Why Is Individual Competition Important?
For the majority of the year, band at Gatesville is a team activity. In fact, one of the main benefits of being a part of a music program is that you learn to work collaboratively with others to produce a final results that is greater than the sum of its parts. However, each of our students is on their own journey as a musician, striving towards musical excellence. We believe that the two events we encourage our students to participate in each year help drive them towards that goal.
ATSSB All-Region Auditions
All-Region is held at both the Junior High (Grades 7-8) and High School (Grades 9-12) levels. Each level selects music for students to perform on their instrument. Each instrument will have to prepare scales, a slow etude, and a fast etude. Percussionists, as per usual, are the exception, as they will prepare etudes on snare, mallets, and timpani.
Students who prepare the music for All-Region perform before a panel of blind judges (they are preventing from seeing who is auditioning) who give each student a rating compared to everyone else auditioning. Students compete against students from Gatesville as well as other students in the region. After auditions, top performers get placed into one of two bands that rehearse and perform together on a later weekend.
All-Region Auditions are usually held at the beginning of December. Music is available over summer break. The very top performers of each section advance to an “Area” round of auditions held in early January. Area Auditions are comprised of the top players from our region and the surrounding region. The top 2-3 performers from Area Auditions advance and represent our Area as part of the All-State band. Any student who makes the All-State Band will receive a free trip to San Antonio where they will rehearse with other All-State musicians and perform a concert at the Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention in San Antonio. For more information on auditions, click here.
Recent Gatesville All-Region & All-State Participants
Flute – Alison Holden, Kate Marris
Clarinet – Kennedy Berry, KayLeigh Goodwin, Chase Schramm
Tenor Saxophone – Sean Dolan
Baritone Saxophone – Isaac De La Torre-Euphonium
Trumpet – Kensie Bloodworth
Tuba – Clancy Lawhorn, Toby Small, Michael Byrd
Percussion – Caden Walls, Sierra Romero
Solo & Ensemble Competition
Solo & Ensemble competition is an instrumental music contest whereby an individual, or small group of individuals (called an “ensemble”) work up a solo or ensemble piece for a performance in February. The music chosen by the students to perform must come from the Texas Prescribed Music List (or PML). These pieces are rating by class based on their difficult, with Class I being the most difficult and Class III being the least difficult.
Each student who prepares a solo or ensemble of any difficulty level will perform their chosen solo/ensemble for a judge at the annual Region Solo & Ensemble Contest. Any individual who prepares a Class I Solo, performs it from memory, and receives a “Division I” rating will advance to the State Solo & Ensemble Competition held in Austin, TX at the end of May.
An “ensemble” is a group generally comprised of 4-5 students who work together to prepare a piece. These ensembles generally pair mixed instruments: Brass Quintet (trumpet, trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba), Woodwind Quintet (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, french horn), or like instruments: Trumpet Trio (three trumpets), Clarinet Quartet (mixed clarinets), Percussion Ensemble. Any Region-level ensemble that receives a Division I rating will advance to the State Solo & Ensemble contest in May.
Students who participate in State Solo & Ensemble Contest in May are eligible to “medal” at the State level. For Division I or Division II rating, a student will receive a gold or silver medal, respectively, and each student who receives a Division I rating for an ensemble piece will receive a bronze medal.
Recent Gatesville State Solo & Ensemble Participants
Flute Trio: Alison Holden, Kate Marris, Lauren McCracken
Clarinet Trio: Kennedy Berry, Chase Schramm, Kayleigh Goodwin
Clarinet Quartet: Joseph Barnes, Jenna Benskin, Chase Schramm, Lexi Hudson
Saxophone Quartet: Sean Dolan, Ty Goodwin, Grant Smith, Aandon Haferkamp
Trombone Trio: Josh Bartlett, Nate Bartlett, Brennen Mata
Brass Quintet: Lesli Anderson, Brennen Mata, Eric Benskin, Kenzie Bloodworth, Lauren Sweeney
Brass Sextet: Michael Byrd, Seth Casey, Vickie Moran, Bryce Van Zile, Elizabeth Welborn
Percussion Trio: Patrick Doyle, Talon Keeney, Sierra Romero