Band and orchestra students went to Kankakee Valley on Saturday to compete in the district solo and ensemble.
Solo and Ensemble is a contest in which musicians perform by themselves or in a small group. Each musician is graded on a scale of 1-4 in nine different categories, with one being the best score.
Musicians can choose to go group one, two, three or four. Any musician who chooses to go group one can advance to state if they score low enough.
Sophomore Athena Dover knows how much hard work solo and ensemble takes.
“I probably spent about two hours every night trying to perfect my solo,” Dover said. “I really put in the hours, even with my ensemble.”
Dover believes solo and ensemble is important for high school musicians to advance in their playing ability.
“It helps you grow as a musician,” Dover said. “I can honestly that I feel like I’m a better playing having had that experience.”
For any band student that did not go to solo and ensemble, they had a second option in the coffee house. The coffee house is similar to solo and ensemble, but in much more relaxed environment, according to senior Abbey Seberger.
“With solo and ensemble, you are alone in a room with an ISSMA judge who is listening for your flaws and scoring you,” Seberger said. “At coffee house, you’re just playing for other band students in the commons.”