Vocal Performers Move to All-States

After crushing Solo and Ensemble competitions, a select few Titans move to All-States

William Collins, Staff Writer

  Solo and Ensemble is a three-tiered competition within the state of Michigan. The first stage is districts where soloists and ensembles have to perform for a rating in order to move onto states. States then become more competitive and again soloists and groups compete for a rating. Then the top ten in each category go on to perform a concert which is called All-State. At each of these levels, educators rate and give feedback to help improve the groups.

  “It gives the opportunity for students and different choirs to get an outside perspective or a third party to come in and give us a grade. [That way we can see] what we can do better and where we have done better,” soloist and Westmen member Alex Roush said.

  WSH had two duet groups, four ensembles, and a handful of soloists move on to states. Two of the ensembles, Westmen and Choral-Airs, as well as one of the duets got perfect scores. All of the other groups scored first-tier ratings, meaning they were in the top percent. 

  “The great news is that West choirs aren’t usually struggling with whether or not we will get the first division rating. We have a tradition of excellence in our program and school. What we are usually going for is to be selected as one of those top ten groups,” choir director Erich Wangeman said.

  Several WSH choirs and groups have been selected to move on to All-State. Choral-Aires was selected as the top ensemble at state Solo and Ensemble. Bella Voce and Westmen were also both selected to go to All-State as well as Centrals Choral-Aires. In addition to the ensembles, at All-State there is a competition between ten selected soloists. They are competing for the number one and number two spots in the state. Soloists Caleb Mienk and Issiah Gallegos were selected to compete in the top 10. Also selected was Piper Dee and Katie Brazee’s duet. All around state Solo and Ensemble was a huge success for all of TCAPS.

  “Solo and Ensemble is an opportunity for smaller performing groups and individuals to receive educated feedback and a rating if they choose so that they can create a challenge, try to achieve a goal,” Wangeman said.

  Alex Roush was a soloist at state Solo and Ensemble as well as a member of Westmen. He scored a 113 out of 120 or a division one rating as a soloist. 

  “For me personally, working as a soloist rather than a group ensemble definitely took a little bit more work. But I feel like it was a lot more rewarding to work as a large ensemble because you know you work with so many people to pull it together,” Roush said.

  Whether students are involved at Solo and Ensemble as soloists or in ensembles, it is a great opportunity to improve their voices and get feedback from the educators on how to go about that.

  “It’s definitely helped me a lot to grow my voice as a soloist and as a group ensemble member. It’s been a fantastic experience and I’ve learned a lot from that third-party perspective,” Roush said.