Solo and Ensemble
In April every year the Kansas State High School Activities Association hosts a regional solo and ensemble competition. This is a voluntary event that students may choose to participate in. On their own, outside of class, students need to pick a solo and learn it as well as they possibly can. If the solo includes a piano accompaniment it is expected that the student will hire a piano accompanist, practice with them, and perform the piece at the competition with the accompanist. The cost for hiring an accompanist is covered by the student/family, not by the school. It is possible to do this compeition without private lessons, however, the majority of students who participate in this event every year have a private teacher that chooses their music and helps them prepare for the event. Students who receive a One Rating at the regional competition qualify for State. The process is the same for State except that it is at a different location and the judging is more difficult. State is usually held at Emporia State University. We supply school transportation, however, most students choose to travel with their parents so they can return home after they play. Students that ride with the directors will attend the entire day regardless of what time they perform.
Mr. Smikahl and Mrs. Creek feel that this activity is a very important way to help students improve on their instruments. Just knowing that they will be performing the piece in front of a judge encourages a lot of extra practice, which in turn helps them improve. We strongly suggest students consider participating.
It should be noted that for students in the Advanced Percussion Ensemble class this event is required as we usually take at least two percussion ensemble to this event that we prepare in class.