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HUNTINGBURG - Tell City High School's Sarah Roccia earned a gold rating at a district-level solo-vocalist competition Saturday, qualifying in the most-difficult category for a berth at state competition.
She also performed with Kyra Lutgring and Michael Parr to earn a gold rating in a vocal-ensemble category. The Marksmen competed at Southridge High School, Huntingburg, one of nine sites hosting vocal or piano solo and ensemble contests last weekend.
Another nine sites will produce state contenders in the same categories this weekend.
Tell City High School wind- , percussion- and string-instrument performers will compete at Southridge Saturday.
Roccia performed "The Lass with a Delicate Air" in Group 1, denoting the highest level of difficulty in the Indiana State School Music Association competition. Each performer has to choose music from an ISSMA-approved list to ensure uniformity in difficulty levels.
The Tell City trio performed "Sometimes I Think and Wonder" in Group 3, whose gold-medal winners don't advance to state competition.
"They just thought they weren't quite ready for Group 1 as an ensemble," TCHS Music Director Barry Reasoner said Tuesday.
That school and Tell City Junior High School will send 52 entries in either solo or ensemble categories to this weekend's contest. Nine Group 1 entries include several freshmen. Reasoner said that's not unique, but called it "a big plus that they're at that level."
These contests give each student an opportunity to hone his or her skills individually, Reasoner said.
"I really think this time of year is when the band improves the most because each individual improves," he said. "Each plays a part independent of others in the ensemble; no one can lean on anyone else."
Solo-and-ensemble contests also give each performer a chance to earn exclusive credit, the director noted.
"Gold means they've improved to that level," he said. "This is one of those times when my ego has nothing to do with it - each student is really putting forth the effort and deserves the credit they get."