By Madison Palmer
6th grade student
Students in the band at Wertheimer Middle School recently attended a solo and ensemble competition held at Wessendorff Middle School. Our band students had been preparing for this special event the whole year both at school and at home. Each student who participated played a solo, ensemble, and if asked to do so, a trio. For you readers who are unfamiliar with musical lingo, a solo is where someone plays a piece of music by themselves, a trio is three people playing a piece of music, and an ensemble is a group of four or more people playing a piece of music.
The band teachers, Mr. Matthew Boozer and Mr. Billy Newman, have diligently worked all year to prepare students for this contest. When asked about the preparation process, Johana Newman who plays clarinet told me, “[Mr. Boozer and Mr. Newman] gave us the music and helped us play it. If you asked them a question, they would tell you what you wanted to know and more. They gave us extra help.” The classmates I spoke with agreed that they really enjoyed advancing in knowledge for this memorable event.
When I asked about the efforts made outside of class, trombone player Mason Imrie said, “I went home and practiced my solo.” Cristelle Pagunsan agreed and told me, “I played it for my brother.” It was clear that students devoted much time and effort to this competition on their own time as well as in class.
Although practice builds confidence, band students were still anxious about performing. Kelsey Pitts, who plays clarinet said, “I was nervous because I didn’t know if [the judges] were going to be mean or not…but they were very nice.” As a participant myself, I can second that the judges were all very kind, considerate and well-educated. Some of the judges even took the time after the competition to share with students how they might improve their playing.
It seems that all the hard work and nervous energy really paid off because the Wertheimer Middle School band saw great success. Division One is the top honor, and participating students received medals for achieving this particular goal. Students who qualified for Division Two received ribbons. I am pleased to report that most of the students in Wertheimer’s band earned both! It appears that the judges were eager to reward our students for their hard work. We are all very proud of our musically talented Wertheimer Hawks!