Choir and orchestra students participate in all state competition


Ginny Lyons

Many students from both choir and orchestra participated in the solo ensemble contest. Choir participants, pictured from left to right: Carson Knoer, Maddie Turk, Claire Shinners, Kailyn Pedersen, Maddie Schafer, and Ty Hansen.

Erin Long, Staff Writer

The BSM choir and orchestra are always prevalent as a group at mass and other school gatherings. Recently, some of these students went to a special event in order to focus more on the individual performances.

Both the choir and orchestra went to a competition called Solo Ensemble, which is a solo or ensemble performance in front of a judge, who then responds to the presentation with feedback and a rating. Both groups went separately since there was a difference in the date and location, where the orchestra stayed at school and the choir traveled to Wayzata. “It’s basically like you compete. You get to sing a piece for a judge, work with them, [and then] they give you feedback. You get to work with professionals so it’s really cool because of that and [you also get] to hear constructive criticism that’s not from your choir teacher,” junior choir member Maddie Schafer said.

A number of schools went to both the choir and the orchestra Solo Ensemble and it included more schools than the Metro West Conference. Many schools performed, but the event focuses more on soloist participation. “You go to represent your school, but it’s less like a school competition and more personal. I think the reason why BSM went to it is because we wanted to compete in it,” Schafer said.

You get to work with professionals so it’s really cool because of that and [you also get] to hear constructive criticism that’s not from your choir teacher.”

— Maddie Schafer

As a solo event, the performance proved to be much more difficult and stressful for students. “I have been doing competitions for a little bit, not only violin but singing, and earlier on in piano when I was younger. So I’m used to performing like this, but I’m going in for someone with no idea what they will say, no idea what they will think, and it’s hard because every judge has their own opinion,” senior orchestra member Ty Hansen said.

The performance and the one-on-one meeting with the judge can be stressful, but it proved to be  rewarding for members of the choir and orchestra as they get tips on how to improve individually in their music. “I would say that the judge gave good critiques. No matter what ranking you get, it helps no matter what, [as] having someone else’s perspective is really helpful in any scenario,” Hansen said.