this award.

The 6 groups receiving Division I+ ratings were: Mixed Trio (Natalie M, Bailey R, and Samantha H), Flute Duet (Sofia J & Teegan S.), Woodwind Trio (Sofia J, Madeline H, and Yanetzy E.), Low Brass Duet (Levi A, and Kevin F), Brass Trio (Brayden H, Jonathan M. and Teague M), and Tuba solo (Kevin F).

Mr. McClenahan commented, "This is one of the most challenging and valuable projects students do all year in band. Students play parts independently and they have no director in front of them to keep them together. It's also interesting to hear how they make some uncommon combinations of instruments work. In the end, they grow a lot and become better independent players. I also like the fact we always have 100% participation and they feel a sense of responsibility to their group."

The students were rated on a scale from I+ being the highest and III- being the lowest. The ratings earned by this year's groups were:

I+ =6

I =11

I - =6

II+ =5

II = 0

II - = 0

III+ =0

III =0

III - =0