Sartell Singers take on Solo/Ensemble

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Sartell Singers take on Solo/Ensemble

Evan Gertken

Evan Gertken

Evan Gertken

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Members of the Sartell High School Choirs took on the Little Falls Solo/Ensemble competition on Wednesday, January 31st.

Early that Wednesday morning, forty-seven students, dressed from head-to-toe in khakis, slacks, button-ups, and blouses alike, boarded two ordinary school buses and rode to Little Falls High School.

At Solo/Ensemble, students perform different pieces across a multitude of genres. Sartell’s own Barbershop Quartet scored a perfect forty and a earned “Best At Site.” The quartet was made up of seniors Evan Gertken, Colin Nord, Peyton Braun, and junior, Max Svensson. In addition to this, there was a fabulous rendition of “If I Were a Bell” from Guys and Dolls by Laura Carlson. Mix in a preponderance of folk songs, Italian and German Ballads, and several harmonious ensembles and you’ve got a Solo/Ensemble competition.

Will you be participating in Solo/ Ensemble next year?

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In the months preceding the competition, directors Mr. Brandon Nordhues and Mrs. Joanna Richards helped their pupils select pieces that not only suited the student’s voices but also challenged them. After, students took home the music, memorized it, and practiced with the accompanists assigned to them. With a brief, practice recital in front of their peers and a packet detailing the events and logistics of the following day, they were off the next morning.

At the competition, the students enjoyed a day of watchful, musical mindfulness, some bonded with friends, others practiced the delicate and destructive art of stress-memorization, and they all watched their peers and other students singing in wait of criticism with a dewed brow and locked knees. The competition carried on like one might expect, anxious students bustling from room to room, supporting their friends and crossing their fingers that their own rounds would go well.

There’s always going to be a bigger and juicier orange on the orange tree.”

— Colin Nord

But after the rounds were finished and all that was left to do was bolster their friends, some students found the competition not only perfectly enjoyable but educational in more ways than just the musical sense.

Solo/Ensemble Participant Colin Nord says, “[Solo/Ensemble] teaches you to stay humble… there’s always going to be a bigger and juicier orange on the orange tree.” Colin goes on to say that another lesson he’s learned in Solo/Ensemble is the importance of being a team player. “You really have to work hard because, you know, if you’re not prepared and you’re not being a team player and doing your part, Solo/Ensemble can really sneak up on you.”

When asked if he would recommend Solo/Ensemble to any on-the-fence singers Colin said, “Yes, I would.”

For more information about Solo/Ensemble watch this video by Alex Moritz!

Alex Moritz



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