Tell City students earn medals at solo, ensemble contests

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10 performers qualify for state competition

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - The percentages of gold and silver ratings students earned at solo-and-ensemble contests Saturday at Southridge High School made this "one of our better years," Tell City-Troy Township School Corp. Music Director Barry Reasoner said Monday.

Additionally, 10 of the students who competed in solo categories and three ensembles earned the right to advance to state-level competition Feb. 27 in Indianapolis.

People may get the impression this is a "slack period" for the Tell City High School musicians because "we're not outside making noise" like they do when preparing for marching-band contests, Reasoner said. The students' preparation for solo-and-ensemble contests, however, is very important in that they're building their musicianship, the director explained.

"Each student in an ensemble or competing solo is held accountable," he said. "He or she has done the learning and earns their rating. The student's name is on the product. The can wear the medals because they earned them."

State Contenders

Nick Hawkins and Will Roberts earned perfect scores for their solo snare-drum performances, Reasoner noted.

Qualifying with them for state solo competition were flutists Mary Burst and Laurie Saalman, clarinet players Brooke Birchler, Laura Denoncour and Taylor Hale, trumpet player Aaron Peter, French horn player Ariel Etienne and trombonist Tyler Hamilton.

Ensembles qualifying for state include a flute trio featuring Jessica Arnold, Burst and Saalman; a quartet featuring flutists Arnold, Chelsea Boyer, Burst and Saalman; and trumpeters Lauren Coyle, Jennifer Niswonger and Peter.

Lower-division Success

Students had to earn gold ratings in the competitions' most-difficult Division 1 to qualify for state. Those who earned the top ratings in lower divisions included soloists Savannah Hoskinson, flute; Jalen Harris, alto saxophone and Rachel Lamar, trumpet. Soloists Arnold, Burst, trumpet player Jennifer Dinkel and percussionist Darcy Howell earned silver ratings.

Ensembles earning gold ratings outside of Division 1 included alto-saxophonists Memori Wilson, Harris and Tori Nash, and a quintet composed of trumpeters Peter and Niswonger, Etienne on French horn, Jackie Niswonger on trombone and James Payne on tuba.

A brass quintet featuring Coyle, Jennifer Niswonger, Etienne, baritone player Andrew Utley and tuba player Michael Parr earned a silver rating.

Junior-high Results

Junior-high solo performers bringing home gold medals included Samantha Burton and Mercedes Mendez on clarinet, saxophonist Jeff Yeung and percussionists Cathalyn Diaz, Ben Jacondino, Collin Malone, Gage Otto and Natalie Peter.

Silver medals went to trombonist Kyle Boyer, flutist Brittany Scott, clarinet players Amber Schulthise and Lydia McDuffie and percussionist David Peter.

Trombonist Nick Ubelhor earned a bronze rating.

Burton earned gold ratings for performing in two clarinet trios. McDuffie and Logan Richards performed with her in one, and Sarah Cartwright and Brittany Thomas joined her in the other.

Burton also earned gold in a clarinet quartet that also featured Kaitlyn Bernardi, Cassie Bryant and Mendez.

Trumpeters Addison Peter and Luke Thomas and trombonists Elliott Brown and Mason Waninger combined talents to earn gold in the ensemble category.

Flutists Scott, Jennifer Trujillo and Gabrielle Worsley teamed up to take a silver rating.