Students shine at State Solo/Ensemble

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MHS students performed in 180 music events, taking first place in 132 events, at the Wisconsin State Music Association State Solo/Ensemble Festival at UW-Platteville on Saturday, April 28.

Ten MHS students --  Felicity Cole (alto sax), Meghna Datta (violin), Ava DeCroix (music theater), Ella Hursch (flute), Sam Jaeger (marimba), Max Newcomer (jazz woodwind improvisation), Maureen Sheehan (viola), Andrew Stine (alto sax), Jenna Wagner (marimba), Luke Wittingham (marimba) and Grace Madigan and Hanna Noughani (woodwind duet) -- were recognized with the WSMA Exemplary Performance Recognition Award for their solos.

Thirteen more MHS student soloists -- Andrew Allen (jazz piano and piano), Mia Chapman (violin), Jonathan Downs (alto sax), Ben Fagre (vibraphone), Ben Foster (alto sax), Calvin Guse (viola), Mary Hsu (viola), Abby Mangas (flute), Thorne Powers (trumpet), Rohan Shah (classical guitar), Abhav Soni (piano), Jaimie Williamson (trumpet), Calvin Guse and Maureen Sheehan (viola duet), Ella Hursh and Luke Whittingham (flute/percussion duet), Andrew Allen, Susanna Zheng and Saemee Kim (clarinet trio), Max Newcomer, Holly Essert, Felicity Cole and Andrew Stine (saxophone quartet) and Max Balasubramaniam, Ben Fagre, Sophia Bote, Jenna Wagner (percussion quartet) -- were nominated for this award.

WSMA also gave Exemplary Performance Recognition Awards to ensembles for the first time this year. One MHS ensemble received a WSMA Exemplary Performance Recognition Award and five ensembles were nominated for this award.

The Exemplary Performance Recognition Project expands recognition of outstanding student musicians at the WSMA State Solo & Ensemble Festival. State festival adjudicators identify the most exceptional soloists and ensembles at each of the state festival campuses through a two-step process: nomination and final selection.

Throughout the festival day, adjudicators have an opportunity to nominate performers whose performance was truly exceptional – beyond what is typically expected for this age group. At the end of the day, each adjudicator selects up to two of the most exceptional performances to receive the Exemplary Performance Recognition Award from among those nominated.

"Solo & Ensemble is a time of great musical growth for all of our participants. They learn important musical independence skills and also see a broader repertoire of music than is available in the large ensemble setting,” MHS orchestra teacher Steve Kurr said.