Performers medal at State Solo and Ensemble 

Payton Henn, Reporter

On Saturday, February 29, qualifying students from the Gibson Southern band traveled to North Central High School and performed at State Solo and Ensemble. 

While State and District Solo and Ensembles aren’t too different in format, there are some more difficult requirements needed to be able to go to the State level. 

“There’s honestly no difference between state and district solo and ensemble except difficulty,” band director Brent Winstead said. “At state level, you have to get a certain score to go to state, and you also have to be in group one.”

With 15 band members qualifying from Gibson Southern, each student performed a solo at State last Saturday.

“We had 15 solos, and everyone received a gold or silver,” Winstead said. “Most people got gold, and we had a few silvers. Overall we did very well.”

In a tough competition with at least 5,000 Indiana band students, State Solo and Ensemble is a little tougher than District. 

“At state, they grade you off of a rubric,” Winstead said. “They grade you a little harder. It’s mainly university professors that are actually judging.”

With Gibson Southern going to State annually, Winstead tries to add some variety between years. 

“It’s really hard to compare years because every other year we switch between solos and ensembles,” Winstead said. “It’s easier to rehearse ensembles than every individual student doing a piece. In an ensemble, students don’t get as nervous because they’re playing with other people, whereas solos, students all by themselves. We had more kids at state last year, but that’s just because they were ensembles performing together. We also didn’t have as many solos last year, whereas this year was all solos.”

Students had positive thoughts about their performance at State as well. 

“I got gold, and I was really proud of myself,” senior Emma Greene said. “I had never received gold for a solo at State before. I play the clarinet, and I play the sonata in C minor. It was fun, interesting and challenging. It was also pretty long. It has 5 movements, but I only had to play 3.”

Other band members agree that State Solo and Ensemble was a new experience. 

“I went to State last year, but as an ensemble,” sophomore Claire Cox said. “This year was totally different because I was by myself, but I think overall I did really well. I played the flute and got a 12, which is gold.”

Students awarded gold ratings are:  Allie Chamberlain, Claire Cox, Ainsley Epperson, Justin Leary, Macy Beard, Emma Greene, Aubree Miller, Allison Hale, Chloe Coburn and River Epperson.

Students awarded silver ratings are: Abigail Hicks, Avery Lemming, Tristan Coburn, Mackenzie Estep, and Zach Winget.