Select members from Lakeview’s Orchestra are going to state competitions

Aili Mayfield and Hannah Krascwski, Staff writers

   On Jan. 25, Orchestra conductor Lisa Payne took a group of her orchestra students to the annual Solo and Ensemble music competition. This is the first time in several years that Payne has taken a smaller group like this, otherwise known as a chamber orchestra (in musical terms). 

   Solo and Ensemble is a music festival where students prepare and perform a piece of music, either by himself/herself or with others, and play in front of a judge. They then give feedback on the piece played and will rate the performance. The grading scale goes from 1-4 (1 being the best and 4 being the worst). Getting a 1 is what allows you to continue on to the next level. 

   At the District Solo and Ensemble Festival, Lakeview’s chamber orchestra earned a first-degree rating, and have the opportunity to continue on to the state competitions. If they get a first-division rating at states, they will have reached the top, and cannot move on any further.

   The orchestra only consists of 15 members, but it took a lot of preparation and dedication. 

   “In October, I started giving the kids pieces of music. It takes months of practice if you want to do the best you can,” stated Payne. 

   Leading up to the district festival was nerve-racking; however, Payne felt confident in her students and the hard work they put into their music. 

   “I was confident because I knew they were well-prepared. We rehearsed in class at least twice a week. They all learned their parts well, and when it was time to perform, they were in great shape,” Payne explained. 

   This type of competition was a very new and exciting experience for those who actually performed.

   “It was a very different experience because I had never been in a chamber group, let alone one that went to Solo and Ensemble, received a first division rating, and is now going to states. We were all a little nervous beforehand, but once we started playing we just did what we rehearsed and that worked to our advantage in the end,” said Abby Howe, ‘21 violin player. 

   Playing as a chamber has its own advantages and was a really neat experience. 

   “I feel like playing as a chamber was not as nerve-racking because I had a lot of other people playing with me. It was really nice, and I felt really connected with the song and with my fellow players. Overall, it was an amazing experience,” Shannon Colgan, ‘21 violin player, reflected. 

   As states are getting closer, members of the chamber are excited and hopeful for what lies ahead. 

   “I’d say my hopes for states are to get at least a second-division because there are so many people that it’s hard to get it all in sync to deserve a first-division. I think we will do fairly well, and have another really cool experience,” Howe explained.