Solo and ensemble take center stage


Solo Practices: Ephram Edelkind and Antonio Bujarski listen attentively while practicing. Two trumpet players prepared for their small ensemble together. 
“Being apart of this event inspired me to volunteer at more band events in the future,” stated junior Ephram Edelkind.

Every year, individuals who aspire to grow within their musical abilities participate in Florida Bandmasters Association(FBA) and Music Performance Assessment (MPA).  Students perform on their own or with a small ensemble in front of three judges. When they are finished with their performance, the judges work together to give the participants a rating. The first rating is “good,” which means the performance needs improvement and would be classified as a one. The second rating would be an “excellent,” meaning that the performer was a decent player but not enough to reach the highest. The final and highest rating could receive a “superior,” which classifies that the participant played the piece perfectly. Whether or not the applicants received the rating they thought they would, they learned from their performance. FBA is important because it allows the students to section off from the concert band and become a better player. They practice on their own time, they pick their music, and they receive their rating based off of how prepared the ensemble is. This year, FBA was held on Feb. 8 at Manatee High from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

It was an eventful day; it began with color guard astonishing the crowd and ended with the ensemble participants performing. The band department had students volunteer to help the process run easily. They assorted the desks in the rooms, brought stands in, and ran sheets across the Davis Building. On top of the volunteers being present, the players brought their mini audiences which consisted of close family and friends. As expected, the solo and ensemble participants seemed to be nervous about performing. Therefore, they had supportive people around them to put their minds at ease. When they arrived, the attendees had thirty minutes to complete their final practice before their performance. Then, they walked into a classroom and gave their music score to the three judges. Finally, after a bit of recollecting, they received their rating.

“I chose to volunteer for solo and ensemble because, I needed the community service hours and wanted to support my friends,” stated senior Matt Swanson.

These type of events are not only significant to individual band members but the band as a whole. The students will gain more confidence from this event and realize what they can improve on. The band department has their MPA in early March. It is expected that the judges from FBA will be similar to the group of selected judges at MPA. The lesson learned at FBA is that one cannot succeed until they fail.

“Doing solo and ensemble taught me how to take manage my practice time and become independent of the band,” said senior Richy Naar.