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The student news site of Lake Brantley High School

The Brantley Banner

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Straight superiors: State Solo and Ensemble

A+saxophone+quartet+plays+a+piece+for+straight+superiors.
Photo provided by: Riley Bredesen
A saxophone quartet plays a piece for straight superiors.

From Mar. 25 to 27, high school students from all over Florida went to Deland High School to showcase their musical skills at State Solo and Ensemble. Prior to the event, students were ranked on a scale from ‘poor’ to ‘superior’ and further coached on what they could do to improve for future performances. This annual event pairs with a local, county-based event of the same name. Students that scored ‘superior’ on a higher grade piece of music, they are eligible for State Solo and Ensemble.

“Practice for me was meeting up with the people in the groups for the sax quartet and the combo,” said sophomore Peter Rudl. “I would stay after school and work during school while doing personal preparation.”

Practice is a large part of the success of all students that are involved in the event. The effort that these high-achieving students put in is reflected in their scores, as working through pieces incorporates many different skills. For example, one must work on individual sections before working with an accompanist or the full group. The dedication required to spend months working on the same song is rare, but the students who made it to State Solo and Ensemble possess this skill. 

“My favorite part of State Solo and Ensemble was the feedback from the judge who was extremely supportive,” said junior Emily Song. “It was a good learning opportunity.”

The learning aspect of Solo and Ensemble is arguably the most impactful part of the experience. The ability to both work through any type of performance anxiety and work on technical skills is a benefit a student cannot get anywhere else. No matter what a student has encountered, they always have the potential to conquer another slight hiccup in their craft. They work with well-trained clinicians that analyze even seemingly minute details in order to perfect the pieces they have worked on for weeks and even months. 

“I wanted to go because I worked really hard on all my pieces and so I thought it would pay off even more if I did well on them at state level,” said sophomore Riley Bredesen. “Also the bragging rights are nice.”



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Kingston Lareau
Kingston Lareau, Staff Reporter
Kingston Lareau is a sophomore and is very excited to be joining the Brantley Banner as a first-year staff member. He is an Assistant Section Leader for trumpets in the marching band. Outside of school, Lareau loves going to concerts, shopping at various music stores, cooking and baking. He is excited to begin writing and hopes that he can pursue newspaper throughout high school, before progressing to a study of psychiatry.
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